Things That Matter

Where Are The Latina Directors?

The Alice Initiative, an effort launched by a group of female film executives to shed a spotlight on emerging female talent behind the camera, has shared its list of 30 female filmmakers on the rise. Woo hoo!  All the women on the list are talented, buzz-worthy, and telling innovative stories.

And yet…

Where are the Latina directors?

Of the 30 women listed, it appears that only Melina Matsoukas (she’s directed music videos for the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna, made the much-anticipated pilot for HBO’s “Insecure” with Issa Rae), who is of Cuban descent, has a Latinx background. (Of course, if we missed someone else, let us know!) And one person out of a list of 30 is OK, but…

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Credit: Disney

The truth is, Hollywood remains overwhelmingly non-Latinx, white and male.

This was mostly recently evidence by USC Annenberg’s 2015 Media, Diversity & Social Change  report, as parsed by THR:

Only 14 of 2015’s top movies had a lead or co-lead from the underrepresented groups. Nine were black, one Latino and four of mixed race. Not one lead or co-lead was played by an Asian actor. Seventeen percent of the films did not feature one black or African-American. Asian actors did not appear across 49 of the films.

And things don’t get any better behind the camera:

Behind the camera, of 1,365 key creatives who worked on the top films of 2015, the numbers were stark. There were eight female directors (7.5 percent); 30 female writers (11.8 percent), 220 female producers (22 percent) and just one female composer.

Among the 800 films surveyed since 2007, female directors numbered just 4.1 percent of those hired. And of those, only three were black or African-American and just one was Asian.

Plus, when you consider that of the few roles offered to Latinx, most are based on stereotypes, the need for not only more, but better Latinx representation, stories and viewpoints becomes all the more urgent.

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Credit: NBC

It takes only a quick look at the U.S.’s demographics to see why Latinx representation in front of and behind the camera is important. According to the Pew Research Center, Latinx, as of 2014 there are 55.3 million of us in the United States, or 17.3% percent of the U.S. population. Not only that, but we’re super young, and thus will outlive everyone else until we inherit the entire globe, fulfilling the prophecy. (Just “kidding.”)

Put another way: Latinx are 17.3% of the population in this country. Having one director of Latinx descent on a list of 30 equals 3.33%. It’s simply not enough.

We can hear the question now:

“So why don’t you make your own list of Latinx directors, Mitú?”

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Credit: Andrew Walker / Vimeo, via Gizmodo
  1. We totally did.
  2. The reality is, change cannot possibly be made if only Latinx outlets (like yours truly) champion Latinx artists. It is possible to be a Latinx who does not necessarily or solely seek out Latinx-specific stories, and it is possible for a story that deals with specifically Latinx themes, experiences and cultural touch points to be covered, shared, crtiqued, and heralded by non-Latinx. No meaningful change can be made if the work of seeking out and supporting Latinx artists is kept within an echo chamber.

So make things. And tell people about the great things you make. Tell people about the things other Latinx make that you enjoy. And hold people accountable when they don’t do the work of championing Latinx talent.


READ: These 2 Latinas Run Hollywood, Can Run The World

Quibi Is Doing A ‘Princess Bride’ Remake Of Sorts Starring Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas

Entertainment

Quibi Is Doing A ‘Princess Bride’ Remake Of Sorts Starring Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas

20th Century Fox

Inconceivable?

Just when we thought the ‘80s classic The Princess Bride was untouchable in terms of facing a remake, Quibi decided to take it on amid the current pandemic. According to The New York Post, the American short-form mobile video platform is going DIY with the beloved film. The celeb-studded film will see the stars use their phones to film and edit the series. The homemade fan film will premiere exclusively on the platform and will debut two chapters at a time.

“Game Of Thrones” star Sophie Turner and her husband Joe Jonas are set to play the lead romantic couple… with a twist.

Turner will take on the role of lovestruck Westley while Jonas will take on Princess Buttercup. Joining the couple is an all-star cast that includes Beanie Feldstein, Zazie Beetz, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, Keegan-Michael Key, Tiffany Haddish. Actor Fred Savage, who played the role of The Grandson in the original film, will also return, this time as… The Grandson. So it will most certainly be funny.

“The actors will trade-off roles throughout scenes, each paying homage to The Princess Bride in their own unique way,” the New York Post reported about the fan-made film. The outlet also revealed that in order to keep up with scenes that require crowds, they’ll use Legos and stuffed animals.

Turns out COVID-19 inspires creativity?

Fortunately, this reboot has a pretty great purpose other than staving off boredom.

Quibi has pledged to donate $1 million in honor of the homemade fan-made film to give to World Central Kitchen, an organization striving to provide meals to those in need during the pandemic.

The first chapter of this quirky project is set to debut on June 29.

‘Hamilton’: Disney Plus Drops Trailer For Musical Film — Watch Now!

Entertainment

‘Hamilton’: Disney Plus Drops Trailer For Musical Film — Watch Now!

Nicholas Hunt / Getty

Good news!

…Wait for it…

Those days of saving upwards of $849 for Hamilton tickets on Broadway are long behind you. The Broadway hit is coming straight to your screens courtesy of Disney +.

That’s right!

On Sunday, the streaming platform dropped the first official trailer for the Broadway rap-story about Alexander Hamilton and other historical figures. 

According to Variety, the production was filmed at New York City’s Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2016. From the trailer, it looks as if production perfectly captures the world of Broadway and the musical’s original stage production. You might remember that in 2016, the musical was nominated for 16 awards and eventually took home 11 awards, including Best Musical. That same year it received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The theatrical production features Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Jonathan Groff as King George, and Christopher Jackson as George Washington.

The film was originally slated for a theatrical release in October of 2021.

The release was fortunately moved up to July 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recent interview with Variety, Miranda said “What I’m most excited about [is] you all have that friend that is like, ‘I saw it with the original cast.’ We’re stealing that brag from everyone because you’re all going to see it with the original cast.”

Speaking about sharing Hamilton with audiences via the big screen, Miranda told Entertainment Tonight at the 2020 Oscars that he was “very proud of 2016 us, because we had the foresight to film the show with the original company before the principals started leaving, so we’ve got the snapshot,” Miranda shared. “I’m just really excited that we get to share it because we know how hard it is [to see it].”

Hamilton will be available to stream July, 3 on Disney+.