Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today, an intensive 10-day professional program for emerging Latino filmmakers, kicked off this week in Los Angeles. The program is a collaborative effort between Hola Mexico Film Festival, the largest festival of Mexican cinema outside Mexico, and National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and seeks to bridge Hollywood with aspiring Latino filmmakers by providing participants with the resources, knowledge and network necessary to achieve success.
The program features an academic curriculum, a series of Hola Mexico talks and screenings, a showcase for the 2017 participants, as well as featured keynote presentations and panels with studio, agency and production experts in the industry.
A longtime content producer in both the U.S. and Latin America, Doug Rowell, Director of Advertising Week Latin America, joined the lineup of guest speakers for the event where he discussed the importance of developing a personal brand in the filmmaking business, as well as the professional skills that will set aspiring filmmakers apart in the early stages of their career.
AW Latin America will host its inaugural event in Mexico City this November, and is the first branch of the global Advertising Week brand to extend directly into the emerging Latin America markets throughout Mexico, South and Central America, Brazil and beyond. In addition to his role as Director of AW Latin America, Rowell serves as Senior Vice President of Original Content for Advertising Week, building on his extensive experience working in content production throughout Latin American and US markets.
Joining Rowell at the Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today festival is a lineup of highly-recognized Mexican filmmakers, faculty members from universities with top-ranked film programs, directors, actors and more. Additionally, 20 participants were chosen from a group of 54 applicants after undergoing an extensive interview process. The participants are celebrated for their quality of film work, experience and commitment to the profession, and for their potential to become ambassadors to their Latino culture and heritage.
According to the event, Hispanics continually have more difficulty achieving success the industry, as made evident by the statistics laid out in the 2016 Hollywood Diversity Report; out of 407 directors, 87 percent were white, while a mere 13 percent were from the underrepresented racial or ethnic groups. Similarly, out of 163 writers, a staggering 92 percent were white, while only 8 percent were from minorities.
With initiatives such as Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today, emerging Latino filmmakers will be equipped with the necessary resources, tools and contacts to emerge as leaders in the film industry and pave the way for future generations to follow suit.