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Eva Longoria & More Entertainment Industry Leaders Launch Initiative to Increase Latinx Representation in Hollywood

Eva Longoria teamed up with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to launch ‘LA Collab,’ an initiative to increase Latinx representation in Hollywood.

Actress-producer and director Eva Longoria teamed up with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to launch ‘LA Collab,’ an initiative to increase Latinx representation in Hollywood.

Garcetti’s unprecedented effort to connect Latinx talent executives and creators to opportunities in the entertainment industry aims to double Latino representation in Hollywood by 2030.

“Latinos are a powerful force in L.A.'s culture and economy, and our trademark industry should tap into the diverse pool of talent in our own backyard,” said Mayor Garcetti. “On big screens or small, in front of the camera or behind it, our studios, actors, directors, and producers inspire the world with the power of their creativity and imagination — and LA Collab will elevate new voices and empower the next generation of Latinx creatives.”

According to the press release accompanying the news and a a report by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Latinos represent 25% of the box office. Yet a recent study by USC Annenberg showed that Latino representation has been stagnant over the past dozen years, averaging roughly 3% of all leads and co-leads in motion pictures. 

This year, LA Collab will strictly focus on changing this trend by helping Latinx talent develop their skills, talent, and promoting collaborations with Latinx creators and A-list producers, buyers, showrunners, filmmakers, and top industry allies.

Mayor Garcetti teamed up with Beatriz Acevedo, founder of mitú and president of Acevedo Foundation, and Ivette Rodriguez, president of AEM to bring LA Collab to life.

Their initiative kicked off with support from more than 50 leaders and organizations within the entertainment industry, including Eva Longoria, J.J. Abrams, Eli Roth, DeVon Franklin, Jason Blum, and Zoe Saldana. The Annenberg Foundation, WarnerMedia, Endeavor Content and Mayors Fund are the initial funders of the initiative.

“The near invisibility of Latinos in Hollywood was the catalyst to rally Hollywood behind this crisis to create change together,” said Beatriz Acevedo. “By facilitating unprecedented collaborations between the creative community, studios, buyers and other influential allies, LA Collab will ultimately drive exponential growth for the industry and our community.”

“As a Latina, I want to see more actors who look like me on screen and behind the camera,” said Eva Longoria. “I started my own production company to create content from our community, and I became a director/producer to be in a position to hire people who look like me. With LA Collab, I want to open the door for many more Latinx creators and fuel the emergence of a better entertainment industry that elevates and celebrates the diversity and richness of my culture.”

Up to date, LA Collab has secured the following deals for the Latinx creative community: 

A finance development deal for a feature script with Endeavor Content

A scripted proof of concept deal with WarnerMedia’s 150

A development deal for a documentary with Shine Global

A podcast development/pilot deal with Southern California Public Radio’s LAist Studios 

A blind digital pilot deal with pocket.watch

These are the LA Collab advisory members who will serve to support and amplify the initiative's mission and projects:

·         Axel Caballero, WarnerMedia, VP, Talent Incubation and Artistic and Cultural Innovations

·         Deputy Mayor William Chun, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development

·         DeVon Franklin, Franklin Entertainment, President and CEO

·         Alexis Garcia, Endeavor Content, Partner

·         Ruben Garcia, Creative Artists Agency, Executive

·         Lorenza Munoz, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Managing Director of Member Relations and Awards

·         Marlis Pujol, Producer

·         Genna Terranova, Amazon Studios, Head of Programming and Audience Development

·         Mary Vernieu, Betty Mae Casting, President

Other LA Collab supporters include: 

·         Blumhouse Productions 

·         Bad Robot

·         FREE THE WORK

·         Hello Sunshine

·         Hispanic Heritage Foundation 

·         National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)

·         National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)

·         Sundance Institute

·         United Talent Agency

·         Women in Film

Here are some photos from the LA Collab launch.

LA Collab: A Movement to Advance Latino Access and Representation in Entertainment held at The Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory on January 13, 2020 in Los Angeles, California, United States (Photo by © Jc Olivera/VipEventPhotography.com© Jc Olivera/VipEventPhotography.com / © Jc Olivera/VipEventPhotography.com

For more information on LA Collab and a full list of partners, please visit lacollab.org.