Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hispanicize 2012: The Missing Link for U.S. Latino Filmmakers

National Latino Film Showcase Launch, a Pivotal Game Change

The iconic annual Hispanicize 2012 event (April 10th-13th in Miami) has been described as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies influencing social media and brands. The event, only in its third year, has exploded with record-setting registrations and being touted by Latino and multicultural bloggers as the soon to be “biggest of its kind in the world.”

With the launch of the 1st annual National Latino Film Showcase, Hispancize in association with Latin Heat Media and Getty Images Latin America, takes a pivotal step toward providing the missing link for U.S. Latino filmmakers: the much needed essentials for marketing and distribution of their films through social media, marketing training, and direct access to bloggers and brands all under one universal roof.

“In the U.S., Latino filmmakers are almost invisible. The showcase will provide a natural launch pad for filmmakers to be discovered and recognized,” says says Manny Ruiz, Hispanicize Creative Director and Organizer.

“I want to be clear that while we are adding an indie film showcase, we have the built-in components to essentially ally to other film festivals,” Ruiz clarified.  “We’re not trying to compete with Latino film festivals, we’re amplifying what they already do and do more with and for the U.S. Latino filmmakers,” Ruiz says.

The Sundance Film Festival has only accepted a handful films or documentaries into competition by U.S. Latino filmmakers in its 34-year existence.  Without the visibility and buzz high profile film festivals provide, Hollywood is unaware of the excellent projects coming from this sector of U.S. filmmakers.

Hispanicize, recognizes the importance of keeping its pulse on the future world of the internet and the important role it plays for film distribution. For example, in 2011 global revenue for the “Big Six” Hollywood studios was $22 billion while the internet made $38 billion (according to Vanity Fair). As for viewership, 400 million is the estimated number of tickets sold worldwide for Titanic, while the internet reports 717 million estimated number of YouTube views for Justin Bieber’s Baby video. Hispancize acknowledged early on that the Latino filmmaker and their products stood to benefit the most by exposing them to the most influential Latino and multicultural bloggers who in turn have mainstream media tracking what they [bloggers] are trending.

Hollywood’s tunnel vision for American film and as stated in a recent Vanity Fair article, has become an endless succession of sequels, prequels, remakes, movies spun off action figures or board games, movies with vampires or fire-breathing mutants, bromantic comedies, teenage love sagas, and high-minded adaptations. This has made it near to impossible for the U.S. Latino filmmaker or Latino stories to make it to the big or little screen... and proof of this is in this year’s Academy Awards where more Non-Americans received Oscars than Americans. The Hispanicize Event is elevating independent films-- not just the ones showcased here-- but also link with other established venues by supplying the the missing online and brand components.

The showcase includes a lineup of feature length, short and documentary films along with a variety of professional development sessions, in a growing program specifically tailored to advance the careers of the U.S. Latino filmmakers and actors. More than a dozen film and entertainment related panels will be sprinkled throughout the four-day Hispanicize event.

“Hispanicize 2012 represents a one-of-a-kind, historic opportunity that I believe will greatly enrich the Latino filmmaking community,” said Latin Heat CEO Bel Hernandez.  

“Latin Heat is working closely with its industry friends and Hispanicize 2012 to ensure this event advances the work of the independent filmmakers, actors and producers that we serve.”

Hispanicize 2012 has a schedule of 85 sessions and more than 125 speakers over four days in Miami at the JW Marriott hotel, an event sponsored by dozens of major brands including NBC Latino. Participants flocking to event will also be treated to some Miami magic with a special screening presentation of highly publicized Magic City (Starz cable network), and the screening of the cult classic Scarface (Brian de Palma film) at the infamous Oceanside mansion. Steven Bauer who co-starred with Al Pacino will attend... an event presented by Hispancize partner, Beling Latino.

In this age of major brands wanting to reach the Hispanic market and Latino influencers, Ruiz says his event gives bloggers something they can’t get anywhere else-- the attention of more brands than anyone else. Hispancize is the only event gathering all of the Hispanic and multicultural brands in one place.

Hispancize’s celebrity-packed component is rallying around this year’s Latinovator award recipients being honored for their careers and philantrophy: Emilio Estefan (Legendary Musician/Entreprenuer), Nely Galan (TV Producer/Latino Media Pioneer), Maria Elena Salinas (News Anchor), and Cesar Milan (Dog Whisperer).

Over four dozen major brands have embraced Hispancize 2012 which for a Latino-focused event is unprecedented with BlackBerry® as the presenting sponsor and official handheld mobile device of its National Latino Film Showcase .  

“With the brimming creativity that Latino Filmmakers have to offer, and to assist in the endeavor of bringing their art into the spotlight, we feel it is a privilege to sponsor the National Latino Film Showcase at Hispanicize 2012,” said David Anon, Sr. Director of Marketing for Latin America at BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM).

 “Hispanicize is an event whose time has come,” said Mónica Taher, partner, Getty Images Hispanic.  “We’re excited to provide our national and global news distribution platform to broadcast the people and the works that will be showcased at Hispanicize 2012.”

For more information on Hispancize 2012 National Latino Film Showcase, visit:  www.hispanicizeevent.com or Latin Heat, www.latinheat.com.