In my 10 Things That Will Make You Think, Speak, and Act workshop, I talk about the diversification of Hollywood and how far we still have to go. One of the things that I talk about is how it is not just what we see on the screen that needs diversification. For that to become wholly diverse, the back door of Hollywood needs to be diversified. We need more writers, directors, and producers of color. I am a little behind on my magazine reading but was able to make it through the September issue of Latina recently, and I was heartened to read the following insights from two Latino actors. I was also heartened by this recent Washington Post headline: More Hispanics Being Hired By Networks, Report Says.
From Roselyn Sanchez who played Amaryllis Campos in Yellow, an indie flick she wrote and produced:
“I was being proactive because who’s going to do the movies we want to make as Latinas if we don’t do them ourselves? But you have two people, Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez, who are doing it consistently and doing it well, and it’s such an inspiration.”
From “A Prodigal Star Returns” by Rosa Callabero-Li who writes about Eduardo Verastegui (of Chasing Papi):
“If he wanted more films to portray Latinos positively, he would have to make them himself. Eduardo and two friends formed Metanoia Films and painstakingly raised money to make their first film, Bella, about a broken former soccer star who gains redemption by helping a pregnant coworker.” The effort paid off– the film won the People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival.