Dec 9, 2021

'Hipster Death Rattle' TV Show in the Works at The CW


The CW is developing a drama/satire series (with comedic elements) called Hipster Death Rattle. According to Deadline, the series is being developed by Rafael Agustin, Marvin Lemus, and Wilmer Valderrama.

Dec 7, 2021

‘Hipster Death Rattle’ Drama Series From Rafael Agustín, Marvin Lemus, & Wilmer Valderrama In Development At The CW


Hipster Death Rattle, a drama/satire with comedic elements from Rafael Agustín, Marvin Lemus, and Wilmer Valderrama, is in the works at The CW.

Nov 17, 2021

Alumnus Rafael Agustín champions diversity in Hollywood


When Rafael Agustín was a first-year student at the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television, it rapidly became clear that, as an immigrant from Ecuador, he would have to carve his own path to success. As an aspiring filmmaker, he recognized that not many of his fellow students or Hollywood creators looked like him or shared his background.

Sep 15, 2021

Edward James Olmos helps take filmmaking to California classrooms to build lifelong learners


"I always knew we were immigrants. I didn't know we were undocumented immigrants," Agustín said. "In high school, I was an overachieving immigrant student. I was the class president, the prom king, the top 10% of my class. Then I applied to go to college and discovered that I was undocumented," said Agustín, who thinks a more appropriate term is "undocumented American."

Apr 16, 2020

LALIFF Goes Digital This Year Following California’s Extended Self-Distancing Rules


As the entertainment industry braces for another few months of continued self-distancing and stay-at-home orders in California, the folks at the Latino Film Institute keep finding new and exciting ways to keep Latino cinema in LA alive. After making their Youth Cinema Project go digital in hopes of keeping it afloat, they’ve just announced that they’ll be hosting LALIFF Connect, a virtual edition of the 2020 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF).

Apr 8, 2020

Casts of ‘Gentefied,’ ‘Vida’ & ‘Narcos: Mexico’ Are Bringing Film Student Scripts to Life


As the Coronavirus pandemic takes hold of the entertainment industry — with films being delayed and other TV productions on hold — little has been said about how it’s affecting a younger generation of would-be filmmakers. Students of film will remember this moment as a turning point not just in the industry but in their lives. Nurturing them and making sure they still see a future that includes them is key. To that end Academy Award-nominated actor Edward James Olmos announced that the Latino Film Institute will livestream script reading sessions from their Youth Cinema Project (YCP) students. YCP, which is implemented in public schools across California, introduces elementary, middle, and high school students to the art of filmmaking and hopes to train the next generation of Hollywood filmmakers.

Mar 20, 2020

Wilmer Valderrama Re-Ups First-Look Deal With CBS TV Studios


NCIS co-star Wilmer Valderrama has renewed his first-look deal with CBS TV Studios, the studio behind the popular CBS drama series. Valderrama stars as Special Agent Nick Torres on NCIS, which was just renewed for an 18th season. He has been on the show since Season 14, with the first-look producing pact running parallel to his acting deal for the show.

Feb 14, 2020

Center for Cultural Power Wants to Disrupt Hollywood Inequality With New Diversity Initiative


On the heels of an Academy Awards ceremony that found South Korea breaking into the Oscars for the first time with the history-making “Parasite,” and at a critical moment for diversity in the entertainment community, the Center for Cultural Power wants to disrupt Hollywood inequality with a new initiative for artists of color. In partnership with the Time’s Up-inspired movement 5050×2020, the Oakland-based Center for Cultural Power has announced the first-ever The Disruptors Fellowship, a five-month program that will be awarded to 10 artists of color who identify as trans and/or non-binary, disabled, undocumented and/or formerly undocumented immigrants. Head to the fellowship’s website for information on how to apply here. The deadline to apply is March 23, 2020, and while the fellowship takes place in Los Angeles, non-LA residents are welcome.

Aug 14, 2019

Edward James Olmos on strengthening Latino culture in film

Fox 6 Milwaukee

In this current climate that we find ourselves have been extraordinarily difficult for everyone, but for some reason we have been pinpointed out. And the latino community has been hit so hard and has been hit so hard for the last two years.

Mar 7, 2019

2019 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival to Focus on U.S. Latinx Talent

The Hollywood Reporter

Latin American filmmakers have earned much critical acclaim (and several Oscars) in recent years, but the 2019 edition of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, which takes place July 31 to Aug. 4 at the TCL Chinese Theatre, will put the spotlight on Latinx talent from the United States.

Oct 21, 2018

Immigrant Stereotypes Are Everywhere on TV

The Atlantic

In April, a Season 4 episode of Jane the Virgin sees Alba—the titular character’s grandmother—applying for her U.S. citizenship. It’s a story line that’s been seasons in the making, as viewers watched Alba evolve from undocumented immigrant to green-card holder to naturalized American. When Alba passes her test with a perfect score, stars from her new country’s flag float around her head as she celebrates with her family. A portrait of Donald Trump also transforms into one of his predecessor, offering a smile and a wink to Alba. It’s a subtle critique of the current president and his anti-immigration policies that reminds viewers of how citizenship isn’t always attainable for others. But this scene—and this arc—is just one of many stories in the show featuring Alba. Her character is not confined to her citizenship status, making her a rare example of an immigrant on TV who is depicted with nuance and care.

Oct 17, 2018

‘Jane the Virgin’ Writer on How TV Can Upend Distorted Immigrant Narratives

The Hollywood Reporter

'Jane the Virgin' writer Rafael Agustin makes the case for more immigrant voices in the writer's room and not just as consultants in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter.

Oct 3, 2018

‘Jane the Virgin,’ ‘Vida’ Writers Talk Onscreen Representation

The Hollywood Reporter

“Everybody will always say every story has been told,” said the first Latina to have starred in both a sitcom (ABC’s Cristela) and a Pixar film (Cars 3), Cristela Alonzo, during Define American‘s Tuesday night panel. “That’s not fucking true. Because I’m the only one to ever exist like me, and when I die, there will be no one like me.”

Jun 24, 2018

To Answer Hollywood's Diversity Problem, California Program Hands Kids The Camera


The program's executive director, Rafael Agustin, says these kids will someday help change the entertainment industry. He says they are the answer to the recent social media uproar over #OscarsSoWhite. The hashtag infamously began on Twitter in 2015, and took off again in 2016 when, for a second year in a row, all 20 actors nominated in the lead and supporting acting categories at the Academy Awards were white.

Apr 12, 2018

Contará lo que es ser inmigrante en Hollywood

Chicago Tribune

Dos momentos en la vida de Rafael Agustín replantearon su existencia: Cuando se enteró que ni el mariachi ni el tequila eran ecuatorianos, y cuando supo que era indocumentado.

Mar 31, 2018

Rafael Agustin: The Uniquely American Writer Redefining the American Story

LA Weekly

“I'm going to tell you this story of a family you consider illegal but you're gonna recognize as uniquely American,” writer Rafael Agustín says of the “edgy, Latino Wonder Years” TV show he's sold based on his life growing up undocumented in L.A. “I always wanted to call it Illegal because I wanted to make a statement: 'Listen, we're gonna get rid of this word once and for all.'”

Jan 10, 2018

Artists and Activists Are Taking Over a DTLA Warehouse for Nine Days of Social Justice

Los Angeles Magazine

Creatives have always been at the forefront of political revolutions. And since Donald Trump’s inauguration last January, artists of every stripe—visual, musical, and otherwise—have been integral to the Resistance, from Shepard Fairey and his ubiquitous “We the People” prints to the innumerable LGBTQ+ artists and artists of color, for whom simply continuing to create became a political act.

Sep 18, 2017

We Need to Talk About the Emmys’ Latinx Problem


After last night’s Emmy Awards, much of the Monday morning chatter was spent discussing Sean Spicer’s strange cameo, and the ceremony’s historic wins for Donald Glover (first black person to win an award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series); Lena Waithe (first woman of color to win an Emmy for comedy writing); and Riz Ahmed (first man of Asian descent to win an acting Emmy). Their Emmy wins were applauded by the media and celebrated as a major triumph for diversity on TV. But amidst all the self-congratulatory praise, there remained one glaring omission: Where were the awards and nominations for the Latinos?

Sep 16, 2017

Actress aims to bring Latino stories to TV

The Guam Daily Post

Sep 14, 2017

Gina Rodriguez Working on Two Television Shows About Immigrants


Amid the Trump Administration’s hotly debated positions on immigration, actress Gina Rodriguez is working on two timely television pilots centered on Latino immigrants. The shows, which will be aired on the CW and CBS, are all about the Hispanic community. Both programs will be produced by I Can & I Will Productions, the Jane the Virgin star’s multi-media company, and CBS TV Studios.

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