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

Manuel Betancourt


Apr 8, 2020

J.J. Soria, Karrie Martin, America Ferrera, Carlos Santos and Annie Gonzalez attend the premiere of Netflix's 'Gentefied.'

Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Netflix.

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.

“As schools across Los Angeles and the country continue to close for the remainder of the school year, many students are relying on virtual classrooms and distance learning during these difficult times. We felt it was our responsibility to do something to support those efforts,” explains Olmos, founder of the Latino Film Institute and YCP. “We thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to engage and excite the next generation by asking professional actors to join us in helping our students continue their education by reading the film scripts they have worked so hard on over the past year. The YCP students may not be able to finish filming their scripts this year, but they will get the chance to see them come to life.”

Olmos has recruited a stellar lineup for these livestream read throughs. Indeed, the talent involved reads like a who’s who of Latinx TV. Over the next few weeks you’ll be able to see actors from Vida, Gentefied, Queen of the South, Narcos: Mexico, East Los High, Mayans M.C., Los Espookys and One Day at a Time — to name just a few! — taking on scripts written by YCP students.

“We were overwhelmed by the response we got from the Hollywood Latinx community,” continues Rafael Agustín, YCP’s Executive Director, “to have this amazing group of talent read material crafted by students in our program will definitely create a huge impact in their learning, while at the same time showing the importance of having diverse voices in storytelling.”

Take a look at Olmos’ announcement below and begin scheduling time to check out these worthwhile projects in the next few weeks.

The virtual live readings take place Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 p.m. PDT beginning April 8, 2020 on the Youth Cinema Project website, and can be found on social media with the hashtag: #YCPLiveReads

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