Justina Machado and Oz Rodriguez to Mentor Rising Latino Filmmakers Under Mitú, Walmart Program | Exclusive

Selected filmmakers will be granted a special screening of their short films at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival

Justina-Machado-Oz-Rodriguez
"One Day at a Time" star Justina Machado and “SNL” director, producer and writer Oz Rodriguez (Getty Images)

“One Day at a Time” star Justina Machado and “SNL” director, producer and writer Oz Rodriguez will mentor rising Latino filmmakers through mitú and Walmart’s filmmaker mentorship program.

Machado and Rodriguez join as mentors for the program’s second installment, which has expanded with a new partnership with the Latino Film Institute (LFI). Under the partnership, participating filmmakers will be granted a special screening of their films at the 2024 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) on Friday, May 31.

This year’s program includes an 11-week accelerated mentorship format, during which filmmakers will be granted comprehensive access to Los Angeles’ mitú Studios, resources to fund and produce their 5-10 minute short films as well as a $10,000 stipend for future projects.

In addition to showcasing their films at LALIFF in Los Angeles, Walmart will fly the filmmakers to Arkansas’ Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas, which is chaired by Geena Davis, where their films will be showcased.

Filmmakers selected for the ​​second installment of the program include Matthew Serrano, whose film “Pick One” centers on a young protagonist who represents a fusion of multiple ethnicities and cultures; Kaila Gutierrez, who explores familial love overcoming language barriers in “Nana Carmen;” Sofia Ayerdi, whose film “Aguamadre” bridges generational gaps between a mother and a daughter; and Manuel Villarreal, whose film “El Colibrí” follows a young girl’s quest to repair a treasured hummingbird figurine that becomes a journey that allows her to reclaim her cultural and community ties.

Mitú and Walmart’s filmmaker mentorship program was recently recognized for its multicultural community engagement as a Shorty Awards silver honoree.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with Walmart, an ally in our mission to empower and celebrate Latinos in the Entertainment industry,” mitú chief revenue officer Joe Bernard said. “Additionally, we are thrilled about our partnership with LFI where only a company like NGLmitu can bring together our clients, partners and the creative community in such an impactful way. The mitú x Walmart Filmmaker Mentorship Program not only enriches the talent pipeline but also ensures a diverse range of voices and perspectives in media, significantly bolstering the Latino community’s presence in Hollywood and driving substantial economic growth.”

“The mitú x Walmart Filmmaker Mentorship Program is entering an exciting second season, now enhanced and even more committed to elevating Latino filmmakers by launching a partnership with the Latino Film Institute,” said D.J. Vaughn, Walmart director of multicultural marketing partnerships. “This new partnership marks a major step forward, highlighting the program’s growing influence and dedication to fostering diversity in the film industry by  supporting the next generation of creative talent.”

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