Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday announced an initiative that will aim to connect Latinx talent, executives and creators with opportunities throughout the entertainment industry and double Latinx representation in Hollywood by 2030.
LA Collab is an initiative co-founded by Garcetti along with Beatriz Acevedo, founder of MiTu and president of Acevedo Foundation, and Ivette Rodriguez, president of AEM.
The collaboration kicks off with support from more than 50 industry leaders and organizations in Hollywood, including Eva Longoria, J.J. Abrams, Eli Roth, Devon Franklin, Jason Blum and Zoe Saldana. Initial funders include the Annenberg Foundation, WarnerMedia and Endeavor Content.
“The Latinx community is a growing force across LA’s economy, and our trademark industry should tap into that diverse pool of talent in our own backyard,” Garcetti said in a statement. “On big screens or small, in front of the camera or behind it, our studios, actors, directors, and producers inspire the world with the power of their creativity and imagination — and LA Collab will help bring new voices and dynamic storytellers into the fold by including and empowering the next generation of Latinx leaders.”
Latinos represent nearly 20% of the U.S. population and about 25% of the box office, according to the MPAA. But according to a recent study by USC Annenberg, Latino representation in the industry has remained stagnant — roughly 3% of leads and co-leads in movies.
In 2020, LA Collab will focus on reversing this trend by supporting Latinx talent with skills development and promoting collaborations with Latinx creators and top producers, filmmakers, buyers, showrunners and industry allies.
“The radical decline of Latinos in Hollywood was the catalyst to rally Hollywood behind this crisis to create change together,” Acevedo said in a statement. “By facilitating unprecedented collaborations between the creative community, studios, buyers and other influential allies, LA Collab will ultimately drive exponential growth for the industry and our community.”
“As a Latina, I want to see more actors who look like me onscreen and behind the camera,” Longoria said in a statement. “I started my own production company to create content from our community, and I became a director/producer to be in a position to hire people who look like me. With LA Collab, I want to open the door for many more Latinx creators and fuel the emergence of a better entertainment industry that elevates and celebrates the diversity and richness of my culture.”
Several other entertainment leaders from the founding coalition are supporting LA Collab’s mission by providing access and hands-on experience to emerging Latinx creative talent, including Eli Roth, who will support Latinx horror filmmakers via his digital platform, Crypt TV, and Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films and Pantaya, who will actively search for new bilingual voices for their scripted OTT and studio projects.
LA Collab has also secured the following deals for the Latinx creative community:
- Endeavor Content — A finance development deal of a feature script
- WarnerMedia’s 150 — A scripted proof of concept deal
- Shine Global — A development deal for a documentary
- Southern California Public Radio’s LAist Studios — A podcast development/pilot deal
- pocket.watch — Blind digital pilot deal
LA Collab has also partnered with The Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC) to complete a report and database of Latino talent working in Hollywood.
The LA Collab advisory committee will serve to support and amplify the initiative’s mission and projects. The group’s members include:
- Axel Caballero, WarnerMedia, VP, talent incubation and artistic and cultural innovations
- William Chun, mayor’s office of economic development, deputy mayor
- DeVon Franklin, Franklin Entertainment, president and CEO
- Alexis Garcia, Endeavor Content, partner
- Ruben Garcia, Creative Artists Agency, executive
- Lorenza Munoz, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, managing director of
Membership and Awards
- Marlis Pujol, producer
- Genna Terranova, Amazon Studios, head of programming and audience development
- Mary Vernieu, Betty Mae Casting, founder
Other LA Collab’s supporters include:
- Blumhouse Productions
- Bad Robot
- FREE THE WORK
- Hello Sunshine
- Hispanic Heritage Foundation
- National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)
- National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
- Sundance Institute
- United Talent Agency
- Women in Film