By Jose Jara
Interview with Ben Lopez
Executive Director of NALIP
LATINOSCOOP: What is the role of NALIP to Hispanic content creators and what role does it have in the world of Hollywood?
BEN LOPEZ: NALIP has been in existence for the past 18 years and premere non-profit fighting for the rights for Latinos and advance them across the ecosystem in Hollywood. The primary purpose is to refocus the conversation to make sure that Latinos are equally represented across all platforms including virtual reality programs, digital and streaming. We highlight the work of Latinos and set up projects where we can accelerate the developing of Latinos in media and folks behind the scenes, especially those that we forget about, the Hispanic content creators. We are building long-term relationships where the content creators where we can focus and reframe engage the Latino audience. We are very general market but also very influential across many platforms.
LATINOSCOOP: Can you speak about the lack of Latinos at the Emmy’s this past year and how they were left out.
BEN LOPEZ: This is 3D chess – when it comes to executive decisions from the studios, they are the ones that can mobilize and fund projects that can me greenlit. It takes years to nourish the type of unique voices that come from the Latino experience. Many Latinos don’t have any opportunity to fail in the writer’s room. If they don’t make it through the diversity programs they get lost forever. Not too many of them are getting the nod to be showrunners. Without the blessing from the studio executives – many of them don’t move up. It’s important for the executives to understand the dynamic Latino experience to seek us out. We need to get more board directors to seek out that Latino experience.
LATINOSCOOP: Can you talk to us about the Latino Media Fest?
BEN LOPEZ: NALIP created that Latino Media Fest to invite executives and other individuals that want to discover the unique Latino experience and new voices. The awards component recognizes those Latinos have made it to the Sundance Film Festival and celebrate the best Latin-American content creators. We are focusing on Latinos in the United States (LatinX). We have world-class cinema being curated among Latinos. We try to Latinos ready for many of the programs where the Hispanic content can enter all the mainstream film festivals around the country. Latino Media Fest covers television, cinema and streaming space for Hispanic content creators.