Multicultural Arts and Entertainment News

Multicultural Entertainment News is a special edition of MMRnews featuring news about theater, film, music, dining and entertainment events and entertainment marketing news with a multicultural focus. It covers audience and outreach campaigns aimed at markets including Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, women, GLBT and people with disabilities. Sign up to subscribe to MMRnews.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center Presents Latinbeat Film Festival 2011

The Film Society of Lincoln Center presented the 12th edition of Latinbeat, the oldest (and first) Latin American film festival in New York City, from August 10th through August 24th, 2011. Featuring films from 11 different Latin American countries and just as abundant an array of genres and styles, Latinbeat continues to follow the latest trends of filmmaking in Latin America by showcasing both up-and-coming directors and internationally recognized filmmakers. Films ranged from romantic comedies, classic thrillers, coming of age stories, animation and documentaries. This year’s program also featured two special screenings with live musical accompaniment: The Stoessel Expedition and Mojica Marin’s This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse. There was also a Panel Presentation entitled, “Central American and Caribbean Cinema Today,” where Latinbeat filmmakers discussed innovative and hybrid forms of film production in the region. Notable films included Mount Bayo, Norberto’s Deadline and Querida Voy a Comprar Cigarrillos y Vuelvo. For more information visit: Read more >>

Harlem Stage’s Fall Film Series: Harlem Stage on Screen

Harlem Stage, one of the country’s leading producers and presenters of film and performances by artists of color, presents a slate of provocative and insightful films as part of its Fall 2011 Season that spotlight issues of global and local import.  Each night in the series offers a short film, followed by the feature presentation and then a Q&A with the filmmaker. The films reflect political, sexual, ethnic and racial issues that affect people of all ages all over the world. “The films we’ve chosen to premiere at Harlem Stage this season offer cultural critiques with the capacity to transform the way we think about ourselves and each other,” says Harlem Stage Executive Director Patricia Cruz. For 30 years Harlem Stage has been one of the nation’s leading arts organizations, having achieved particular distinction through commissioning and presenting innovative works by artists of color and facilitating a productive engagement with the communities it serves through the performing arts. Its education programs each year provide 10,000 New York City children with access to a world of diverse cultures through the performing arts. Harlem’s Stage’s Fall 2011 Season begins September 22- December 7th. To view the film schedule visit  or call the Box Office at 212-281-9240 ext. 19 or 20 to purchase tickets.   Read more >>

The New York International Latino Film Festival

The New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) 12th edition took place from August 15-21, 2011 in New York City. NYILFF presented over 100 features, documentaries and short films in English and Spanish, which reflect America’s cultural diversity. Hollywood stars who were invited and expected to attend include: Andy Garcia, Edward James Olmos, Jennifer Exposito, Danny Glover, Yareli Arizmendi, and many more. The film festival kicked off with Cinema Under the Stars, a free outdoor screening on Monday, August 15. The NYILFF’s mission is to showcase the works of the hottest emerging Latino filmmaking talent in the U.S. and Latin America, offer expansive images of the Latino experience, and celebrate the diversity and spirit of the Latino community. For more information visit:  Read more >>

Providence Latin American Film Festival (PLAFF), September 15-18

In its 19th year, the Providence Latin American Film Festival (PLAFF) is scheduled from September 15-18, 2011, in Providence, RI. As the first Latin American Film festival to present juried awards, PLAFF offers residents of and visitors to the Northeast an introduction to a variety of Hispanic films.  Throughout the years, PLAFF has screened more than 650 feature films, shorts, documentaries and animations, many of which have gone on to receive national awards. A cultural organization that believes in teaching understanding and appreciation of the Latin American experience through film and culture, PLAFF offers photo exhibits, media workshops for children and youth, music and dance performances, and many other events. The 2011 PLAFF will feature more than 15 films with admission to each film only $7.00. For more information on the film festival or hotel package, visit    Read more >>

Tribeca Film Institute and Tribeca All Access Award Winners and Heineken Voces Grant Partnership Announced

The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) announced several program award winners and grantees at the TFI Awards Luncheon at Riverpark NYC during the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Two winners of the Tribeca All Access (TAA) Creative Promise Awards presented by Time Warner; seven new TAA alumni grants and fellowships; four winners of the Latin America Media Arts Fund; and four grantees supported by Insurgent Media for the inaugural TFI Documentary Fund were all presented today, totaling $125,000 in funds.  Now in its eighth year, the Tribeca All Access Program continues its success of fostering and nurturing relationships between film industry executives and flourishing filmmakers. This year, twelve filmmakers were selected from a pool of more than 376 submissions to participate in this year’s awards. This expanded program is meant to encourage women and minority filmmakers to showcase their talent in the industry.  Additional information can be found at  Read more >>

The New Victory Theater’s El gato con botas

After directing 33 Variations, Moisés Kaufman knew he wanted to direct an opera next.  “I’ve staged classical music before, and it's unlike directing anything else,” he said. So when Gotham Chamber Opera came to him and his company, Tectonic Theater Project, with the opera Puss in Boots (El gato con botas), he fell in love with it immediately and jumped at the chance to direct the production.  “Montsalvatge is one of the great Spanish composers of the last century, and Puss in Boots not only has depth and sophistication, but it's also very funny and witty.  The best way to describe this music is like looking at a building from Antonio Gaudi! It has the same charm, humor and daring,” Moisés said. Making Puss in Boots even more exciting for Moisés and Gotham Chamber Opera is the chance to work with London’s Blind Summit, one of the best puppet companies in the world today.  All three artistic powerhouses are in love with Montsalvatge's spirit, mischief and playfulness. What is it like for Moisés to direct a production for young audiences?  “Liberating!  Children's imaginations are so active.  The task is to make sure we use that to our greatest advantage.” Two performances were in Spanish. All other performances in English. All performances supertitled in English. For more information about Puss in Boots (El gato con Botas), visit

New-York Historical Society and El Museo del Barrio Join Forces for Nueva York Exhibition

In an unprecedented collaboration, the New-York Historical Society and El Museo del Barrio presents Nueva York (1613-1945), the first museum exhibition to explore how New York’s long and deep involvement with Spain and Latin America has affected virtually every aspect of the city’s development, from commerce, manufacturing and transportation to communications, entertainment and the arts. Organized by the two institutions, Nueva York will be on view through January 9, 2011, at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street). Bringing together the resources of New York’s oldest museum and its leading Latino cultural institution, this exhibition will span more than three centuries of history: from the founding of New Amsterdam in the 1600s as a foothold against the Spanish empire to the present day, as represented by a specially commissioned documentary by award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns. Nueva York will bring this story to life with hands-on interactive displays, listening stations, video experiences and some 200 rare and historic maps, letters, paintings, drawings and other objects drawn from the collections of the two museums, as well as from many other distinguished institutions and private collections. According to Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, “The topic we address in Nueva York is so vast—spanning centuries and continents—and has so much to tell us about present-day national issues such as immigration, education and language.” Julián Zugazagoitia, outgoing Director and CEO of El Museo del Barrio, stated, “The tremendous impact of Sonia Sotomayor’s appointment to the Supreme Court has helped awaken people around the country to the integral, complex and powerful presence of Latinos in New York. But most people, including Latinos themselves, still do not appreciate how deeply our roots are sunk into this city, or how widely the branches of Latino cultures’ influence have spread. We are thrilled to be telling this story at last, and telling it with all the depth and expertise at our command.” Lead sponsorship of Nueva York is provided by Cablevision. Visit   Read more >>

National Museum of Women in the Arts’ Exhibition of Trailblazing African-American Artist Lois Mailou Jones

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is presenting Lois Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color, the first major retrospective surveying Jones' diverse subjects and styles, on view October 9, 2010, through January 9, 2011. The exhibition of more than 70 works begins with the sketches and designs Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998) created during the Harlem Renaissance. After graduating in 1927 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Jones began her career as a textile designer. She sold her bold fabric creations to department stores until a decorator told her that a colored girl wasn't capable of producing such beautiful designs. This incident prompted Jones to shift her focus to the fine arts so she could sign her works. Jones' influences were extensive throughout her career. As a student in Paris in the late 1930s, she painted nudes, city scenes, the French countryside, and traditional still lifes. After returning to the states her works conveyed the social struggles of African-Americans through powerful psychological portraits such as Jennie (1943) and Mob Victim (1945).  In addition to her outstanding accomplishments as an artist, Jones was also a noted educator at Howard University in Washington, D.C. for 47 years. Among her illustrious students: David Driskell, Elizabeth Catlett and Robert Freeman. Lois Mailou Jones continued to create her vibrant paintings until her death in 1998. A Life in Vibrant Color is organized by the Mint Museum of Art in collaboration with the Lois Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust, and toured by International Arts & Artists. Lead support provided by Walmart with additional support from Lois Lehrman Grass, National Endowment for the Arts, Verizon, and ESSENCE. Visit Read more >>

The 14th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival Announces Winners

The 14th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by BET Networks, announced its winners including the narrative feature (MOOZ-LUM, written and directed by Qasim Basir; produced by Dana Offenbach and Samad Davis), documentary feature (BOUNCING CATS, written and directed by Nabil Elderkin, Isaac Hagy; produced by Nyla Hassell, George Mays, Claude Merkel and Charles Spano), screenplay (GRACEY, written by Julian Breece), teleplay (LOVE AND POLITICS, written by Tracy Oliver), and audience award categories, including FINDING GOD IN THE CITY OF ANGELS, written by Simon J. Joseph, Ph.D; directed by Jennifer Jessum; produced by Jennifer Jessum, Simon J. Joseph and Edward Osei-Gyimah.  The five-day festival was held September 15-19 in New York City and concluded with an awards brunch -- hosted by tv/radio personality FREE and VIBE editorial director Datwon Thomas. Founded by Stacy Spikes Urbanworld, which screened 71 films this year, is the largest internationally competitive festival dedicated to the exhibition of independent cinema by and about people of color. Urbanworld closed its 14th film festival  with the world premiere of I Will Follow, directed by Ava DuVernay (My Mic Sounds Nice) and starring Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Sci Fi Channel's "Eureka"), Omari Hardwick ("Dark Blue," "For Colored Girls"), Dijon Talton ("Glee"), Michole White ("Medium"), and comedian Royale Watkins. The film received a standing ovation, after which ESSENCE entertainment director, Cori Murray, moderated a Q&A session. Additional screenings included the ESPN "30 for 30" documentary One Night in Vegas, directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood and HBO's Boardwalk Empire, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire). Visit Read more >>

Lionsgate and Televisa Join Forces to Launch Pantelion Films for Latino Moviegoers in the U.S.

Lionsgate, the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, and Televisa, the Spanish-language media company, has announced the launch of Pantelion Films, a joint venture designed to target Hispanic moviegoers in the U.S., the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. moviegoer population. The new venture was unveiled by Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Grupo Televisa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Emilio Azcarraga. Noting that 26 million U.S. moviegoers are Hispanic and that they represent more than one-fourth of all frequent moviegoers in the U.S., Pantelion will release a slate of eight to 10 films a year over the next five years targeted to Latino audiences, kicking off with the January 2011 release of the comedy From Prada To Nada.  "Pantelion is unprecedented in terms of the production, distribution and marketing resources we are focusing on the Latino moviegoer in the U.S. and the consistent pipeline of movies we are offering Hispanic audiences," said Feltheimer. "Lionsgate is an ideal partner for extending Televisa's reputation for original, quality, commercially exciting filmed entertainment to the vast market of Spanish-speaking moviegoers in the U.S.," said Azcarraga. Pantelion was immediately hailed by the top three U.S. theatrical exhibitors, including AMC Cinema, Cinemark and Regal Entertainment Group, representing more than 50% of U.S. screens, and the new venture is in active discussions with major exhibitors for showcasing its slate. "The Hispanic audience is one of the most vibrant parts of the U.S. moviegoing community, and we are always looking for ways to broaden our selection of offerings to them," said Gerry Lopez, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMC Cinema.  Read more >>