May 29, 2009

Not a Bad Week, Not a Bad Week At All

So, I think my early morning AM meeting went very well. We're very close to closing in on that NYILFF partnership (I HOPE!!). They're great folks and it would be a fantastic association for us (and them, if I dare say!). ;-) Plus, we're considering a 2-year partnership, which would be terrific... one less thing to worry about in 2010. I should have their decision next week. Majorly crossed fingers.

On a seemingly unrelated note, we had breakfast at Norma's, the restaurant inside the Le Parker Meridien hotel. Holy smokes... that is no joke. GO!

For the balance of the day, I've been taking care of some bills, busy work and primarily editing NYILFF film synopses. I've seen a bunch of the '09 films but not yet all of them. I watch a few each week, so, by the time the fest rolls around, I should have had seen all of them. That said, the line-up is insanely good. I literally can't wait for everyone to see what we have in store. Our filmmakers get stronger each year. Blows my mind.

Have a fabulous weekend!


May 28, 2009

Gettin' Busy

I just got back from meeting with the marketing folks at Clearview Cinemas, one of the NYILFF's new theater partners. Honestly, they're awesome... really cool, supportive folks. I'm so psyched we're working with them this year.

This AM, I took care of bills and, along with Calixto, started laying out the NYILFF's media plan. Super fun! ;)

Now, I'm off to edit our weekly staff meeting recap, write a couple of meeting/conference call recaps, write a couple of partner agreements and edit the synopses for films in the categories of Domestic Features and On The Edge, plus the Opening Night and Dominican Night films. I better get on that...

Later gators.


May 27, 2009

Good News... Finally!

What an insane Tuesday I had (so much for easing back into work after the long w/e). My email/phone call-packed AM led straight into 3 back2back meetings that started @ 3:00pm and ended @ 8:30pm. A short day, it was not. What it was, however, was a super productive, positive day.

First off, I'm proud to say 3
partners (2 media + 1 sponsor) informed me they plan to return for the NYILFF's 10th anniversary! Because I'm still ironing out the details, I don't want to jinx anything by naming the companies. But I think (hope!) we're golden with all three.

We also received confirmation that HUGE talent (multiple people in one film) plan to attend the fest to support their film. Sorry I can't be more specific now, but, trust me... it's bananas!

On an unrelated note, I would be remiss not to mention President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. Because I don't use this blog as a forum to push any kind of political agenda, I don't feel it's appropriate to offer my personal opinion of the selection. But, I do want to say, regardless of what you may or may not think about Judge Sotomayor's fitness for the job, the simple fact that this nation's first Black president just nominated the first Hispanic & only 3rd woman to serve as a Supreme Court judge is, in and of itself, awe-inspiring. If that doesn't represent the beautiful, multicultural face of the U.S., I don't know what does. Congratulations and good luck to Judge Sotomayor!

Let's hope yesterday is a harbinger for more good news to come b/c, quite frankly, we still very much need it...


May 26, 2009

1st Taste Tuesdays: 05.26.09

"Music Man" (Music Video)
Music Video by Shaun Boothe feat. Amanda Diva, directed by Aaron A.


Ring Life Nate Campbell Ep. 2: The First Defense
Nate Campbell fights to defend his title. For more on Ring Life, log on to

Diva Speak TV: Season 2, Episode #14
THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!!! SupaWoman/Man: Mary & Joseph Big Up: Okayplayer/Frank 151 Christmas Party Let Down: The Myth of Santa Claus Feature: The Best in Xmas!

Linked Ep. 13: "Higher Power"
Gabriel desperately tries to tie together the pieces of puzzle Lynn has provided him. With Jason's help, he comes to an unexpected conclusion.

Life Of A Struggling Actor: Ep #14
The Booking Crew Girls intro & interview


May 25, 2009

Frankie... I mean Liz... Says Relax!

Here's a little somethin'-somethin' I've learned along the way (though still struggle to follow): vacation is good. Vacation is healthy. Vacation is necessary to be a happy, productive, balanced member of the workforce (much less society). Taking a break revives and replenishes the system - mentally, physically and emotionally - and enables you to return to the grind with a fresh perspective, revived conviction and buoyed energy. Respites rejuvenate the soul and stoke the fires of positivity, creativity and passion.

In my 20's, I worked endlessly hard for an undeserving indie film company. Ultimately, I believe I edged a little too close to clinical burn-out; I was nearly overwhelmed by a general feeling of malaise, disinterest and exhaustion. All I can say is it ain't pretty. Lesson learned.

That said, I just made my famous guacamole and am heading out to my friend's BBQ. I hope you're spending this glorious day with friends and family... and relaxing!


May 22, 2009

Getting Ready for the Holiday W/E

Okay, I finally just finished my NYILFF proposal for this potentially really big sponsor partner. As you know, it's coming down to the wire, here, so this would be a hugely unexpected, quite fantastic boon. I'm so relieved it's done! Plus, I sent it right on time (almost to the minute, quite frankly).

Now, I'm working on the beverage partner... gotta make sure our staff and volunteers are well hydrated during the July heat. I can't very well have people dropping like flies!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!


May 21, 2009

No whammies.

This AM, I had a really fun meeting with this organization that helps bring Latin American art to the U.S... very cool idea, totally affordable, really high quality art and awesome mom + son duo from Columbia who founded the co. We have a couple of ideas to explore for this year's film fest, but they're also just good people to know. They seem to know just about everyone and have their hands in lots of different places. I like that. I like them.

Then, I just now got off the phone with a potential sponsor for the NYILFF and let me tell you... I feel goooood. Plus, in the longer term, it could potentially lead to something very interesting for Cinedulce. I will say no more. Don't want to jinx it. No whammies. No whammies...


May 20, 2009

One Small Step for the NYILFF...

Great news! Yesterday afternoon, a NYILFF sponsor partner confirmed participation... after a mere 8 months of discussion! ;-) Progress... feels good. I'm still waiting on a bunch of stuff, but this was a much needed, much appreciated kernel of good news. Plus, this is a returning partner; I like continuity. Hopefully, this positive news will open the window for more positive news to flow in.

In that same spirit, yesterday afternoon, I received very encouraging news from NYILFF's potential financial partner. We are not there yet, but the needle is moving in our direction. I just sent a whole follow-up doc. with more background information and valuations. My fingers are so tightly crossed I can barely write this blog!

Let's hope these small steps lead to a giant leap... or two!


May 19, 2009

1st Taste Tuesdays: 05.19.09

El Abuelo
Shot on location in San Antonio, Texas, El Abuelo is an intimate portrait of local educator and poet, Joe Jimenez. Directed by Dino Dinco.

The true and horrible history of Rafael. Directed by Paco Arasanz

Ring Life Nate Campbell Ep 1: Fight, Kill Or Die

Lightweight champion Nate Campbell has long been identified as the underdog. After years of striving and clawing, Campbell is finally the king of the lightweight division.

Diva Speak TV, Season 2 Ep. 13
Supawoman: Toni Morrison Big Up: Reporter throwing shoes at Bush Let Down: Wack Husbands Feature: Rapper, Donnie Goines intrvw

Linked Ep. 12 "Guessing Game"

Gabriel is bothered by his run in with Ray, but is quickly distracted when he returns to dreaming.

Life Of A Struggling Actor, Ep #13

Jacquie's Day. Someone wants to pick up the rights to our reality show! Big news! I can't believe it.

Making The Band Spoofs, Ep #12 (Finale!!)
MTV’s Making the Band launched the careers of Danity Kane, Day 26 and Donnie Klang… now, get ready for the next big thing: “The Uncomf’tables”. Comprised of MTV’s Wild ‘n Out’s AFFION CROCKETT and JOHN O. NELSON, prepare to laugh your ass off as you witness this ghetto band in the making.


May 18, 2009

Keep the Faith

I just saw "Angels and Demons" yesterday so I'm in a religious state of mind. Well, no... I'm actually not. But, the title seemed appropriate for the day. So, there it is.

We had a largely waste-of-time meeting this AM with a major broadcaster - totally nice, well-meaning folks, but limited in their scope of partnership capabilities due to various legal restrictions. It could have been a phoner, but, hey, it's always nice to put faces to names.

On a more positive, productive media partner note, we just received a call from a friend with whom we reconnected at last week's People en Espanol party. It turns out the media company where she now works has interest in sponsoring the NYILFF and they have $. Talk to me. I'm in the process of connecting to some of her associates to see what it all means, but I'm hoping this is an unexpected, much needed, much appreciated addition to our family of partners. See? You just gotta keep the faith that everything will work out in the end...

New Cinedulce content coming your way tomorrow for First Taste Tuesdays!


May 15, 2009

NYILFF Campaign Shoot, Take 2

Just got back from Somos Arte's groovy studio in Williamsburg, Bk for the 2nd part of the NYILFF's campaign photo shoot. This time we recorded and shot one of our favorite HBO executives, Lucinda, who was unavailable for the first go-round. Fortunately, this went just as smoothly as round 1. Gorgeous hair and makeup combined with Lucinda's super-cute dress, perfect audio delivery and sassy personality made the afternoon a total success.

Million thanks, again, to Lyndon McCray, Arthur Retiz, Lillybeth Gonzalez, Shirley Miranda-Rodriguez and the rest of the team for making this a smooth, easy shoot. And, the biggest thanks, of course, to Lucinda for taking time out from her crazy schedule to participate in the NYILFF's 10th anniversary campaign. Muchas gracias mi amiga!!


May 14, 2009

Random Updates from Yours Truly

Last night, we went to People en Espanol's 50 Most Beautiful party @ the Edison Ballroom - total blast. Kudos to them because it was a really well run, well attended event. Plus, we ran into a TON of friends, including lots of agency folks, and made a bunch of new contacts. I even ran into some friends from HBO, which is always fun because I love that whole team.

Speaking of HBO, I'm about to hop on a conf. call with our primary HBO points of contact to delve into the nitty-gritty details of this year's NYILFF partnership. I love that - just gives me a sense of calm to start the process and get organized with them.

More good stuff: our 10th anniversary NYILFF logo is finalized! Hot stuff. And, tomorrow, we're scheduled to review the print campaign's first pass. Super exciting.

Yesterday, I submitted a detailed follow-up proposal to this potentially very big NYILFF partner with whom I've been chatting for a couple of months. PLEASE - cross your fingers, light those candles and do whatever it is you do to help send some good vibes my way!

We had our first NYILFF staff meeting this past Tuesday night. I literally couldn't believe we were back in the conference room again. How the hell did that happen? Where does the time go...?

BIG SHOUT OUT TO RACHEL FOR INVITING US TO LAST NIGHT'S SHINDIG. You looked gorge. Congrats and thank you!!

Bored @ work? Check out a flick: :)


May 12, 2009

1st Taste Tuesdays: 05.12.09

Sorry for the delay, folks. Enjoy!

Imprisoning Innocence
Short documentary on the Hutto Immigration detention center in Taylor, TX. Directed by Jesse Salmeron.

Marta's heart is broken.

Ring Life: Ronald Hearns, Ep. #2: Casting Shadows
Ronald Hearns continues his quest to step from behind his father's shadow. For more on Ring Life, log on to

Diva Speak TV, Season 2, Ep #12

Grenda Edition!!!!!! Supawoman: Beyonce Knowles; Big Up: conviction of t.i.'s asst's killer; Let Down: mumbai terrorist bombings; Feature: 3 things I've Learned/Been Reminded of in Grenada

Linked Ep. 11: "Trust Issues"

While Gabriel runs into someone who isn't so happy to see him, Lynn wakes up. But, where is she? And will Gabriel be able to find her?

Life Of A Struggling Actor, Ep #12
Joey Fiero is a struggling actor trying to make an impact in Hollywood. Joey’s wife, Jacquie, is determined to become a TV screenwriter and executive producer. Watch this goofy family’s real struggles & juggles between kids, friends and celebrity run-ins as they pursue their dreams of fame and fortune.


May 11, 2009


Exciting News... We have officially locked the 2009 NYILFF programming lineup in the Domestic Features and On the Edge categories. Participating filmmakers will be notified via email this week.

Documentaries, shorts and international pictures will be finalized in the next couple of weeks. Thank you for your patience.

Thank you all SO much for your submissions. If you were accepted, congratulations and we look forward to seeing you in July! If this wasn't your year, please try again next year and keep pursuing your dream.


May 8, 2009


I'm in the middle of writing a GIANT proposal and the phone rings... my mom and dad just sold our childhood home. Obviously, this has been an ongoing process, but this afternoon it came to a successful end.

For those of you who have known me since we were kids... bye-bye 4 Darley. It's a bit bizarre when you can no longer call your lifelong home home. It's one of those quintessential 'end of an era' moments. I mean, let's be clear, I've slept in that house maybe 2 nights/year for the past 15 years. I'm not sad in the least. I'm actually very happy for my parents, who can now really explore and enjoy the next phase of their lives. Rather, it makes me a bit reflective about what I have or have not accomplished since I really called that house my home. You know, how did I get from there to here (wherever the hell 'here' is), and where am I going?

All I really know is today, right now, I'm preparing to celebrate the NY Int'l Latino Film Festival's 10th anniversary in July. And, at the same time, I am working on various in-the-works projects for Cinedulce, which we launched a couple of years ago. I dunno... I'm kinda proud, to be honest. I mean, we're not exactly running Time Warner, here, but I think we're like the little engine that could. We've stuck to our guns, stayed consistent with our mission and vision, maintained our passion for the product, filmmakers and community, and worked really, really, really (did I say really??) hard. I have no guarantees for where we're going. I know where I want to go, but there is no crystal ball. I can only do my best to try and make smart decisions, surround myself with the right people and keep looking forward to both Friday evening and Monday morning.

Congrats to M+D and happy birthday to Keri!

TGIF, enjoy the sunshine and Happy Mother's Day to all of you mamas out there!

P.S. Big announcements coming on Monday...


May 7, 2009

Good Stuff

Okay, here's my feedback on the NYILFF film I saw last night: really, really good. We know the director well and liked his previous feature, so it's not surprising we like his follow-up. It's fairly dark and very powerful. It's also extremely well cast; we happen to know the lead and he's awesome in this - super talented star on the rise. I dig it. I tell ya, the excellent movies for this year just keep coming. I can't wait for you to see them!

On another note: as of this AM, it seems we may be able to revive the NYILFF's partnership with one of the major industry unions. They're a great group of folks and have been supportive of us through the years, so it'd be really nice to bring them back into the fold - esp. for our 10th anniversary. Plus, they offer filmmakers a ton of benefits and incentives so I want to be sure we relay that important info. It's all good.

Other than that, I'm STILL waiting on various partner answers. I will say, there's movement across the board, but time is tick-tick-ticking away. Ay carumba. Ooommm...


May 6, 2009


Wow - I'm sooo late today. Too busy. Sorry!

I saw an incredibly powerful NYILFF film last night. Really good, but super dark... well, realistic is maybe a more accurate description. There's no Hollywood ending, here. It's raw, gritty, well done and a great addition to our line-up. I have another, totally different kind of film to watch tonight so tomorrow I'll give you the skinny on that. I'm telling you, thus far, this year's programming is insane. SOOOO many great films. Lots of talent. Good stuff...


May 5, 2009

1st Taste Tuesdays: 05.05.09

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Check out this week's new content...


Ring Life: Ronald Hearns, Ep 1: The Legacy
Following in his famous father's footsteps, Ronald Hearns has both legacy and history to consider every time he steps into the ring. Gradually improving his opponents with each match, Hearns is looking for "anybody with a belt," so that he can prove to people he is the star he hopes he can one day be.

Diva Speak TV, Season 2, Ep. 11
Supawoman: Hilary Clinton; Big Up: TRL Finale; Let Down: Travis Barker Airplane Crash; Feature: From the Blogosphere; and Divaworks Bags & Art.

Making The Band Spoof, ep. 10
MTV’s Making the Band launched the careers of Danity Kane, Day 26 and Donnie Klang… now, get ready for the next big thing: “The Uncomf’tables”. Comprised of MTV’s Wild ‘n Out’s AFFION CROCKETT and JOHN O. NELSON, prepare to laugh your ass off as you witness this ghetto band in the making.

Linked Ep. 10 "Time To Remember"
Gabriel needs Lynn's help, but what can she do? And will she even believe him, or think he's a total lunatic?

Life Of A Struggling Actor Ep #10

When Svarmoder waits for dinner, love is here.

Share UR Story
Tha Heights, vlog #2!
Check out these crooners belt out this original song they wrote just for the NYILFF!


May 4, 2009

NYILFF Commercial Shoot Was Amazing!

Saturday's shoot for the '09 NYILFF campaign was awesome! So fun. So productive. Such incredibly positive energy. I'm certain that energy will shine through the final creative, which I can't wait to see and, even more so, can't wait to show you!

Our producer, Lyndon McCray (sitting between two of our campaign 'talents': Sharo and Julie), knocked it out of the ballpark - as usual -- totally calm, organized, energetic and on-budget. Our photographer, Shirley Miranda-Rodriguez from Somos Arte, was totally on point and fabulous (this is the 3rd year we've used Shirley as our campaign
photographer and I love her more each year).

We shot in Somos Arte's amazing new studio, located right on Williamsburg's very groovy Grand Street. It is so kickin'! No joke - if you ever need a fully loaded photography studio (and/or a wonderful photographer), please reach out to them. They even have a fully stocked bar! :) I'm so happy for them.

HBO's Art Director, Jose Mendez (standing behind Shirley), provided creative direction through the entire (very long) day. In addition to having an incredibly keen eye for creative, he's just a super guy who can make even the most nervous person feel confident and at ease in front of the camera. Trust me, it's a gift. He and Shirley got on famously, so it was really fun for me to watch their collaboration.

I also want to thank the amazing hair and make-up team. Lillybeth Gonzalez kicked a** on hair. And, I'm super-psyched to say our new partnership with Clarins started off with a bang! Marni Burton (holding the Clarins powder brush) was lead on make-up and made each woman look more beautiful than the next. Supporting Marni was Danielle Kestenbaum (on-set, powdering another talent, Rachel), who was also fantastic.
To the rest of the cast and crew, I honestly can't thank you enough. It was by far the most fun, relaxed, successful shoot we've ever had. As always, I am humbled by and very grateful for the amazing talent, enthusiasm and dedication that surrounds me in our ever-expanding fest family.


May 1, 2009

First Taste Fridays? Not Quite the Same Ring...

Okay, I'm sorry but we had some server complications this week so the new Cinedulce programming wasn't ready for our usual Tuesday release date. But, alas, below is the list of this week's new content. Get it while it's hot!

Ring Life Edvan Barros Ep. 3:What You'd Call A Journeyman
Watch Episode 3 of Edvan Barros’ journey to become a world champion fighter. For more, log on to

Diva Speak TV Ep #34 The After Election Special!!!
(btw, this is the "Blackest" ep ever, lol) Supawoman of the week; bit up: BARACK WON! My Godmother Junie Monroe Let Down: The After Election racists

Linked Ep. 9: "Riddles"
Gabriel takes the investigation into his own hands and brings Jason along for the ride. By the end of the day, he comes across a familiar face.

Life Of A Struggling Actor Ep #10
Paying the gas bill. Life. The death of Jacquie's grandma.


SVARMODER (2 of 10)
Bad habits. Second chapter of SVARMODER. Directed by Paco Arasanz