This Free E-Book Uncovers How Latinos and Latin Americans Have Shaped Hollywood Since the 1960s

Lead Photo: 'Mi Familia' (My Family). Courtesy of New Line Cinema
'Mi Familia' (My Family). Courtesy of New Line Cinema
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As a companion piece to their wide-ranging screening and panel discussion series From Latin America to Hollywood: Latino Film Culture in Los Angeles 1967-2017, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has just released an eBook by the same name. Looking to offer a comprehensive oral history of the intersection of Latin America and Los Angeles, the collection is sure to become an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Latino cinema history. And not just because it is made up mostly of interviews with thirteen filmmakers (including Alfonso Cuarón, Hector Babenco, María Novaro, and Lucrecia Martel), which were conducted over two-and-a-half years in three continents and in three different languages, and which were used to build an exhaustive oral history of the past fifty years.

In case you need a more fleshed out description, here’s how AMPAS describes the 150-page tome: “From the earliest days of Hollywood, through the transition to sound and the expansion of national cinemas, this volume examines such themes as the cinematic influences of Cinema Novo and the evolution of the Chicano Film Movement, the educational impact of Latino-made films, visions of “Hollywood” by Latin American directors, the ever-evolving role of women in the profession, the impact and limitations of film festival exposure, and what the future may hold for emerging filmmakers from the region.”

Of course the project has broader concerns. As writer Sandra Cisneros asks in the book’s Foreword, where she tells stories of going to see Spanish-language movies in rat-infested theaters in Chicago and at El Tepeyac in Mexico City where she fell in love with the moving pictures in front of her, “What story do we tell now as Latino storytellers? What can we create that is beyond what history has invented for us? What will the codices of our time – film – depict to tell us where we are going?” They’re as timely questions as you can hope to ask; and Cisneros knows that the best way to begin answering them is to first look back with a critical eye, which is what From Latin America to Hollywood: Latino Film Culture in Los Angeles 1967-2017 is designed to do.

Don’t miss out on “How Do Latinas Experience Hollywood?” which turns one of the chapters of the book into a live panel discussion on Saturday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. Speakers include: directors Natalia Almada, Aurora Guerrero, Patricia Riggen and Fina Torres, producer Mónica Reina, publicist Ivette Rodriguez, writer-director Gabriela Tagliavini, writer Ligiah Villalobos, actress Aimee Garcia and casting director Carmen Cuba. Get your free ticket here.

Read the entire book online on the Academy’s website or download to read on the go.