Applicants up 40% over last year

MIAMI — Latino Public Broadcasting, funded by the Corp. for Public Broadcasting, has announced the 14 winners of its fifth annual open-call process.

LPB effort is open to Latino-theme projects for public television. This year, it received 130 applicants, a 40% increase over 2002.

LPB executive director Luca Bentivoglio attributed the increase to greater awareness of the LPB through word of mouth and greater outreach by the org. “We have been doing more and more of our workshops,” he told Daily Variety.

Workshops have been held in conjunction with the IFP and National Assn. of Latino Independent Producers, and LPB hosted a daylong event at Sundance this year.

The LPB does not exclusively fund the projects, which are in different stages of development. LPB funds — this year ranging from $15,000 to $65,000 — may be destined for research and development, production, or post-production.

In 2003, the LPB helped support 12 hours of programming on public television.

Given the projects emerging from the pipeline, it projects it will have helped fund 21 hours of programming in 2004.

Filmmakers from California and California-based projects dominated the 2003 open call, which Bentivoglio attributed to the greater concentration of filmmakers overall, and the large Latino population. New York followed.

Approved projects include Lillian Jimenez’s “Abriendo Camino: Puerto Ricans and Educational Reform”; Paul Espinoza’s “Beyond the Dream: California and the Rediscovery of America”; Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s “Brave New Valley”; “Cotton Fields, Crossroads and Tex-Mex Blues,” from Hector Galan, an accomplished documaker who has already done “Accordion Dreams” and “Visiones”; producer John Wilkman’s “Chicano rock!,”, about L.A.-based musicians; Patricia Aste/Koval Films’ “Simon Bolivar and the Liberation of South America”; and Nicole Catell’s “Revolucion: Visions of Cuba Since the Revolution,” which focuses on four photographers.

Also approved: Josie Mejia Beeck’s “Crossing Deadly Waters: The Last Hope for the American Dream,” which will look at Dominicans trying to enter the U.S. via Puerto Rico; Evangeline Griego’s “God Willing,” which focuses on a Latino family trying to get their child out of a cult; Maria Agui Carter’s “Rebel,” about at a 19th century Cuban woman who emigrated to Louisiana and, disguised as a man, fought for the Confederacy; Cristina Ibarra and John Valadez’s New Mexico-based “The Last Conquistador”; Valadez’s solo “The Head of Joaquin Murrieta,” about a band; “Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano.” from Nancy de los Santos and Dan Guerrero; and the completed 13-episode “My Americas” series from Janice Alamia/Hispanic Telecommunications Networks, which received funds to add a Spanish-lingo track.

This coming year, LPB plans to extend its outreach to Puerto Rico.

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