Esparza will chair Hollywood Latin Cinema Committee

Group to showcase work of Spanish-language filmmakers

Producer Moctesuma Esparza (“Selena,” “Gettysburg”) has agreed to chair the Hollywood Latin Cinema Committee as part of an effort to showcase the work of Spanish-language filmmakers.

The effort includes plans for the Hollywood Latin Film Festival, which will be held in conjunction with the Hollywood Film Festival on Aug. 2-7.

Starting in January, the new committee’s programs will include education and mentoring for Latin filmmakers, who will be provided with access to post-production facilities and screening rooms should they need them.

In addition, Latino-themed films will be showcased theatrically every month on the Paramount lot’s movie screens and elsewhere.

Plans are prompted in part by the fact that in Los Angeles alone, 45% of the moviegoing audience is Latino.

“We want to highlight talented Latino artists,” said Carlos de Abreu, exec director of the Hollywood Film Festival. “Both their creative works and today’s demographics demand that established Hollywood embrace Latino cinema.”

Esparza, who also produced “The Milagro Beanfield War,” “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” and “Death in Granada,” is expected to choose a group of prominent Latino showbiz personalities and industry professionals as committee members.

Esparza said chairing the Hollywood Latin Film Festival “presents an exciting opportunity to broaden the chances for Latino filmmakers and to open doors to the filmmaking community and the Hollywood establishment.”

The festival will provide two Web sites — http://www.latinfilmfestival.com and http://www.latinstudios.com — on which Latino filmmakers can promote their projects and network with Hollywood professionals and indie filmmakers. The sites will include chat lounges, message boards, directories, news desks, job postings and free Web pages.

In August, selected Latino movies will compete for the larger festival’s Hollywood Discovery Awards, its main film competition.