Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has unveiled an initiative to connect Latinx talent, executives, and creators to opportunities in the entertainment industry with the goal of doubling Latino representation in Hollywood by 2030.
Supporters include Eva Longoria, J.J. Abrams, Eli Roth, Devon Franklin, Jason Blum, and Zoe Saldana. Initial funders include the Annenberg Foundation, WarnerMedia, and Endeavor Content.
Garcetti announced the LA Collab effort at a news conference Monday morning at the Boyle Heights Art Conservatory in Los Angeles. The project was spurred partly by a recent study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative showing that
Latino representation has been stagnant over the past dozen years, averaging roughly 3% of all leads and co-leads in motion pictures
“The Latinx community is a growing force across L.A.’s economy, and our trademark industry should tap into that diverse pool of talent in our own backyard,” said Garcetti. “On big screens or small, in front of the camera or behind it, our studios, actors, directors, and producers inspire the world with the power of their creativity and imagination — and LA Collab will help bring new voices and dynamic storytellers into the fold by including and empowering the next generation of Latinx leaders.”
LA Collab will support Latinx talent and promote collaborations with Latinx creators and top producers, filmmakers, buyers, showrunners, and industry allies. Garcetti co-founded LA Collab alongside Beatriz Acevedo, founder of Mitu Networks, and Ivette Rodriguez, president of AEM.
“The radical decline of Latinos in Hollywood was the catalyst to rally Hollywood behind this crisis to create change together,” said Acevedo. “By facilitating unprecedented collaborations between the creative community, studios, buyers and other influential allies, LA Collab will ultimately drive exponential growth for the industry and our community.”
“As a Latina, I want to see more actors who look like me onscreen and behind the camera,” said Longoria. “I started my own production company to create content from our community, and I became a director/producer to be in a position to hire people who look like me. With LA Collab, I want to open the door for many more Latinx creators and fuel the emergence of a better entertainment industry that elevates and celebrates the diversity and richness of my culture.”
Roth will support Latinx horror filmmakers via his digital platform, Crypt TV. Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films and Pantaya will actively search for new bilingual voices for their scripted OTT and studio projects. Other deals include Endeavor Content financing development deal of a feature script; WarnerMedia 150’s scripted proof of concept deal; Shine Global’s development deal for a documentary; and Southern California Public Radio’s LAist Studios podcast development/pilot deal.
Garcetti teamed with filmmakers Ava DuVernay and Dan Lin last year to launch the Evolve Entertainment Fund to promote inclusion with a focus on internships for those in underserved communities.