The newly launched HA comedy festival backed by WarnerMedia and New Cadence Productions has set its dates, talent lineup and plans for a special to air on HBO Max.
The festival, to be held Feb. 21-23 in San Antonio, Texas, is designed as a showcase for Latinx comedians. It’s part of a first-look development pact that New Cadence signed with WarnerMedia last year. The hope is that the festival will turn into a source of comedy programming for HBO Max and other WarnerMedia outlets.
Rising stars Mark Viera, Gina Brillon, Carmen Lynch, Carlos Alazraqui, Monique Marvez and Jesus Trejo are set to appear in the HBO Max special, to be recorded on the final night of the festival. Anjelah Johnson will host.
Other highlights of the festival’s program roster include the premiere of zombie movie spoof “Witness Infection” from producers Carlos Alazraqui and Jill-Michele Meleán, and a performance of “Prinze,” the one-man show about the life of Freddie Prinze starring Jose Sonara. Carmen Carrrera of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will host the “Comedy Chingonas” showcase featuring Brillon, Meleán, Marvez, Lynch, Aida Rodriguez, Debi Gutierrez, Shayla Rivera and Vanessa Gonzalez.
“Championing new voices is a part of our fabric,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max, and President, TNT, TBS & truTV. “The Latinx community is vibrant and rich with talent, yet not reflected in the mainstream enough. Partnering with NCP and the HA Festival, we hope to change that and find the next great comedians.”
Jeff Valdez, producer and New Cadence partner, previously spearheaded the Latino Laugh Festival in San Antonio for several years in the mid-1990s in partnership with Showtime. That effort helped give a career boost to Gabriel Iglesias, among others. Target, WarnerMedia Entertainment and its parent company AT&T are on board as sponsors.
“We’re thrilled to present a new mainstream comedy festival featuring an incredible lineup of Latinx talent that connects us all and proves that funny is funny,” said Valdez.