In a move aimed at powering up more content for the massive U.S. Hispanic market and beyond, leading indie production shingle BTF Media has teamed up with L.A.-based American Cinema Inspires (ACI) to develop and produce a slew of Hispanic productions with predominantly U.S. Latino talent.
Leading the vanguard is Sandra Martin’s “Finding Love in San Antonio,” which follows Adela, a successful Latina chef in L.A. (played by Valentina Izarra), who is offered a plum job at a new network series that will send her across Europe. While visiting San Antonio, she meets David (George Akram), a local food writer who wrote a blistering piece about her. Their unlikely romance will lead to Adela’s rediscovery of her hometown and force her to decide whether she should stay in San Antonio or accept the once-in-a-lifetime job offer.
“Giving women a voice has always been important to me. I like to tell stories of strong, empowered women who rise above any circumstances to succeed and who have a support group in their community, through their family and friends,” said Chevonne O’Shaughnessy, president of ACI and producer of the film. “This is the first of several installments of ACI and BTF Media in their alliance to co-produce films in English with Latin stories and talent,” she added.
The romantic drama was shot entirely in English with a local Latino cast completed by Jose Luis Navas, Carlos Compean, Valeria Menendez, Ricky Montez, Giovanni Christoff Montoya, Isabella Rivera-Gandulla and Marisa Del Portillo, who boast a diversity of backgrounds that include Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico.
“It is an honor to depict our people in stories that resonate globally. This movie was a dream come true for so many outstanding actors, who were just waiting for the right opportunity to showcase their gifts,” said associate producer Ivonne Vela of Miami-based BTF Media, which has opened offices in Chile and Spain and recently launched a mega-series division.
“There is a growing relevance on creating stories that reflect our Hispanic culture in the U.S., stories that echo our values, gastronomy, music, but above all, the way we relate as a community,” said executive producer and BTF Media CEO, Francisco Cordero. “It is crucial to produce audiovisual content that bring us closer to our roots, but that at the same time represent a community that today is the largest minority in the U.S.”
A September 2021 report by non-profit org LDC (Latino Donor Collaborative), has revealed that little has changed over the past decade or more in terms of Latino representation in the U.S. media. Despite making up 18.7% of the U.S. population, Latinos are “vastly underrepresented in mainstream content,” making up only 5% of leads in films and 2.9% of leads in TV shows, it stated.
Companies like BTF Media and ACI join the growing ranks of firms trying to address the paucity of content for and by Latinos, including Lionsgate’s Pantelion, Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez’s 3Pas Studios and Endeavor Content, led by Alexis Garcia and Cristina Garza.