The media industry misses more Latinx representation. Where do American Latinx filmmakers and talent fit?
Aside from American Latino filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and talent like Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria, there’s little more that stand out.
The underrepresentation in Hollywood for the Latinx community is overwhelmingly clear and has been called out time and time again. Some say it is because of the surface-level way “Latino” and “Latinx” are being defined in the industry.
Yes, there are go-to directors when we think of “Latinx,” like the Oscar winning. Mexican directors, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and Guillermo Del Toro in addition to the Spaniard,Pedro Almodovar.
But aside from American Latino filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, or talent like Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria, not many other names stand among American Latinos.
Diana Peralta, a Dominican American writer-director who was recently acquired by HBO for the film De Lo Mio, spoke about the difficulty of defining oneself by Hollywood’s Latinx or Latino standards.
“The industry doesn’t understand where U.S. Latinx filmmakers and talent fit in. We’re not ‘Latin’ enough, but we’re not ‘American’ enough for them either,” said Peralta.
The American Latino experience has put into one bubble without considering the problems those with the label have had as Americans with Latino heritage.
“We’re all thrown into these umbrella labels that fail to capture our complex histories of colonialism and racial oppression and how that’s impacted who has access to this industry and who doesn’t. It’s time we have conversations about these differences, and it’s time they are taken seriously,” commented queer Chicana director, Aurora Guerrero.
To change that representation, Guerrero has set out and is in charge of a new initiative to create a database for Latinx Directors. She founded the free website database alongside fellow filmmakers Joela Novoa, Alberto Belli, and Diego Velasco.
It is a new, easy way to find Latinx directors and currently features more than 135 in the database.
“For years, the conversation repeats itself: Latinos and Latinas are one of the most underrepresented ethnicities in front and behind the camera. The statistics show it, and it is irrefutable,” the team writes on the website.
The database’s intent is to function as a directory but more importantly to break the myth that there is a lack of Hispanic talent.
“We want to create a community where members help each other. This database is just the start of that journey,” Joela Novoa told Deadline last month. “This is a place where we can elevate each other while bringing more inclusivity to our industry during these unprecedented times. Diverse directors are generating great content every day, and it is sad for us to see our industry missing so much of that talent.”
We’re excited for what's to come in the Latinx community of creators that so badly deserve a chance!