‘Seen,’ a new series from the Academy puts a spotlight on Latin artists and filmmakers
The new series is set to feature interviews from figures in filmmaking including John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria, and Edward James Olmos.
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, best known for the Academy Awards, has started a new series, Seen, shining a spotlight on Latin and Hispanic figures in the filmmaking world.
Seen will include interviews with actors John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria and Edward James Olmos. The series will be hosted by Argentinean-American journalist Nick Barili.
The series is intended to showcase candid and informed conversations with guests on various topics in filmmaking. Episode one of Seen with John Leguizamo is out now through the Academy.
In the first episode, Barili interviews Leguizamo at the actor’s New York home. The two discuss stereotyping in casting, underrepresentation, tokenism, colorism, and more in the interview.
Barili is a noted journalist, writer, and director of Latin descent who finds the role of Latin people in filmmaking to be troubling.
"The Latin community is one in four moviegoers, yet we're four percent of the movie roles out there right now," said Barili in conversation with the Academy. "It's crazy to think that [there are] 60 million Latinos living in the States, but we're really not seeing ourselves represented."
As a first-generation immigrant and appreciator of film, the role of Latin people in filmmaking is an important conversation to Barili.
Barili also co-founded the Latinx in Media & Arts Coalition (LIMA). The coalition works to promote Latin creatives.
Upcoming episodes of Seen will feature Eva Longoria and Edward James Olmos. Both episodes will take place in California as Barili meets with Longoria at California State University and Olmos at Los Angeles County’s Bell Gardens Intermediate School.
Barili and Olmos will visit students enrolled in the Youth Cinema Project program while Barili and Longoria will visit the latter’s alma mater, where she received her master’s degree in Chicano Studies.
The evident underrepresentation in film is one deciding factor that influenced Barili to partner with the Academy for Seen.
However, despite this effort from the Academy to push diversity and dialogue, it has historically had issues with representation across the board.
Just this year, it has been noted that less than a third (27.1%) of Oscar contenders are women.
This statistic is similar to last year’s, marking shortcomings in the Academy and an alarming commonplace within the film industry overall.
In the coming years, significant works by Latin and Hispanic filmmakers should not go unnoticed, as should not the works of women filmmakers and work from other underrepresented groups.
As the Academy’s effort, Seen is streaming now through the Academy’s YouTube channel.