Latin Horror: Exclusive: KURT SAYENGA: The Showrunner and Director behind, ‘Eli Roth’s History of Horror’

AMC’s highly anticipated second season of the documentary miniseries Eli Roth’s History of Horror, premiered Saturday, October 10th 10/9c. Season one is available to stream on Shudder and AMC+, with the DVD/Blu-ray available now.

Eli Roth’s History of Horror‘ shares a place in the AMC Visionaries series, which looks to document both the artistic and sociopolitical influences of a highlighted aspects of pop culture, alongside ‘James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction‘ and ‘Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics‘. This series hosted and executive produced by the celebrated horror director Eli Roth, best known for the notorious horror films ‘Hostel and ‘Cabin Fever.

Accompanying the second season of this television series is a second series of the podcast, ‘Eli Roth’s History of Horror Uncut. Season two, like season one, features uncut and unfiltered interviews of talent featured on the show, including actor Bill Hader and actress Megan Fox.

“[Horror] is a genre made by outsiders and misfits, for outsiders and misfits of all colors, sexual orientations, genders [and] religious beliefs.” – Sayenga

‘Eli Roth’s History of Horror’ showrunner/director KURT SAYENGA.

The creative talent behind the camera for the series and podcast is the showrunner, director, writer, executive producer, and primary interviewer, Kurt Sayenga. In our exclusive interview with Sayenga, he shares with Latin Horror his past career accomplishments, his passion for horror, some behind the scenes magic, and hopes for a season three.

A major influence on Sayenga, as a creative leader, interviewer, and writer, was in the 1980’s Washington DC Punk rock scene. He shared that his interest for the scene started, because, “I love music, and I loved underground music. I just naturally fell into that set of friends”.

Among Sayenga’s DC punk friends included band members of Fugazi, one of the most famous and influential bands from that scene. He designed many of Fugazi’s early album covers, most notably ‘Steady Diet of Nothing and ‘13 Songs.

In the late 1980’s, Sayenga created the underground magazine ‘Greed‘ (1986-1989), where he was the editor and head writer. He started the magazine noticing how, “I knew all of these people who I thought had a lot to say and wanted to express themselves artistically, and they could do it through music, but there really wasn’t another way to do it.”.

The content of ‘Greed focused on music and comics, which gave Sayenga the unique opportunity to interview a multitude of talents overlooked by mainstream media, from punk luminaries Sonic Youth to comic trailblazers Los Bros Hernandez. Sayenga noted the experience he gained from ‘Greed‘, “Made it a lot easier for me as an interviewer. At this point, I’ve interviewed thousands of people.”

In the early 1990’s, Sayenga began working in television programming, at The Discovery Channel. At first, Sayenga recalled, “I had a job just watching television programs for them. Just things they would acquire and writing whether if they were worth putting on, or not. Then, somebody decided to do a show on WWII, and they’re looking for somebody new that could write about WWII. History was one of my majors in college, so I took that and wrote that.”

Through writing, Sayenga found his way deeper into post-production work at The Discovery Channel as a director, producer, and showrunner for science documentary films and series, especially science ordinated. Most notably ‘Through the Wormhole, ‘Breakthrough‘, and ‘Stuff Happens’ Hosted by Bill Nye.

Having a strong connection to science, Sayenga recalled, “I grew up in a family that was science-based.” Adding, “We were also interested in rockets, engines and how things work. I think that interest has come out in a lot of the films I’ve done”.

Sayenga also believes, “This country just needs science programing that people can sit and watch and not be bored to tears by. That’s really what I’ve tried to do, is to try and make them fun and interesting”. Creating entertaining documentary programming, contributed to the dark captivating visuals of ‘Eli Roth’s History of Horror‘.

When becoming involved with ‘Eli Roth’s History of Horror‘, Sayenga joked, “I just talked my way into it”. Having a vast knowledge and passion for film history and being a horror fan, Sayenga was the perfect choice for this series. His favorite horror films include John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing, Universal’s ‘Frankenstein‘ and ‘Bride of Frankenstein, anything Alfred Hitchcock (The LodgerFrenzyPsycho), ‘Audition‘, and ‘Carrie.

Over the two seasons, Sayenga has interviewed nearly a hundred and sixty people. Happily sharing, “In this case, it’s just been pure fun talking to people. Because most of the people I talk to, also love movies and love horror. So, there is always something to talk about.” Among his favorite interviews are special effects artist Greg Nicotero, director and musician Rob Zombie, and legendary horror director Joe Dante. Sayenga praised Dante as, “A walking film encyclopedia and has something interesting to say, or usually know the backstory to every film you can ever think of”.

When collaborating with Roth, Sayenga revealed, “We’ve never had a disagreement about anything. If anything, it’s always just Eli always wants more stuff, and as do I”. Their biggest challenge with content is keeping episodes within the forty-two-minute limits.

Sayenga also revealed, “Through knowing Eli, I’ve been exposed to a lot of things I never would have seen, like ‘Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals, in particular.” Both have shown interest in the possibility of a book version of the series, if the opportunity comes. For now, the focus is on the show and the accompanying podcast.

Season one highlighted an array of horror talent, including Latino talent, both in front of, and behind the camera. Most notably, Guillermo Del Toro (Cronos, Pan’s Labyrinth, and The Shape of Water), Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk till Dawn), George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead) and brother-sister duo, director Andy Muschietti, and producer Barbara Muschietti of ‘It‘ (2017) and ‘It Chapter Two (2019).

For season two, the two notable films with strong Latino influences are analyzed, the classic 1933 ‘King Kong and ‘UsKing Kong’s special effects featured a creative collaboration with the trailblazing duo Willis H. O’Brien and the Mexican sculptor and model maker Marcel Delgado. Delgado went on to work on special effects on an array of iconic films of the Golden Age of Hollywood, most notably ‘The Wizard of Oz, ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and ‘Marry Poppins. ‘Us features the Kenyan-Mexican Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, as its leading actress. After Us, Nyong’o went on to star in ‘Little Monsters making a name for herself in horror.

Spanish horror is also analyzed in season two, through two films, ‘To Kill a Child‘ and ‘Pieces. ‘To Kill a Child‘, a critical analysis of the impact of war on children was directed by Spanish-Argentine director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador. Pieces‘, is a slasher cult classic, directed by Spanish cult film director Juan Piquer Simón, which became enthralled in the UK “Video Nasty” controversy of the early 1980s, due to its boundary-pushing imagery.

Another influential film mentioned in the series is the rebellious, yet controversial horror film ‘Cannibal Holocaust‘. Though an Italian film, it included Indigenous Latinos in its cast and was filmed in Leticia, Amazona, in southern Colombia. This film falls under the unique class of Latino ordinated horror films made outside of the Americas continent or Spain. The majority of films made in the genre known as Latin Horror comes from the United States, Latin America, or films of the Americas collaborated with Spain.

Sayenga and Roth hope for the possibility of a third season, which they would like to explore in-depth the topics of classic horror and international horror, including Latin Horror. Possible Latino stars and film creators who could highlight Latin Horror in film and television history could be Guillermo Del Toro, Robert Rodriguez, Issa Lopez, Gigi Saul Gurrero, Alejandro Burgés, Danny Trejo, Benicio Del Toro, and Andy and Barbara Muschietti. Notable films which could also be mentioned: ‘Santo Sangre‘, ‘Good Manners‘, Tigers Are Not Afraid‘, ‘El Vampiro‘, ‘Hostel, Universal’s Spanish language ‘Dracula‘, and ‘The Purge‘ franchise. In American horror television, Showtime’s ‘Dexter was heavily influenced by Latino culture, set in Miami, Florida, with Latinos in essential cast positions (Lauren Vélez and David Zayas) and as special guest stars (Jimmy Smits and Edward James Olmos).

Toward the end of our interview, Sayenga expressed how “I hope that [the audience] will see this and both learn a few things or at least revisit some of the films that they know…And they will seek them out”. Further elaborating, “Overall [audiences] will see just how flexible the genre is and how many different styles it can contain and that’s really its beauty.”

List of Season Two Episodes:

Episode 1: “Houses of Hell” (October 10)

Explores the famous and infamous houses in horror, from haunted houses, to isolated cabins, and murder homes. Familiar faces from season one, including Stephen King and Rob Zombie speak about the homes that haunt our dreams, from the infamous The Amityville Horror to the blood-drenched House of 1000 Courses.

Episode 2: “Monsters” (October 17)

A unique episode evaluating the history and evolution of special effects in horror from practical special effects to CGI. A few of the impressive monsters in this episode, are the alien from Alien, the monstrosities of The Thing, and the groundbreaking special effects of the 1933 classic King Kong.

Episode 3: “Body Horror” (October 24)

A subgenre of horror which has a vast definition from creatures to torture, infused with a wildly wicked imagination. Highlighted unforgettable films which are covered, are the experimental Videodrome, the tragic tale The Fly, and the bone-chilling Audition.

Episode 4: “Witches” (October 31)

Premiering most appropriately on Halloween, examines the female-dominated horror genre, with director Arti Aster as a featured episode guest. Among the films are silent and visually groundbreaking film Haxan, current hit The VVitch and the classic Suspiria.

Episode 5: “Chilling Children” (November 7)

An in-depth evaluation of the role of children in horror, especially as predators. Child horror stars are interviewed and presented with their notable films, such as Linda Blair (The Exorcist), Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) and, Patty McCormack (The Bad Seed).

Episode 6: “Nightmare Nine” (November 14)

Highlights nine nearly unclassifiable horror films and their influences in the genre as a whole. These nine films feature the groundbreaking The Wicker ManThe Bird with the Crystal Plumage, and the controversial Pieces.

There will be SANGRE!

LINK: https://latinhorror.com/interview-kurt-sayenga-history-of-horror/

The Frida Cinema Blog: African American Documentaries Part 2 :Groundbreaking African American Women

Continuing our 3-part documentary blog series highlighting the history, culture, and influence of African Americans in America, are 10 documentaries streaming now, honoring groundbreaking and history-making African American Women.

10. A Ballerina’s Tale

Misty Copeland is the first African American female principal ballet dancer at the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre. Battling the conventional standards of the world of classical ballet and a potentially career-ending injury, Copeland has blossomed into one of the most famous ballerinas in America.

9. American Masters: Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock and Roll

Pioneering singer, electric guitarist, and songwriter Sister Rosetta Tharpe aka “The Godmother of Rock and Roll”, created a revolutionary musical and lyrical style of gospel, becoming a major part of the foundation of early rock and roll. Her work heavily influenced the first generation of rock and roll royalty, such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley.

8. American Masters: Althea

Althea Gibson was the first African American woman to take the international tennis world by storm in the 1940s and 1950s. Through her tennis career was short-lived, she made history by becoming the first African American of any gender to win the Grand Slam tournament in 1956.

7. Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley

EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, directs this documentary, examining the life, career, and legacy of the groundbreaking LGBT+ comedian Moms Mabley. Mabley, one of the most cutting-edge comedians of the 1960s, addressed everything from civil rights to female sexuality, while breaking down color and gender barriers in standup comedy on television.

6. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson was a transgender LGBT+ advocate and a beloved icon of the 1960s gay rights movement, who died of an apparent suicide in 1992. Trans right activist Vitoria Cruz, investigates the unsolved questions of Johnson’s tragic death, which was not given a proper police investigation, while also celebrating Johnson’s impact.

5. The Loving Story

The interracial love story between Mildred and Richard Loving is responsible for one of the most important civil rights era supreme court ruling against segregation, Loving v. The State of Virginia. Mildred, a soft-spoken Virginian housewife, took the initiative to have her interracial marriage recognized legally in their native Virginia, becoming in the process a civil rights advocate.

4. Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed

This Peabody Award-winning documentary highlights the challenges and triumphs of the pioneering politician, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. In the height of the civil rights movement, Chisholm became the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress (1969-1983), the first African American of any gender to run for president, and the first woman to run for the presidential nomination for the Democrat Party.

3. (In)Visible Portraits

Over a three-year period, first-time director Oge Egbuonu, collected an array of stories from Black female scholars and historians, to everyday Black women and girls, creating, “a love letter to Black women”. A documentary from the heart, Egbuonu shows how despite the challenges Black women have faced historically and currently in America, they continue to rise up, breaking gender and racial glass ceilings.

2. I Am Somebody

This trailblazing civil rights documentary, directed by Madeline Anderson, is recognized as the first half-hour documentary to be directed by African American female member for the DGA (Director’s Guild of America). It follows the strike of African American hospital and nursing home employees, working to form a union and receive higher wages, with help from Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

1.     4 Little Girls

Spike Lee’s profoundly heart-wrenching documentary of how four girls, Addie Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Denise McNair, who lost their lives in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, on September 15, 1963, changed America forever. Lee’s signature impactful and in-depth style of storytelling makes this film an essential documentary of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, becoming a preserved film in the National Film Registry of the United States Library of Congress. 

LINK: https://thefridacinema.org/african-american-documentaries-part-2-groundbreaking-african-american-women/

Latin Heat: Neil deGrasse Tyson: Our Guide to the Cosmos and Beyond

By Justina Bonilla

With the success of the FOX series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey comes the newest installment Cosmos: Possible Worlds, hosted by one of America’s most esteemed and well-known science personalities, astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Broadcast Premiere of Cosmos: Possible Worlds is Tuesday, September 22 (8/7c).

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Photo: Miranda Penn Turin/Fox

In the world of science and nature television programs, Dr. Tyson has become a positive influence in the promotion of science literacy and respect for nature, alongside contemporaries Bill Nye (Bill Nye the Science Guy), Dr. Michio Kaku (How the Universe Works), Sir David Attenborough (Planet Earth and Life on Earth), and the late Dr. Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time and Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking) (1942-2018). 

Dr. Tyson was born in 1958, in Manhattan, New York, to sociologist and civil rights activist father Cyril Tyson and to gerontologist and Puerto Rican mother Sunchita Feliciano Tyson. At 9-years-old Dr. Tyson first visited his local planetarium, igniting his interest in the universe. By age 11 he decided he wanted to be an astrophysicist.

“I grew up in a house where curiosity was nurtured, and my ambitions were supported,” Dr. Tyson shared in an exclusive interview with Latin Heat. “It was the attitude that pervaded the household that I think served me.” As a part of their parental nurturing of his interest, Feliciano Tyson took Dr. Tyson as a child, to her family’s native Arecibo, Puerto Rico to see the Arecibo Observatory, which is a radio telescope.

In 1980, Dr. Tyson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University. Later, he received his MA degree in Astronomy in 1983, from the University of Texas at Austin. At Columbia University, Dr. Tyson earned an MPhil (Masters in Philosophy) degree in astrophysics, in 1989 followed by his Ph.D. degree in astrophysics in 1991.

Currently, alongside his Cosmos hosting duties, Dr. Tyson is also the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, NY. He also hosts his own talk show StarTalk, with over 1.29 million subscribers on YouTube, where “Science meets pop culture”… StarTalk.

Someday Dr. Tyson hopes to have both former President Obama as a guest on StarTalk. “[President Obama] is actually highly scientifically literate,” Dr. Tyson noted. “Rumor has it, I haven’t double-checked this, that when he was in law school he wrote a paper, a law paper, that explored some intersection between some legal case and quantum physics. So I always wanted to sit him down and ask him about that.” Previous presidential guest includes President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, and Vice-President Al Gore.

As an author Dr. Tyson has written sixteen books, including The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet (2009), Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (2017), and Letters from an Astrophysicist (2019).  Along with public speaking engagements, he has also appeared on an array of films and television shows such as Superman v Batman Dawn of JusticeThe Big Bang TheoryGravity Falls, and is a frequent guest on multiple talk shows.

Dr. Carl Sagan
Photo: Tony Kordy Sygma/Corbis

The original 1980 PBS Cosmos program, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, was hosted by Dr. Carl Sagan (1934-1996). Dr. Sagan was an immensely influential scientific figure in the 1970s and 1980s, most notably, as an author, science communicator, and college professor. He specialized in numerous scientific fields, including astronomy, astrobiology, astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, and space science. Dr. Sagan co-wrote Cosmos: A Personal Journey, with wife Ann Druyan. Druyan is the creator, as well as a producer and writer for both Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and Cosmos: Possible Worlds.

Seth MacFarlane
Photo: Art Streiber

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, found its way to FOX TV, as a result of animation trailblazer Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) meeting Dr. Tyson through The Science and Entertainment Exchange. Inspired, by what Dr. Tyson shared with him about revitalizing Cosmos for the 21st Century, MacFarlane, both an admirer of Dr. Sagan and the original Cosmos series, brought Cosmos to FOX, beginning his collaboration with Dr. Tyson and Druyan. Thus, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey premiered in 2014 to both critical praise and audience popularity.

Dr. Tyson is a fitting successor to Dr. Sagan as host for Cosmos due to his immense passion and eternal curiosity of science. According to Dr. Tyson’s sister Lynn Tyson, “What [Neil] is able to do is to demystify science. And that is the ultimate equalizer.” Adding “I think particularly with science, some people feel there is a barrier. Scientist talk formulas, scientists use big words. Neil has broken all that down, and has a way of communicating that allows for people to connect to the information.” (Quoted from an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, 2017).

In both A Spacetime Odyssey and Possible Worlds, Dr. Tyson uses the “Ship of Imagination” to travel far into space, time, and the unseen worlds of Earth. If Dr. Tyson had access to this versatile ship in real life, “I would choose an occasion in the past, where major events unfolded.” He went on to elaborate, “I would want to observe the formation of the solar system, for example, and watch the planets corrales out of the swirling gases that is the disc of material, of the newborn star system, and the newborn star we call the sun. Then I would want to watch the formation of the moon.” Dr. Tyson continued, “All evidence suggests that it’s the consequence of a sideswiping collision that Earth had with a Mars-sized protoplanet.”

Finally, Dr. Tyson would want to watch the asteroid which took out the dinosaurs. “You don’t want to interfere with that.” Because, as Dr. Tyson explained, “You want to make sure it takes them out so that mammals have some chance of rising up from underfoot, under T-Rex’s feet, where he would otherwise be serving us up as Hors d’Oeuvres”.

For Cosmos: Possible Worlds, one of Dr. Tyson’s favorite locations to film pre-COVID, is FAST (the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope), in southwest China. Putting the vast size of FAST into perspective, Dr. Tyson elaborated, “We began [this interview] talking about the Arecibo radio telescope. That’s a huge telescope. Its three-football field across. The FAST telescope, has twice the collecting area of the Arecibo telescope. So, no longer does the United States have the largest telescope in the world, China does”.

Ann Druyan
Photo: Miranda Penn Turin/FOX

When asking about the possibility of a fourth season of Cosmos, Dr. Tyson mentioned that that decision would be heavily influenced by Druyan. “[Druyan] is a brilliant storyteller,” Dr. Tyson reveals. She is the notable writing talent whose work has majorly impacted all three Cosmos series. Dr. Tyson noted with admiration, “When you’re that creative you’re thinking all the time. And even if there isn’t a show scheduled, or funded, or planned, you would still research that, and have it ready to roll.”

Observing the influence Cosmos has had on media, pop culture, and science, Dr. Tyson concluded, “What Cosmos has done successfully, I think, is highlighting for people the history of this quest to understand this world around us. And, how we can harness our discoveries, the fruits of that quest, to empower us to become shepherds of our own lives, our own loved ones, and civilization itself”.

Cosmos: Possible Worlds airs on Fox, September 22, at 8/7c.

LINK: https://www.latinheat.com/tv-3/tv-news-tv-3/neil-degrasse-tyson-our-guide-to-the-cosmos-and-beyond/

Latin Heat: Blumhouse: Finding Horror Success With Latinos

By Justina Bonilla

Blumhouse Productions has become an influential voice in Hollywood with its diverse Academy Award-winning dramas (Whiplash (2014), Get Out (2017), and BlacKKKlansman (2018) and signature micro-budget strategy. However, it is beloved among horror fans for its influential pop-culture horror films (Get OutParanormal Activity (2009), and The Purge (2013).

A unique aspect of Blumhouse’s horror properties is its increasing inclusion of ethnic talent, including Latinos in front of and behind the camera. Most notably The Purge the USA/Syfy television series, the Hulu Into the Dark anthology series, and the feature film Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Latino audiences are major consumers of horror content, especially films. In 2018 The Wrap reported that, “According Warner Bros. and comScore data from [The Nun’s] $53.5 million domestic opening weekend, the best for a Conjuring film and second-best for a September release, 36% of the audience was Latino, up from 17% for The Conjuring and 26% for last year’s Annabelle: Creation. On top of that, Mexico was the top overseas market with $10.7 million grossed.”

Jason Blum
Photo: Gage Skidmore

Blumhouse was founded by Jason Blum in 2000 where he currently serves as CEO and producer for several of its film and television projects. The production company became a contemporary Hollywood trailblazer with its philosophy of micro-budget films, with high concept stories, and giving filmmakers creative freedom. Their first horror hit was the groundbreaking Paranormal Activity. Made for $15,000 (Paramount added another $200,000 in post before it was released) the film went on to earn nearly $200 million worldwide. The success of their first film led to Blumhouse producing five more prequels and sequels, creating the Paranormal Activity film series franchise comprised of some of the most profitable and popular horror films in Hollywood, most notably among Latino audiences.

“Latinos make up a significant portion of the theater-going audience, and they are a valuable audience for Blumhouse,” Blum declares. “We know that our audiences want to see themselves in the stories they see on the big screen and we’re committed to bringing more stories to life, that reflect different backgrounds, points of view, and people.”

Blumhouse has an array of theatrically released horror films starring Latino leads; from Jennifer Lopez in The Boy Next Door (2015) to Jessica Alba in The Veil (2016) and Michael Peña in Fantasy Island (2020). Their other films that feature Latino leads include, The Green Inferno (2015) and Paranormal Activities: The Marked Ones (2014). Latinos have also appeared in supportive roles, most notably in the second film of The Purge series, The Purge: Anarchy (2014), such as Nicholas Gonzalez (The Good Doctor), Justina Machado (One Day At A Time), and Noel Gugliemi (Training Day).]

Andre Jacobs in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Paranormal Activities: The Marked Ones, is one of the films from the six-film Paranormal Activities franchise, which had a total franchise budget of $28 million and a worldwide gross of $890.5 million. This film was specifically Latino themed with Latino leads. With a $5 million dollar budget, its worldwide gross was nearly $91 million. Its cast of young Latino actors featured Andrew Jacobs (Trinkets), Jorge Diaz (East Los High), Richard Cabral (Mayans MC), and Carlos Pratts (McFarland USA).

After the financial success of the four The Purge films, (The PurgeThe Purge: Anarchy (2014), The Purge: Election Year (2016), and The First Purge (2018), with a combined budget of $35 million dollars, and a total worldwide gross of $457.1 million, that’s when the TV series followed.

Marci Wiseman
Photo: Blumhouse
Jeremy Gold
Photo: Blumhouse

In an exclusive interview with Latin Heat, Marci Wiseman, and Jeremy Gold, the two Co-Presidents of Blumhouse Television spoke with us about the importance of Latinos at Blumhouse, both as fans and content creators.

“It makes us enormously proud and happy that these filmmakers of such unique talents are getting recognized and their work is so well received,” Gold explained. “That is incredibly gratifying for us, of course, and for them. And as a studio across both film and television, we are deeply committed to not only discovering, but also continuing to nurture and provide a real platform for upcoming diverse voices.”

The USA/Syfy TV series The Purge (2018-2019) follows the basic plot of the film series. A contemporary America under a totalitarian government, which allows the legalization of all crimes for one day a year, from 7 PM to 7 AM, including the worst kinds of murder possible.

Pola Núñez in The Purge
Photo: Alfonso Bresciani USA/Blumhouse

Series regulars in season one featured Gabriel Chavarria and Jessica Garza as brother and sister Miguel and Penelope Guerrero. Miguel, a US marine is desperately looking for Penelope during the Purge, to save her from becoming a Purge sacrifice. While, season two featured Paola Núñez as Esme Carmona, an NFFA government employee. Though Carmona sees herself as a valuable employee, she eventually becomes an enemy of the state. The Latino directorial talent for The Purge includes Jamie Reynoso (S2. E9. “Grief Box”) and Gigi Saul Guerrero (S2. E9. “Hail Mary”).

Gold explained the decision to hire Latino directors and talent in the lead roles for The Purge TV show, “We really value [the Latinx] fan base highly and we actively work to make sure that, that was represented across the series, and it was partially important on that show, [for] both of the talent in front of and behind the camera. And we are very proud of that The Purge series,” he said. “We had lots of Latinx directors and writers. That element of the series really seemed to land with the audience.”

Since 2018, Blumhouse’s streaming horror anthology Hulu series Into the Dark, releases a new installment each month, highlighting American holidays from Fourth of July to Christmas. This series has been a highly successful vehicle for showcasing the work of several Latino directors.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, three out of the top five highest-rated Into the Dark episodes, Culture ShockPooka!, and Pooka Lives!, were directed by Latinos.

Culture Shock, directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero, takes a gritty look at the border crisis issue. Marisol (Martha Higareda), a young Mexican woman takes the risk of crossing undocumented into America for her “American Dream”, only to find herself in a nightmare beyond her wildest dreams.

When selecting Guerrero to be a part of the Into the Dark series, Wiseman shared, “The feature [film] department is very aware of Gigi’s multitude of shorts, all in the horror space and had been keeping their eye on her.” After Guerrero pitched her take on the material, Wiseman noted, “We loved her take. We loved what she said she was going to do with it. And the rest is history.” The trust in Guerrero paid off. Culture Shock is rated on Rotten Tomatoes at 100%.

Nacho Vigalondo (Photo: Vigalondo)

Pooka! directed by Nacho Vigalondo is a unique Christmas horror tale. After struggling actor Wilson (Nyasha Hatendi) finds success as the Pooka mascot, he starts to see that Pooka bring out aside of him he’s struggling to control. The sequel Pooka Lives!, directed by Alejandro Brugués, takes the Pooka horror online. A group of friends create the online challenge #pookachallange as a joke, only for the challenge to go viral, causing deadly results.

“[Into the Dark] became a really great forum for us to work with all kinds of film makers, from all different walks of life,” Wiseman explained.

The Blumhouse backed Crypt TV is a successful digital network co-founded by Jack Davis and director/writer Eli Roth. Crypt TV focuses on making short horror web content, including individual short horror videos and multiple series of short horror videos. Their YouTube channel has over three-million subscribers and over 460 short videos, with millions of views. Many of the shorts feature diverse talent and content makers, most notably Guerrero.

Earlier this year Blumhouse Television announced it had secured the rights to adapt the popular two-season horror podcast The Horror of Dolores Roach into a drama series for TV. Podcast creator Aaron Mark will serve as showrunner for the Amazon series which follow Roach (Daphne Rubin-Vega) upon her return to her New York neighborhood after a sixteen-year stint in prison.

NALIP 2020 Honoree. Photo: NALIP

Mexican writer and director Issa López (Tigers Are Not Afraid) was announced in May 2020, to be writing and directing the film Our Lady of Tears for Blumhouse, based on the article “The Haunting of Girlstown” by VOX.com. In 2007, Villa de las Niñas, an all-girls Catholic boarding school on the fringes of Mexico City, faced an epidemic of mass hysteria, with supernatural origins.

Blumhouse’s outreach within the Latino community was further cemented in January of this year when Blum partnered with LA Collab, an organization which seeks to collaborate with industry talent and entities to create opportunities for Latinos in Hollywood. Blum shared with Latin Heat how he became involved, “One of LA Collab’s co-founders Ivette Rodriguez reached out to Blumhouse’s Head of Marketing, Karen Barragan about the collaboration, and when she told me about the initiative I was eager to throw our support behind the effort.”

Blum went on to explain, “We have found LA Collab to be a great resource in connecting us with top talent and filmmakers, and we really liked that LA Collab had a clearly defined goal of increasing authentic Latino representation (in front and behind the camera) in the entertainment industry by 100% by 2030.”

Blum joined a multitude of Hollywood luminaries and other production entities which include director JJ AbramsEva LongoriaOzzie Areu of Areu Bros. Studios, Warner Media, producer Eli Roth, and actor/producers Edward James Olmos and Eugenio Derbez for the launch of LA Collab, which was founded in partnership with the Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Blumhouse has become a leading force in the horror industry by showing its ability to find, nurture, and elevate talent of color in horror. “Traditionally, we have always loved ghost stories and the macabre and Gothic tales,” Edwin Pagan, who runs the horror genre centric latinhorror.com, told NPR in 2015. “They’re just sewn into the fabric of who we are as a people.” And so, the avid Latino audience awaits to see what new “horror” Blumhouse has in store for them.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is streaming on Apple iTunesAmazon Prime Video and other major platforms.

The Purge tv series is streaming on HuluAmazon Prime Video, and other major platforms.

Into the Dark is exclusively streaming on Hulu.

LINK: https://www.latinheat.com/everything-related-to-film/film/blumhouse-finding-horror-success-with-latinos/

Latin Horror: AMC announces second season of ‘Eli Roth’s History of Horror’

Masters of horror—icons and stars who define the genre—explore its biggest themes and reveal the inspirations and struggles behind its past and present.

LATIN HORROR AMC announced the highly anticipated second season of the horror TV-mini series Eli Roth’s History of Horror, to air on Saturday October 10, 2020 at 10/9c.

In season one, each episode covered in-depth, an array of some of the most famous and popular monsters in horror, from Dracula to zombies and killer clowns. Highlighting influential horror films and television shows, from America (Psycho) to foreign (The Ring).

Full episode list of Season One:

1.1: Zombies
Zombies are the monsters of the 21st century, and America’s major contribution to horror. What set off zombie fever? All roads lead to George Romero, who made zombies a metaphor for social ills.

1.2: Slashers Part 1
Slasher films killed in the ’80s, but their violence, perceived misogyny, and endless sequels almost ended the genre. Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Campbell and Rob Zombie on how supernatural killers like Chucky and Freddy saved them from extinction.

1.3: Slashers Part 2
Slashers got sophisticated in the ’90s, evolving from Freddy Kreuger to Candyman to the terrifying Hannibal Lecter. The 2000s brought “torture porn” – a response to post-9/11 panic.

1.4: The Demon Inside
The fear that demons will enter our bodies and make us do terrible things has inspired some of the most frightening films ever made. Jordan Peele, Linda Blair and Diablo Cody discuss masterpieces such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist.

1.5: Killer Creatures
Monsters hold a special place in the history of horror. Stephen King, Tippi Hedren and Joe Dante weigh in on the killer predators in nature, the nightmare creatures of the fantastic, and the monsters inside us, waiting to escape.

1.6: Vampires
Modern vampires come in many guises, but they all address our fascination with sex and death. From the ghastly Count Orlok to the glam vampires of True Blood, John Landis, Josh Hartnett, Mick Garris and others take a look at why thirsty fiends are endlessly appealing.

1.7: Ghost Stories
Ghost movies have been with us since the dawn of cinema. Some ghosts are benevolent, some ghosts are malicious, but they all represent the mystery of what happens to us after we die. Stephen King, Haley Joel Osment and others break down the appeal of spooky spirits.

Season two, according to Bloody-Disgusting.com, will include horror topics such as: “Magic-Wielding Witches”, “Misshapen Monsters”, “Infamously Evil Youngsters”, “Hell Houses”, and “Body Horror”.

“I’m so thrilled to be continuing this historic series with AMC,” Roth shared in a statement when Season Two was announced. “In Season One, we had the most incredible conversations with the top creators in the field who really helped fans around the world appreciate the horror genre in a new light….we look forward to going even deeper in Season Two, bringing out the A-listers to share their stories with everyone for all-time and adding more and more films to the canon. AMC is the perfect network to partner with on a passion project like this and we can’t wait to get started.”

Interviewees from season one included an array of horror experts and talent, with horror legends such as Stephen King (It and Pet Cemetery), Jordan Peele (Get Out), and Joe Dante (Gremlins and The Howling). AMC also noted season two will feature these and other familiar interviewers from season one. It will also feature many new interviews, including actors Bill Hader and Megan Fox.

Season one is now available to stream on Shudder, Amazon Prime, and YouTubeTV. The DVD will be available in America on October 6, 2020, just in time for Halloween.  

Additional History of Horror content can be found on Shudder with the Eli Roth’s History of Horror: Uncut (Podcast), featuring horror icons from Tony Todd (Candyman), to Tippi Hedren (The Birds), and Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead).

While Latino participation tends to be overlooked when discussing horror cinematic history, History of Horror payed homage to Latino groundbreakers in horror, including Guillermo del Toro, Robert Rodriguez, and the “King of the Zombies”, George A. Romero. We look forward to seeing what movies and monsters make the cut.

Maybe, there is a change we might see other groundbreaking Latino horror films such as Alucarda, Daughter of DarknessSanta Sangre, or Poison for the Fairies. Or, mentions of Latino cornerstones characters in horror, including La Llorona, Coffin Joe, or El Santo.

LINK: https://latinhorror.com/season-two-history-of-horror/

Latin Heat: The Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2020 is Going Virtual

The beloved genre film festival, the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival is modifying its signature, in-person thrills and chills for a frightfully good time virtually. Not even the COVID-19 virus can stop horror film fans from getting their spine-tingling delights.

Celebrating its 11th year, Horrible Imaginings is creating a cyber film festival from Tuesday, September 1- Monday, September 7, 2020, featuring 11 feature films and 100 short films categorized in 10 film blocks. All of the features and short films will have scheduled discussions and designated interactive CO-WATCH sessions, where fans can virtually watch the films together and communicate during the film.

The 11 feature films are a mixture of classic and modern horror films, such as the 1962 cult sci-fi horror classic The Brain that Wouldn’t Die, the 40th anniversary of the Italian horror classic Dr. Butcher MD: Medical Deviate (Zombie Holocaust) and Hail to the Deadites, a contemporary documentary exploring the devoted fan culture of the Evil Dead series. Among these films are the two highly anticipated South American horror films Luz: The Flower of Evil and Diablo Rojo PTY.

Luz: The Flower of Evil is a Colombian gothic folk horror film, budding from the same generation of groundbreaking horror films such as The WitchMidsommar, and The Golem. The religious leader of an isolated mountain cult brings into his community a child, who he believes is the new messiah, only to receive suffering, destruction, and pushback from his cult and his three daughters. Available to stream for only 24 hours, on Friday, September 4, 2020.

Diablo Rojo PTY is considered Panama’s first horror film, intertwining action, suspense and traditional regional folklore. A bus driver who is unknowingly cursed with a spell, becomes lost in the jungle at night, causing himself and the others on his bus to fight for survival against the evil of the night. Available to stream from Thursday September 3, to Monday September 7, 2020.

The 100 short films showcase a variety of horror taste, styles, and themes from up and coming talents, nationally and internationally. They feature a wide range of diverse talent on both sides of the camera, most notably directors who are female and/or of color. Within the 10 short film block themes features themes of monsters, cults, isolation, corrupt power, family and student films.

Among this wide range of talent of the short films, includes Latino American and international Hispanic talent. A few of the American short films with Latino talent include: The Springfield ThreeSpoonSnake Eyes: An ASMR nightmare ExperienceMilk TeethHammerThe God from BelowMy Neighbors are Weird, and Culpa.  While international Hispanic short films come from Spain (My Brother JuanYo Confieso (I Confess)Human Trash, and Smiles), Mexico (Diabla (She Devil)Mateo, and Perturbado (Disturbed)), and Colombia (Lenses).   

Miguel Rodriguez, Horrible Imaginings
Founder and Executive Director

Since its premiere in 2009, the annual Horrible film Festival has used their platform to showcase, “…the newest voices in horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genre cinema over a multiday event…”, and, “…to spotlight genre cinema, amplify artistic voices, and foster a community of acceptance.” – hifilmfest.com.

Founder/Executive director of the Horrible Imaging Film Festival Miguel Rodriguez shared with Latin Heart how, “Our definition of the horror film is pretty broad and it’s not all stuff that going to scare you, or meant to scare you. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s a little more dramatic. Sometimes it’s more social justice-oriented. It’s just kind of all over the place. But I think that is the power of the [horror] genre”. He credits the diversity of voices behind the camera for creating an amazing variety of horror.

A past Horrible Imaginings Film Festival alumni, is director Gigi Saul Guerrero. In 2015, Guerrero won the festival’s Best Director for a Short Film award for El Gigante and participated in the Mexican Horror Panel. Later in 2018, her short film La Quinceañera was featured. Guerrer is the co-writer and director for Culture Shock, a feature film for the Into the Dark horror anthology web television series, produced by Blumhouse Television for Hulu.

Rodriguez and Gigi Saul Guerrero, 2018

TICKET OPTIONS:

SINGLE TICKET: $8

Access to one feature or one a short film block, along with its discussion and CO-WATCH session.

TICKET 10 – FESTIVAL: $30

Access to either watching 10 feature films, all 10 entire short film blocks, or a mix of feature films and short film blocks (For example 5 feature films and 5 short film blocks, 6 feature films and 4 short film blocks, etc.). All discussions and CO-WATCH sessions are included.

ALL ACCESS FESTIVAL PASS – REGULAR: $50

Access to all short and feature films, along with featured events from September 1-7, 2020. All discussions and CO-WATCH sessions are included.

ALL ACCESS FESTIVAL PASS – ZOMBIE RANGER EDITION!: $80

Includes access to all short and feature films, along with featured events from September 1-7, 2020. All the discussions and CO-WATCH sessions are included.

One “Zombie Ranger” full access pass to all four upcoming 4 Campfire Tales events in October and December of 2020 and February and June of 2021 (A $45 value).

For more info, full programing schedule, and to purchase tickets

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The Horrible Imaginings Eventive How-To Videos

Note: The Horrible Film Festival will be Geo-Restricted, only available in the West Coast and South West reigns of the United States to the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

LINK: https://www.latinheat.com/events/the-horrible-imaginings-film-festival-2020-is-going-virtual/

My Interview for The Frida Cinema Stream-a-Thon III

On August 15, 2020, I was a host for an hour of The Frida Cinema 10 Hour Social Distancing Stream-a-Thon III Fundraiser, in honor of International Mexican Cinema Day.

During this hour, I also interviewed Mexican director Andres Klimek-Pavia, while we showed two of his short films Three Rooms and Between The Clouds…The Sky. Participating with the hour, was Monica Ochoa, the Appointed Consul of the Mexican Consulate.

Since it was a 10-hour marathon, here are the times of my interviews between the two featured films of Klimek-Pavia.

Times:6:06:25-6:15:49, 6:31:54-6:37:27, and 7:06:15-7:10:24 .

Enjoy!

The Frida Cinema Blog: African American Documentaries Part 1: Groundbreaking African American Men

Honoring the life and legacy of civil rights leader Senator John Lewis, this 3-part blog series will be highlighting documentaries of African Americans, their culture, and influence in America. With such a vast array of documentaries highlighting trailblazing African American men, below is a list of documentaries to stream now.

Quincy

A master of modern American music, music icon Quincy Jones revolutionized contemporary music as a composer, musician, songwriter, arranger, record producer, and film/television producer. His over a 60-year groundbreaking career in entertainment has impacted an array of genres and musicians from Frank Sinatra, to Barbara Strained, and Dr. Dre.https://www.youtube.com/embed/WT7gn6nhsAc?feature=oembed

Richard Pryor: Icon

Considered the greatest and most influential stand-up comedian of all time, Richard Pryor revolutionized comedy with his signature no hold bars language and blunt honesty. His comedic genus could be seen through his stand-up specials (Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip), scriptwriting (Blazing Saddles and Stanford and Sons), and acting (Harlem Nights and Stir Crazy).https://www.youtube.com/embed/7i4O8JBlSgU?feature=oembed

When We Were Kings

The Oscar-winning documentary explores one of the most famous heavyweight boxing championship matches of all time, between Muhammad Ali and George Forman, in the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle”. It also evaluated how African Americans connected during the Black Power Era to the content of Africa culturally and politically.https://www.youtube.com/embed/uBauogNmRqY?feature=oembed

1968 – A Mexico City Documentary NBC Sports

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Olympics, known as one of the most memorable Olympics of the 20th century, due to the silent protest of the African American track athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos. While the documentary, narrated by Serena Williams, evaluates the social and political issues surrounding the 68’ Olympics, special attention is paid to the journey of Smith and Carlos to the Olympics and the impact their protest had then and today.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/k9NsN0ybTec?start=1&feature=oembed

The Black Godfather

Though lesser known to mainstream American pop culture audiences, behind the curtain of Hollywood, Clarence Avant, aka “The Black Godfather”, is a significantly influential music executive and film producer. Known as a mover and shaker in entertainment, Avant helped shape and promote positive black American culture in entertainment, launching the careers of a vast variety of African American celebrates.   https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gp_MsziYf4s?feature=oembed

Sing Your Song: The Story of Harry Belafonte

Considered one of the most influential black performers in modern music, Harry Belafonte, the “King of Calypso”, evolved from a successful singer (“Day-O” aka “The Banana Boat Song” and “Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora)”) and actor (Carmen Jones), into an outspoken civil rights activist. Belafonte has spent his life using his celebrity influence to bring to light humanitarian issues both nationally and internationally.https://www.youtube.com/embed/bic97j6q5fo?feature=oembed

Who Killed Malcolm X?

The outspoken civil rights leader Malcolm X challenged authority without fear. 55 years after Malcolm’s death, this 6-part documentary intensely analyses Malcolm’s history, assassination and the influence of his legacy.https://www.youtube.com/embed/bqqOQBalq5k?feature=oembed

John Lewis: Good Trouble

Following the life of the political force and civil rights leader Senator John Lewis of Georgia, in his over 60-year participation of social activism and fight for civil rights. How his strength and bravery became a force challenging the social status quo while impacting American politics.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/z_oEkOdIXdo?feature=oembed

King of the Wilderness

Among the multitude of films and documentaries about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this documentary takes an in-depth look at the last few years of his life. It evaluates the multitude of heart-breaking consequences he faced, including being unethically and illegally targeted by J. Edgar Hoover (the director of the FBI) and the immense backlash for being anti-Vietnam War. Though he suffered, he noted, “I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promise land”.https://www.youtube.com/embed/aVGRg89DbyM?feature=oembed

I Am Not Your Negro

James Baldwin, one of the most significant American authors of the 20th century, wrote the unfinished memoir manuscript of Remember This House, which this documentary is based on. Through a passionately profound observation, Baldwin’s words take viewers into a deeply personal perception of the complexity of African American history and how his words of yesterday connect to today’s #blacklivesmatter movement.https://www.youtube.com/embed/8ol9Tf39jh8?feature=oembed

Link: https://thefridacinema.org/african-american-documentaries-part-1-groundbreaking-african-american-men/

Latin Heat: Comic-Con 2020: Highlighting Latinos Voices

By Justina Bonilla

Comic-Con, the biggest entertainment convention in the world, went virtual this year, allowing everyone globally to attend the vast variety of world-famous programs through the Comic-Con International channel on YouTube. Among the array of topics such as comic books, movies, video games, and lessons in creating original content, was a diversity of ethnic orientated panels, including Asian, African American, Native American, and Latino.

Over the 5-day virtual convention from July 22 – 26, 2020, Latino talent was represented in a number of panels, with talent In front and behind the camera. With such an abundance of scheduled programs, here is a highlighted list of programs about and panels featuring Latino talent.

July 23, 2020 – Thursday

Marvel Storyboards: An interview with Marvel Executive VP, creative director Joe Quesada, about his documentary series Marvel’s Storyboards. Before VP, Quesada started at Marvel as an artist, eventually rising to the editor, then editor-in-chief.

His Dark Materials Virtual Panel and Q&A Session: The panel of the HBO adaption of the global best selling trilogy book series His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman, features executive producers and six cast members (Lin-Manuel Miranda) discussing the influence the series has had on them artistically and the upcoming second season this fall.

Collider: Directors on Directing: Three directors, including Robert Rodriquez, go in-depth about their experiences in directing, including the artistic craft of directing, projects of the past, current projects, and those to come.

Dubbing American into Latin American – A Chat with Dub Actors: With syndication of American English language shows into Latin America, especially Mexico, is a need for skilled Spanish speaking dub voice actors. Featured are some of the top dubbing voice actors of Mexico sharing their professional experiences in this field. The conversation is in Spanish. English subtitles are not automatic, however, are available through the setting corner of the screen.

The State of the Industry: Animation Superstars: Taking a deep inside look at the animation world and the work it takes to become an animator, with a special array of contemporary animation talents (including Jorge Gutierrez and Alonso Ramirez Ramos).

July 25, 2020 – Saturday:

Cosmos: Possible Worlds: The scientific and creative talent behind this third series of Cosmos, along with Afro-Puerto Rican host astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, emphasizes the importance of science literacy today, the history of the original Cosmos series, and the exciting topics and stories to come this

Latin American Horror Cinema 2: Sometimes they Come Back: Part two from Comic-Con 2019 highlights directors of the new wave of horror from Latin America, featuring Issa Lopez (Tigers Are Not Afraid), Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead), Isaac Ezban (The Incident), Demián Rugna (Terrified) and Gigi Saul Guerrero (Culture Shock).

Guillermo del Toro and Scott Cooper on Antlers and Filmmaking: Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro is producing the upcoming supernatural horror film Antlers, about a folklore creature causing on a bloodthirsty spree in a small isolated town. He discusses alongside the film’s director Scott Cooper about the film and their experiences as filmmakers and film lovers.

Latinx & Native American Storytellers: Latinx and Native American Writers from comics to children’s literature, evaluate the history of Latinx and Native American characters in media, while also discussing the increased demand and possibilities available for Latinx and Native American storytellers and characters.

Mexico’s Magnificent Stop-Motion Seven: With Mexican cinematic talent, especially animation, continuing to get increased recognition by the foreign market, this panel the contemporary masters of Mexican stop motion animation. Panel spoke in Spanish, with English subtitles.

Mexican Lucha Libre: History, Tradition, Legacy: In Mexican pop-culture history, a beloved image is the Lucha Libre wrestlers, most notably the hero El Santo. The panelist explores just how impactful this type of entrainment is in Mexico, including its influence in cinema. Panel spoke in Spanish, with English subtitles.

What We Do in the Shadows: Recently nominated for a 2020 Emmy for Best Comedy Series, the cast (Harvey Guillén) of What We Do in the Shadows go in-depth of different elements of the show including personal behind the scene stories. The series has been greenlit for a much-anticipated 3rd season.

July 26, 2020 – Sunday 

Aztec Depictions in Pop Culture: 500 Years After the Fall: In current American pop-culture, the Aztec empire is one of the most referenced classic pre-colonialist empires, alongside the Greek, Egyptian, and Roman empires. Panelist use the Aztec culture and history as inspirations to their stories, while also evaluating how our prior knowledge of the Aztec empire is continually growing.

Link: https://www.latinheat.com/tv-3/tv-news-tv-3/comic-con-2020-highlighting-latinos-voices/

The Frida Cinema Blog Post #20

The Frida Cinema 10 Hour Social Distancing Stream-a-Thon Fundraiser: Part Deux!

 

With the success of the maiden voyage of our Frida Cinema 10 Hour Social Distancing Stream-a-Thon Fundraiser on March 28, 2020, we hosted our sequel Stream-a-Thon on Tuesday, May 5th, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., for #givingtuesdaynow! This ten-hour marathon was a film-and-fun-filled time for all, especially for those fans of Werner Herzog and M. Night Shyamalan (the two running gags that seemed to pop up the most as the show progressed).

The setup of the event was that it streamed LIVE from The Frida Cinema YouTube, and featured host Trevor Dillon (Programming Director and Special Events Coordinator), co-host Martin Nguyen (Box Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator), and Jordan Djahangiri (Creative and Marketing Director), all of whom practiced the 6ft distance rule, while giving us a first-rate show.

Throughout all ten hours of the marathon fundraiser were special film discussion segments featuring friends of The Frida and trailers for films that can be, or will be available to stream through The Frida Cinema online. Each segment gave a special hint of uniqueness, which adds to the magic of The Frida.

Time flew by with the interviews. Especially with the inclusion of “Herz-off”, a game of how well you can do an impression of German director Werner Herzog, as well as discussions of M. Night Shyamalan’s filmography at the end of each segment, for some reason, and various other either pre-planned or on-the-spot games or discussions. Anything goes on the Stream-a-Thon! The segments included a wide range of guest and subjects, including:

Let’s Talk Programing: Brian Mendelssohn, Row House Cinema Owner

Quaranzine Chat: Lauren Clinton and Kade Clark

Spielberg or Sandler?: Diego Crespo, Waffle Press Podcast

Best LGBTQ Movies to Stream at Home: Atalia Lopez, Frida Cinema Board Member

Palme d’Or Quiz: Adam Wagner, Projector Fuel Podcast

Top 5 Nostalgic Nebula Events: Cody Chavez, Nostalgic Nebula Founder

Aya vs The Big Boys Podcast: Kevin Cookman and Aya Lehman from Merry-Go-Round Magazine

Name That Tagline!: Logan Crow, Frida Cinema Founder & Executive Director

Now That’s Cinema!: Jordan Djahangiri, Frida Cinema Creative & Marketing Director

Friday Night Volunteer Reunion: Leonardo, Hillary, Bekah, Sam and Reggie

To name a few…

In between each interview were featured trailers for our currently streaming and upcoming films. It included a wide range of multiple genres, from horror to drama to documentary and beyond. In true arthouse fashion, the movies advertised were from all over the world–an array of amazing films just waiting to be discovered.

Currently Playing:

Rififi: 5/8

Band of Outsiders: 5/8

NYICFF Kid Flicks One/Two: 5/8 – 5/24

Spaceship Earth: 5/8 – 5/21

On a Magical Night: 5/8 – 5/21

Mossville: When Great Trees Fall: 5/8 – 5/21

The Wonderland: 5/8 – 5/21

Judy & Punch: 5/8 – 5/21

A Good Woman is Hard to Find: 5/8 – 5/21

Spaceship Earth: 5/8 – 5/21

Premiering This Month:

Alice: 5/15 – 5/28

Jose: 5/15 – 5/28

The Wolf House: 5/15 – 5/21

Someone Somewhere: 5/15 – 6/5

The Painter and the Thief: 5/22 – 6/4

The Grey Fox: 5/29 – 6/11

Throughout the show, Trevor asked guests for their favorite sequel films, because this was, after all, a sequel Stream-a-Thon. After watching the entire ten-hour marathon, the best cinematic sequel I can compare this event to, would undoubtedly be The Godfather Part II. Like The Godfather Part II, the sequel was better than the first. Not just because we made more than our initial $1,000.00 fundraising goal, which was totally awesome, but because of the love, dedication and care put into making this highly successful event.

For those of who deeply miss going to The Frida, especially its staff/volunteers, friends, and guests, its heartwarming to see familiar faces doing what we love most: talking and sharing about our passion for film. We can all agree on one thing–our love of film keeps us connected even in a time when we can’t be physically together. That same love of film will eventually bring us back together, this time not via a streaming link, but in our beloved temple of cinema.

See you all again for part three.

 

https://thefridacinema.org/the-frida-cinema-social-distancing-stream-a-thon-fundraiser-part-2/