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Hispanicize 2012: Where Worlds Collide, Partnerships are Forged

"The Miracle of Spanish Harlem" and "The History of Spacelight" win Film Showcase honors

By Bel Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: April 18, 2012


Hispanicize 2012: Where Worlds Collide, Partnerships are Forged


Bloggers, movie screenings, Emilio Estefan, CEOs, SEO, directors, flash mob, innovators, Nely Gal?ín, technology, panel discussions, yacht parties, black carpet, celebrities, The Dog Whisperer and his doggies, too! All this and more at Hispanicize 2012 in Miami, FL.

In this, its 3rd annual outing, Hispanicize -- launching the National Latino Film Showcase this year -- has planted the seed for the Latino SXSW. Co-produced by Latin Heat Media, LLC and Getty Images Hispanic, the Film Showcase counted with the participation of some of Hollywood's finest. Gina Rodriguez (Filly Brown), the "It Girl" at this year's Sundance Film Festival, who along with Steven Bauer (Scarface) and Tim McNeal, Vice President, Talent Development &. Diversity, Disney/ABC, shared with the attendees of the Star Making Role panel, an in-depth look into their careers, much like what you might see on Bravo TV's "Inside the Actor's Studio."

The film screenings of the National Latino Film Showcase kicked off with Kiki Melendez's "The Journey of a Female Comic" at The Trails Theater on Calle Ocho where the audience was taken for a ride into the Melendez's life in this docu-drama of struggling to make it in Hollywood. After the Q&A with the all-female panel of filmmaker,s it was on to the after party at the Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita restaurant for food and music by Los Primeros.

Screenwriters Ligiah Villalobos ("Firelight", premiering April 22nd on ABC; "La Misma Luna") and Carlos Bermudez ("The Miracle of Spanish Harlem") started off the second day of film panels talking about the inner workings of writing for film and television. Later that evening after the advance screening of "For Greater Glory", Andy Garcia, who stars in the drama based on the true life story of Mexico's Cristero wars of the 1920's, made a special appearance for the Q&A.

Thursday was Black Carpet Night with Blackberry sponsoring the night of screenings of both the films in competition as well as the sneak peek of Eva Mendes' latest film "Girl in Progress", which also stars Cierra Ramirez and which will be releasing on May 11th. Also screening that evening was the 2nd episode of Starz "Magic City", with stars Yul Vazquez and Dominik Garcia Lorido in attendance.

The Friday panel "Collaborations: The Producer/Director Dynamic" included the creative team of Anu Gunn (producer) and Adam Schlachter (director) of "Hollywood Whores" (their film in competition at the Film Showcase), and director Jessy Terrero who recently wrapped the film "Freelancers" starring Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent releasing later this year. Terrero took the opportunity to announce his new Google channel called 123UnoDosTres which will launched in May. The head of the channel, Johanna Salazar was on hand as well to announce that they are looking for content and invited producers in attendance to submit! Unheard of but true.

Friday started off with a tropical storm, but nothing would deter the evening's program at Vecchia Manson for an exclusive after party sponsored by Bacardi, legendary HATUEY Cuban-Style Ale and Cricket Wireless. But after the storm came the calm and balmy evening, with a sweet slight breeze kicking off the evening's festivities as the sun set.

With drink in hand, a beautiful view of the bay with the city lights beyond, the eclectic group of guests enjoyed the evening and the delicious Cuban food followed by the screening of "Scarface". Mingling with the "Scarface" cast members ÔÇô Steven Bauer, who played Manolo; Pepe Serna (Angel) and Angel Salazar who played Chi Chi -- were Carlos Gomez, who plays Carlos Sanchez in A&E's "The Glades"; director Jessy Terrero ("Freelancers"); Mauricio Mendoza ("Unknowns", "Resurrection Blvd.") and Yeniffer Behrens ("Unknowns", "Decisions") among others.

For the filmmakers of the two winning films, Hispanicize 2012 was extra special. Hispanicize 2012 awarded the best feature length film prize of $10,000 to Derek Velez Partridge for "The Miracle of Spanish Harlem" and the best short film prize of $5,000 to Chris Caraballo for "The History of Spaceflight". In addition to the cash award, both films will return to Miami in mid-May for a special awards night red carpet screening at a local movie theater.

"The Miracle of Spanish Harlem" is an emotional drama about redemption and a man who tries to make his own miracle, only to find a real one. Directed by Partridge, the screenplay was written by Carlos Bermudez. The cast includes Kate De Castillo, Luis Antonio Ramos and Tony Plana, among others.

"The History of Spaceflight", directed and produced by Chris Caraballo tells the story of several children who are left alone for an afternoon and their scheme to sneak up into the attic to uncover their Christmas presents early. It's one small step for them, but one giant leap for children everywhere. The cast includes Christian Kramme, Cole Jensen, Rachel & Amanda Pace.

Hispanicize is the event where you meet and make new friends, where you expand your knowledge, where partnerships are forged, where technology is on display, and where you are inspired by the words of this year's Latinovators, Univision's news anchor Maria Elena Salinas, entrepreneur Nely Gal?ín, music mogul Emilio Estefan and the Dog Whisperer Cesar MillanÔǪand where bloggers have converged en masse for another successful year.

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