Latin Lover

Winner of NALIP and SiTV's non-scripted TV series idea award

By Santiago Tapia
Published on LatinoLA: March 24, 2006

Latin Lover

At last weekend?s NALIP CONFERENCE 7 as part of the LATINO MEDIA MARKET, SiTV sponsored a search for Non-Scripted TV Series Ideas. Searching for talent from newcomers in the industry, the winner was LATIN LOVER created by Santiago Tapia and Jessica Curtright of Adams House Productions (www.AdamsHouseProductions.com). The reality dating game show where a Gringo guy or gal who is dissatisfied in their relationship to another Gringo is set up on a date with a genuine Latin Lover ? Will they ?Stay Gringo? or ?Go Latin.? The treatment was optioned for development and may become part of SiTV?s Unacceptable Behavior. Both Jessica and I attended at the Latino Media Market meeting with execs for our feature thriller REDBONES. It was an amazing experience.

Being newcomers to NALIP, Jessica and I were excited about our first NALIP CONFERENCE and the LATINO MEDIA MARKET. A year ago we didn?t even know what NALIP was. NALIP stands for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. It is a young organization founded only 7 years ago, but in those short 7 years NALIP has impacted the way networks, cable channels, and production companies see Latinos today. Jessica and I first heard the word ?NALIP? as a new chapter was being formed in Boston, our hometown under the leadership of Documentarian Maria Carter.?

Right away NALIP?s vision was made clear to us at that first meeting ? to make the Latino voice heard in the entertainment industry - and we jumped on the bandwagon. As young feature film producers we could relate as Jessica and I have a vision of having Massachusetts be heard in the entertainment industry. That?s what our company Adams House Productions is all about, bringing feature film and T.V. production to our hometown of Boston. Being two years old, Adams House started as a commercial production company but six months ago we transitioned into a feature film and T.V. production company - after all who doesn?t want to be in pictures, right? We have been acquiring great material from all over and feel we have the best scripts in town. One of our many projects is REDBONES and that?s what brought us to the Conference.

We arrived at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach California where we were greeted by my favorite NALIPster (that?s what we call ourselves by the way) Kathryn Galan, the Executive Director of NALIP. I first met Kathryn when I had been invited to participate as a director a few months ago to another of NALIP?s signature programs, the NALIP PRODUCERS ACADEMY, which is the Latino version of the Sundance Film Lab. Kathryn was so supportive to us (and everyone in the program) and we?ve kept in touch ever since. Jessica and I were excited as we were not only coming to our first conference but had also been invited as one of eight narrative feature projects to participate in the LATINO MEDIA MARKET. Whereas the Conference provides a forum for Latino and Latina executives, funders, film, television and documentary makers to meet and address the professional needs of Latino independent producers, writers, directors, and performers, the LATINO MEDIA MARKET is like eight minute dating between filmmakers and studio executives. This opportunity opened a lot of doors for us to pitch our feature scripts and T.V. pilots to executives all in one fell swoop. Also it opened doors to agents and managers and made us realize that perhaps we do need to seek representation. Finally, besides our feature and T.V. scripts we were also at the LATINO MEDIA MARKET for a treatment we had written for SiTV for a non-scripted T.V. series, which Jessica will tell you about.

Santiago and I have written many treatments for reality T.V. shows and we had written one called LATIN LOVER, a reality dating game show where a Gringo guy or gal who is dissatisfied in their relationship to another Gringo is set up on a date with a genuine Latin Lover ? Will they ?Stay Gringo? or ?Go Latin? was our tagline. It ended up being invited as one of the finalists of the SiTV sponsored search at the LATINO MEDIA MARKET.

But of course while the LATINO MEDIA MARKET was taking place, the NALIP Conference 7 ? Latino Lens: Naked Truth ? was going on around us. It was a huge gathering sponsored by HBO, Variety, and The National Latino Media Council with some big highlights. For example, the first night at the opening reception we heard Lucinda Martinez-Desir, Director Strategic Partnerships for HBO, speak about Latino programming and then everyone saw the premiere screening with Edward James Olmos of his feature WALKOUT made by HBO Films soon to be in limited theatrical release. Off to such a great start the Conference continued with morning roundtable breakfasts with industry professionals including producers, studio reps, agents, casting directors, etc. Each day was full of Panels in all areas of film and TV by established Hollywood execs, directors, screenwriters, and more, of which Santiago and I raced to many in-between the Market. And of course there were the Keynote speeches by Charlie Koones, President and Publisher of Variety and Pancho Mansfield, Executive Vice President, Original Programming of SPIKE TV. In between it was all about making friends and networking.

It all culminated with the Gala Awards dinner. The Outstanding Achievement Award went to Moctesuma Esparza (The Milagro Beenfield War, Gettysburg, Selena, Gods and Generals) and David Valdes (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Green Mile, Unforgiven) received the Lifetime Achievement in Producing Award. The highlight and surprise to us both was when they announced the winner of the SiTV search for non-scripted T.V. shows was LATIN LOVER. We were elated! Our next surprise came when we won the Loteria, it was a 2500.00 cash prize- all conference attendees had a chance to win. It was the first year NALIP had a Loteria. We came out the big winners of the night.

As first year conference goers and first year members of the new Boston chapter, NALIP has been really motivating for young beginners like ourselves. It meant a lot for us at our first NALIP conference to find out that there is access for Latinos in this industry. It was encouraging that the speakers and most everyone else at the conference, was open to and encouraging networking, forming relationships and creating opportunities for entrance into the industry. We want to thank Kathryn Galan who has been so helpful and a guiding force. Also Octavio Marin, Mateo Nagassi, and Erick Garcia and everyone else at NALIP. REDBONES and LATIN LOVER is only the beginning for us as we have a slate of projects. See you NALIPsters next year. Ciao.

Check us out at www.AdamsHouseProductions.com.

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