Shawna Baca: Up-and-coming Director

Professional Latinos in Entertainment helps emerging filmmaker with support, resources and financing

By Cecy Galvan
Published on LatinoLA: March 12, 2008

Shawna Baca: Up-and-coming Director

Professional Latinos in Entertainment (PLIE) launched its Filmmaker Discovery Program by choosing Shawna Baca, a Los Angeles based filmmaker, as the first recipient of the "New Media Director Award." The program is designed to help emerging Latino filmmakers with support, resources and financing for their projects. With support from Anheuser-Busch Cos, Inc., the award was given to Shawna Baca for her past success and to assist her with the resources to direct a 30 second-3 minute commercial spec to advance her body of work.

This commitment shows the quality and dedication Anheuser-Busch is making to help fresh, emerging filmmakers to create new media content. With the award, PLIE allows them to hone their own unique style. Shawna Baca has received commitments to star in the commercial from actors Jesse Garcia (Quinceanera) and Andrew Keegan (7th Heaven). She is also receiving a significant amount of support from emerging Latinos in entertainment. Melissa Ciampa, of Spittn Image, is set to produce. Production is set to commence in Los Angeles, CA on March 10, 2008.

Already an award winning filmmaker, Shawna Baca wrote her first screenplay "Impersonal Impression," and won the 2002 Slamdance Anarchy Competition. Her 2003 directorial debut, "Rose's Garden," has won four awards to date, including Best Film and Best Actress (Tippi Hedren) from the L.A. TV Short Film Festival. After "Rose's" success she wrote and directed "3:52," a 35mm short about a woman's battles with the inner demons that haunt her. It premiered at Sony Picture's Backstage Theater in L.A. and stars a pre-"Ugly Betty" America Ferrera. Panavision granted Shawna with the New Filmmaker's Grant and was awarded a 35mm camera package. "3:52" has since then won Audience Choice Award at the 2006 San Diego Women's Film Festival and the BEST OF the 2006 National Association for Latin Independent Producer. In addition to her numerous awards, Shawna Baca will be receiving this year's La Opinion's Mujeres Destacadas award on March 27, 2008 for her work and contribution in the community of Arts and Culture.

Professional Latinos in Entertainment (PLIE) is a 501c (3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting, informing, and acknowledging Latinos in entertainment and promoting diversity within the community. PLIE's mission is to support, educate, and guide talented and emerging Latinos into becoming professionals in entertainment, arts, and media. PLIE has three main branches of support; Education, Outreach, and the Filmmaker Discovery Program. PLIE also creates the necessary bridge between talented Latinos and Hollywood by making real connections for Latinos. Through workshops, informative panels, industry mixers, mentorship, and the Filmmaker Discovery Program, diverse artists are given the platform to hone valuable skills set and access to otherwise hard to reach Hollywood professionals - all essential to their education and career success. For more information about the Professional Latinos In Entertainment, log on to www.prolatinos.org

Professional Latinos In Entertainment's (PLIE) filmmaking initiative: "Filmmaker Discovery Program" is designed to discover an up-and coming filmmaker from a diverse background and provide support in realizing their dream of becoming an expressive and successful filmmaker. There are two awards under the program, Emerging New Media Director Award and Emerging Film Director Award.

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