Latinx directors Alberto Belli (The House of Flowers), Aurora Guerrero (13 Reasons Why, Gentefied), Joel Novoa (Blood and Treasure, Arrow) and Diego Velasco (Orange is the New Black) have launched LatinxDirectors.com, the first site that is specific to Latinx episodic and film directors.
The site focuses on creating a simple user experience for both sides of the pipeline. Studio executives, producers, showrunners and agents will be able to find directors of all genres with specific heritage, specialties, and levels of experience. In addition, users can easily watch reels and access current representation. It’s essentially a valuable resource to seek out creators of Latinx descent.
Velasco said that the idea for Latinx Directors came about a year ago when the founders were sharing similar experiences about executives complaining that there were no Latinx directors to hire for their shows even though they knew so many that were ready to work. They started gathering names of talented Latinx directors and aimed to make it easy for executives to find these “unicorns” that have remained hidden in the open.
“Despite Latinos being 18% of all Americans and 25% of all Gen Z, they are less than 5% of the directors in Hollywood. Most studios keep using the excuse that they can’t find the talent,” said Belli. “Tired of hearing this, we decided to launch Latinx Directors.”
In just a few weeks, the site has garnered support from prominent directors from film and TV including Phil Lord (The Lego Movie), Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe), Patricia Riggen (Jack Ryan), Gloria Calderon Kellett (One Day at a Time), Jorge Gutierrez (Book of Life), Zetna Fuentes (Ray Donovan), among others.
In addition, the site has launched with the hashtag #NoMoreExcuses which will amplify its message of raising the percentage of Latinx Directors in Hollywood as well as independent cinema.
“We want to create a community where members help each other,” said Novoa. “This database is just the start to that journey. This is a place where we can elevate each other while bringing more inclusivity to our industry during these unprecedented times. Diverse directors are generating great content every day, and it is sad for us to see our industry missing so much of that talent”.
Guerrero said she was drawn to the idea of the database because it was a space where Latinx creators can find other Latinx creators. “Many of us are also writers and producers who will soon be in a position to hire,” she said. “And I’m also committed to making sure our database reflects the diversity within our community of directors. We are of African and Indigenous descent. We are women, queer, transgender and or US-born and raised. The Latinx community is far from monolithic. This is what I want the industry to feel when they visit our database.”
There are certain guidelines to be included in the database. Directors must have at least one episode of streaming or TV, a distributed feature, or a short that has participated in a top tier film festival to be able to qualify to be on the site. Created by Latinx programmers lead by Oscar Labrada, the site counts with a verification service that is able to certify that every director’s information is valid after the submission.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.