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Blockbuster Bows Latino Film Festival, Writing Competition

24 Mar, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel


Seeking to establish a stronger link with Latino consumers, Blockbuster Inc. March 24 said it would co-sponsor a Latino film festival and national screenwriting competition.

Together with Maya Entertainment, Blockbuster will host Maya Independent, a 10-city film festival. The Dallas-based DVD rental company will also promote screenwriting competition Project Goldenlight.

The films entries, which have not been disclosed, will include both domestic and international titles and feature high-profile actors as well as Latino filmmakers and themes.

“Historically these films might not have been released theatrically and as a result not be seen in the format for which they were created,” said Jose Martinez, Jr., EVP of Maya Entertainment. “We are happy to offer this unique opportunity to filmmakers who want to showcase their work and to afford the U.S. audience an opportunity to enjoy high-quality films.”

Project Goldenlight will select an original screenplay from a pool of contestants and produce a movie developed by Maya. Depending on the output, a final product would be released theatrically and then have an exclusive rental window at participating Blockbuster stores.

The selection committee includes Moctesuma Esparza, film producer and CEO of Maya Entertainment; Alexis Garcia of Endeavor talent agency; Keith Leopard, director of film content for Blockbuster; El Mayimbe, story analyst and script reviewer at LatinoReview.com; Hernany Perla, director of development at Lionsgate; and Roberto Orci, producer (“Fringe,” Eagle Eye) and screenwriter (Transformers, Star Trek).

Project Goldenlight is slated to launch in the spring (www.latinoreview.com), in association with The National Association of Latino Independent Producers.

“We recognize the growing Hispanic marketplace and the massive opportunity to further capture those consumers with the launch of these projects,” Leopard said.

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