Independent Producers Invited to Compete for Funding on Latino-Oriented Projects

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 17, 2005 -- Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), a non-profit organization funded by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, announced today its seventh annual Open Call. The initiative invites independent producers to submit proposals for funding on Latino-themed programs or series. This year’s deadline is June 6, 2005 at 5:00 p.m. PT.

Concurrently, LPB announced that 2002 Open Call winner The Devil’s Miner will be showcased at the Amnesty International Film Festival. A three-time award winner, the film was made possible by LPB, the only U.S. company to finance the documentary. The Devil’s Miner will launch the 2005-2006 National Outreach Campaign for the Emmy award-winning PBS series Independent Lens at a special screening on May 26, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. PT at the Director’s Guild of America in Los Angeles. The film will be honored by the City of West Hollywood with a proclamation for its contribution to the dialogue on the plight of children in developing countries.

“Open Call is one of the highlights of the year for us. There is so much talent in the Latino community that is virtually untapped. The proposals we receive from these gifted producers, directors and writers are truly extraordinary. It is a privilege to be able to give their work an outlet, to help these worthwhile projects come to fruition,” said Luca Bentivoglio, executive director, LPB.

Set in the silver mines of Bolivia, 2002 Open Call recipient The Devil’s Miner follows two adolescent brothers, raised by a single mother, in their daily struggle to stave off hunger and poverty. Their work in the mines is juxtaposed to their lives as teenagers in an inspiring and moving story of survival.

“The Devil’s Miner immediately caught our attention by the compelling nature of its storyline,” said Mr. Bentivoglio. “During our annual Open Call for Latino-themed productions, Producer Kief Davidson presented us with such a riveting treatment and proposal, that he won the funding for his very worthwhile and thought-provoking film. We were glad we took a chance on this project and made it happen. This is the kind of quality production LPB looks for and is thrilled to support.”

In its seven years funding nascent productions and series, LPB’s Open Call has financially backed and supported numerous award winners. Included among them are:

· Farmingville: The Sundance Film Festival 2004, Special Jury Prize; CineFestival 2004, Best Documentary; San Diego Latino Film Festival 2004, Best Documentary; Council of Foundations 2005-Henry Hampton Award

· Señorita Extraviada: The Sundance Film Festival 2002, Special Jury Prize; Special Prize of the Jury; Prix Documentaire Signis Prize of the press 2004; Festival Internacional de Cinema Drets Humans 2003, Golden Gandhi for Best Film; Amnesty International First Award to an Artist 3003.

· The Devil’s Miner: Tribeca 2005, Emerging Doucmentary Filmmaker Special Mention Award; Hot Docs 2005, Honorable Mention in the Best International Documentary category and the Fipresci Award for Best First Documentary; Mexico City Film Festival 2005, the Humanitarian Award


Created in 1998 by Edward James Olmos and Marlene Dermer, Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is a non-profit organization funded by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. LPB’s mission is to support the development, production, post-production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural television that is representative of or addresses issues of particular interest to U.S. Latinos. These programs are produced for dissemination to public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. Mr. Olmos is presently LPB’s Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Contact: Maite Saralegui
323 650 2236