Edward James Olmos' Latino Film Institute and Latasha Gillespie, Global Head of DEIA for Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios: We should put more focus on partnerships with Latino creators
Maribel Ramos-Weiner|19 de octubre de 2022

Amazon Studios has closed two entertainment collaborations - one with Edward James Olmos' Latino Film Institute and another with Beatriz Acevedo's LA Collab - that promote a culture of inclusion in Hollywood.

“We believe it's important to address the pipeline at both ends. We are thrilled to begin working with the Latino Film Institute and the LACollab to strengthen Hollywood's pipeline for Latino talent. Through the Youth Cinema Project’s Alumni Program, we are helping provide young people with hands-on access and learning opportunities across the industry. Our partnership with the LA Collab will help increase representation by matching Latino workers in the industry with jobs and end the statement ‘We can't find any Latinos to work in Hollywood,’" said Latasha Gillespie, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA), Amazon Studios.

Gillespie said that while they have seen an increase in Latino representation on screen and even behind the camera as script writers and directors, they are aware of the need to focus more on partnerships with Latino creators. “Creators are important because they decide what stories are told and who tells them. There is work to be done to improve Latino representation both behind camera and behind the scenes and it starts at home, with us. We are raising the bar and working hard to cover the growth areas we have identified by expanding and strengthening the Latine Pipeline through partnerships and programs that seek to remove the entry’s barriers,” she emphasized.

She recalled that in 2021 they created their Inclusion policy and playbook, “a concerted effort to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in our content and production assets. We don't publish our Inclusion Policy and playbook because we have it all figured out. Quite the contrary. We did it to increase our responsibility and promote more transparency. We also made it accessible to the entire industry, to adopt and adapt, because the only way we can increase representation in the industry is to do it together.”

Several examples where they have managed to increase Latino representation include: blanket deals with Latino creators, including Gloria Calderón Kellett (With love, Horror of Dolores Roach), Diego Boneta, Matthew López (director, Red, white and royal blue), Juliany Taveras (screenwriter of Con amor, Félix para siempre), Brian Otano (Pánico), Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal. “We also have amazing on-screen Latino talent like Ismael Cruz Cordova, (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power), Taylor Zakhar-Perez (Red, White and Royal Blue), Michael Pena (A Million Miles Away), Laz Alonso (The boys) and Rudy Mancuso (Music).”