Diego Cantu, Emmy Award Winning Screenwriter and Producer - With more than 17 years Entertainment and Marketing Experience, working with various Fortune 500 clients and Film and TV Studios, Diego made a name for himself in the cut-throat world of advertising, winning prestigious awards as Cannes, Clios and Emmy's. In 2005 he left the world of advertising and became the Head of Content and Marketing for Panamax Latin America where he developed and produced movies like LA MUJER DE ME HERMANO and SALVANDO AL SOLDADO PEREZ.In 2015 he partnered up with Alex García and together they created the TV Division for AG Studios, producing shows like SENOR AVILA for HBO Latin America and DIOS INC for Cinemax. In 2017 he joined Greg Grunberg (STAR WARS, HEROES) and Brad Savage (Universal Studios Vice President of Theatrical Creative) to create production company Bandwagon.Cantu is a member of the PGA Diversity Fellowship and a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, his scripts have been showcased on the Blacklist and he has won numerous screenplay competitions including TIFF and Morbido Film Fest. David Zannoni, International Business Specialist, Fintage House David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. Guillermo Olivo, Director and Documentarian Guillermo Olivo is an accomplished, results driven, award-winning director with over 20 years of experience producing television specials for the biggest hispanic TV networks in the U.S. With an eye for original content, he has recently branched out into documentary filmmaking. Currently Emmy award nominated, some of Guillermo's recent projects include the "Nuestra Navidad" Musical TV special at Rockefeller Center, 'Plastic Crack' - a documentary series on Amazon Video about what triggers adults to become toy collectors, and Take A Ride: Miami Edition - a documentary which is slated for release in early 2022. With a proven track record in directing, film and TV broadcast productions, documentaries, live entertainment, broadcast operations, production management, promotional content development and execution. Full Bio »
For Hispanic Heritage Month (or Latinx Heritage Month), it's important to reflect on the contributions made by the Latinx community, consider the progress made and the work that still needs to be done to empower and raise up Latinx voices. This is especially true for the film and TV industry. Incredible work has been done in front of and behind the camera recently that showcases Latinx talent and culture, including films like COCO, ROMA and IN THE HEIGHTS and shows like VIDA, ON MY BLOCK, and more. And as the industry strives for more inclusiveness and equity, this is the time for more Latinx talent to share their voices and their stories around the world.
But more than just celebrating accomplishments, it's important we take stock of where we are today. To continue creating change in the industry, we must review what representation exists and what is lacking, what is being made and watched, both in America and in Spanish-speaking countries, and how Latinx creatives can best find their foot in the door.
Therefore, in honor of Latinx Heritage Month, Stage 32 has partnered with some of the industry's top leaders from both the U.S. and Latin markets who are dedicated to elevating the voices of the next generation of Latinos in entertainment. Together, we will be hosting a FREE no-holds-barred panel and discussion where our experts will discuss trends in the Spanish-speaking market, opportunities for bilingual content, language barriers in the U.S. and how to overcome them, and how to shorten your path to success.
Plus we'll have an exclusive Q&A where YOU will have the opportunity to ask any questions you'd like.
We'll see you there!
Diego Cantu, Emmy Award Winning Screenwriter and Producer
Guillermo Olivo, Director and Documentarian
David Zannoni, International Business Specialist, Fintage House
Top Latinx Leaders in Film and TV
Q: What is the format of the Hispanic Heritage Panel & Conversation?
A: Stage 32's Hispanic Heritage Panel will be a 75 minute panel with three panelists who will answer questions from the audience. This will take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.
Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend live, you will be able to communicate directly with the panelists during their panels.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer
Q: What if I cannot attend the live panel?
A: If you cannot attend the panel live, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast after the fact, including the Q&A.
Q: Will I have access to the panel afterward to re-watch?
A: Yes! After signing up for the summit, you will have on-demand access to the full recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
As the world becomes flatter and technology brings us closer together, opportunities for international cooperation continue to abound. For producers or creatives looking to find or bolster their next indie project, there’s a huge amount of potential in joining forces with companies or teams from other countries and pooling your resources together, creating something larger than the sum of its parts. Forming an international co-production can give you access to more funding and financing opportunities, more access to locations, actors and crew, and more sales and distribution opportunities after the film is finished. But while international co-productions can reap great rewards, they also present unique challenges. After all, each country has its own set of rules and regulations, its own red tape, and its own processes for getting things done. Navigating this transnational world requires a set of skills and wherewithal that can be hard earned but is hugely valuable. International co-productions are becoming more common in both mainstream cinema and the indie space. But while it yields results, it’s not a science. Collaboration never is. If you have your sights set outwards and are interested in working across country lines to create your next film, be prepared for some unique hurdles. For one, how do you even get started? How do you find international talent or partners in the first place? And once you find them, how do you woo them into working with you? How do you manage financing and how do you make compromises that make all parties happy? After all, collaboration is challenging no matter what, but working with people in another country, people who might not even share the same first language as you, amps that challenge up to another level. Birgit Kemner is a French-German producer who has headed up successful co-productions for nearly a decade. All her productions have been selected and awarded in renowned festivals such as the Cannes or Venice Film Festival. Birgit was previously Head of Marketing and Festivals at the MK2 group and has worked on international releases of over 50 films directed by filmmakers such as Gus van Sant (ELEPHANT, LAST DAYS, PARANOID PARK), Olivier Assayas (SUMMER HOURS) and Gela Babluani (13 TZAMETI - Lion of the Future at Venice, Jury Prize at Sundance and European Discovery at the European Film Awards) as well as numerous international film retrospectives of directors such as Charlie Chaplin, François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol. Birgit is bringing her years of successful co-production experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Birgit will use her extensive background to walk you through every step of creating a successful international co-production. She will begin by discussing tips on how to choose good projects in the first place and how to identify the right partners for you and your vision. She’ll teach you how to network and attract partners, especially in international markets when you often have ten minutes or less to make an impression. Birgit will then go over the challenges of funding and the resources available, especially in European markets. She will then talk about strategies and tips for your transnational partnership to survive and thrive, including tools to communicate, effective contracts, cash flow schedule, and how to determine who does what when. Finally, Birgit will delve into steps to take after the film is complete to bring it to the international market, get it into festivals, and optimize both marketing and sales. Simply put, you will be learning from one of the best. Birgit will illustrate all of these points by using two of her own films as case studies, HUMAN CAPITAL, which played in competition at Tribeca Film Festival, and EL ARDOR, which was an official selection at Cannes Film Festival. Praise for Birgit's webinar: "Birgit gave me more information about international co-productions than I even knew existed. I now feel totally prepared and energized to tackle my next project" -James R. "Great slides and great information!" - Marisé S. "Awesome! Birgit covered the bases and inspired me to look outside the box." -Clint A. "Very informative, helpful information and guidance to take our next step into making our film. Thank you!" -Anastasia C.
Having a known or in-demand actor in your independent film can make all the difference in whether it succeeds or not. A name actor gives your film a sense of legitimacy, which attracts new investors and more interested distributors. It also gives your film more opportunities for press and buzz, and will convince more people to watch it once it is released. That famous actor is very likely what you need to clinch your film, actually get it made, and have it ultimately find an audience and a home. But there’s a big, glaring problem with this truth: You need a name actor to get funding, but you need that funding in order to get the name actor. It ends up being a vicious circle, a catch-22 that can come across as frustratingly insurmountable, a barrier for entry that no independent filmmaker can get beyond. Let’s not mince words. Landing high level talent for your film is HARD, especially if your funding hinges on that actor saying yes. But at the same time, this isn’t the unsolvable puzzle it may at first seem. It comes down to finding the right investors and giving them what they need to say yes. This means pulling out all of the stops, preparing correctly, and doing the hard work. You’ll never be the only filmmaker going after top level talent, but you might be one of the few who’s able to do it the right way. First, it’s vital to understand what the “right way” actually is and what you need to know to do this right. Acquiring a talent is always going to be a hustle, but knowing what it takes and how to navigate this world can give you a serious edge. Independent feature film producer Franco Sama has produced an impressive array of over twenty independent feature films including cult favorite GUNS, GIRLS AND GAMBLING starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook, which was released theatrically acquired by Universal Pictures. Other films Franco has produced include; BLACK LIMOUSINE starring David Arquette, Vivica A. Fox and Bijou Phillips, TOOTH AND NAIL starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, THE PENITENT MAN, starring Lance Henriksen and Andrew Keegan and PAID, starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti. Franco’s company Samaco Films continues to fund and develop independent films from burgeoning filmmakers. After nearly two decades of experience in film finance, distribution and packaging, Franco has come to understand how to crack the code and attract top level talent to independent films. He’s ready to share what he’s learned exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Franco will go in-depth on how exactly an independent filmmaker can find both cast and funding for their project. He will begin by explaining what budget range you should be aiming for to allow you to acquire the talent you’re looking for. He’ll then teach you the steps you must take before reaching out to either talent or investors. He will explain how to tap into an investor’s mindset and use it to your advantage, including why it might be easier for you to raise $5 million than $500,000, and how you should frame your project as an opportunity for investors. He’ll explain what development funding is, how it works, and why it’s now necessary in today’s landscape. Next, he will delve into how you should be building a strong team for your project before you start approaching talent. He’ll lay out the seven critical people you will need to bring on from the beginning, why you need an executive producer, how to choose the “right” director and casting director, and whether you can attract major talent as a first time director. Franco will explain the importance of acquiring international sales estimates and will lay out what your presentation deck to investors should look like to find funding and gain the cast you’re looking for. He will also talk about how pre-sales work and how many you need to be seen as successful. He’ll then start talking about the actual casting process, including how to create a realistic actor’s wish list, deciding between “A-List” and “B-List” actors and whether or not they pass Franco’s “Parentheses Test”. He’ll explain casting with an eye towards sales and then explain the difference between letters of intent, letters of commitment, and phone verification when going after talent. He’ll also break down contingency investments and how to know when to employ deferment and back-end offers with actors. Franco will explain how to make legitimate offers to actors and agents and how to ensure they’re never empty offers. He’ll go into how “pay or play” works in this world and why going out too early to actors can destroy your casting choices. Finally Franco will explain how you can use tax incentives to help with casting. Expect to leave with a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the steps you need to take to bring on your dream actor. Praise for Franco's Stage 32 Webinar "One word - Invaluable." - Larry S. “Head & shoulders above the usual webinars on film distribution and finance. Franco actually knows his stuff and has a track record to back it up. Really good presentation.” – Scott B. This was incredibly illuminating and really entertaining at the same time. I'm so glad I watched this" -Glenda T. Wow. I cannot believe how much I learned from this webinar. Franco is the best. -Terrence R.
Putting together a project can be complicated. The amount of information to sift through, from guild requirements and guidelines to union rules and even whether to go union or non-union can be overwhelming, confusing and intimidating. For filmmakers, producers and other creatives looking to control their own content, navigating the guilds and the unions can be so daunting, it pushes back production and/or any forward momentum your project might have. Allow us to help demystify, simplify the guilds and unions landscape and get you on your way to doing what you want to most, making your film, TV or digital project. With independent productions on the rise, it's more important than ever to know how to handle your budget and schedule accordingly, and that begins with understanding which guilds you'll be working with and how to deal with their rules and regulations. It also means understanding the ins and outs of the unions. Buttoning up all of these important variables early will assure that nothing falls through the cracks, your set runs smoothly, and there are no unpleasant surprises once you hit the distribution and collection phases of your project. Rosi Acosta is a Unit Production Manager, DGA, who has worked on over 75 TV and Film projects and over 100 commercials. She is a valued name in Hollywood as a top UPM who's worked on films such as DRIVEN, SPEED KILLS, IMPRISONED and many more. With over three decades of experience, Rosi has worked internationally with production companies from US, Europe, Russia and Latin America. Rosi began as a casting director 32 years ago in Puerto Rico working for director Marcos Zurinaga at Zaga Films where she became one of the top casting directors in the Island. After working as such for a few years, she wanted to expand her horizons in production moving on to work with the most important TV producer in the Island, Gabriel Suau, in Telemundo-Puerto Rico, where she worked for several years in various TV shows and telenovelas. Rosi will begin by giving you a complete, yet simplified look at the guilds and unions. She will pull back the curtain and discuss the ins and outs and pros and cons of working with the labor organizations. Rosi will go over the differences between unions and guilds and help you decide if you should go union or non-union for your project. You will learn the organizations for above the line - WGAW, WGAE, DGA, SAG/AFTRA and PGA, below the line - IATSE, Teamsters and NLRB, as well as other organizations that work closely with them - ATA, AMPTP, MPAA, ASCAP, CSATF, MPSE and more. In addition you'll learn how to become a member of a union or how to become a signatory production. "Rosi, your 30 years of experience shined through today. You broke down this so it's easily understandable and now I know that my production this year will be union!" - Rachel G. "Awesome explanations of the unions, guilds and organizations. Very comprehensive." - Paul F. "You made this so easy to understand. Thanks Rosi!" - Brandon C. "Putting together my first film as a producer almost made my jump off a cliff. I wish I would have seen this first! What a world of difference it would have made. Thank you, Rosi!" -Marlene D.
You've put in months, maybe years of effort planning, raising funds and shooting your film. You're incredibly proud of your efforts. Now all that remains is getting the film seen and returning some profits to your investors. But what's the best path? Should you enter festivals? Hire a sales agent? Go for theatrical distribution? Attempt to navigate the streaming and VOD platforms? In short, how do you know what's the best route for your film in 2017? Deciding on how to monetize your project can be very complex. With so many options out there it’s sometimes hard to know what is important and what you can skip. This Stage 32 Next Level Webinar will be your one-stop crash course on how to navigate the marketplace! Your host Bradley Gallo, Chief Creative Officer at Amasia Entertainment (known for The Call, Fear, Inc., Mr. Right, Careful What You Wish For, and the award-winning indie The Road Within) will discuss what options are available for your project once it's complete and help you decide if VOD, theatrical, a festival circuit run or hybrid strategy is best for your film. After giving you the lowdown on options, Bradley will quickly discuss the benefits of each and provide you with a gameplan depending on the path you decide to pursue. Whether you’re selling the film yourself, looking for independent representatives to bring on board, or trying to get into a festival, it’s important to know the steps involved in selling a film, no matter your role in the filmmaking process. Indie films are getting produced and distributed every day! It’s time to learn how to take your film to the marketplace and show it to the world! Your host, Bradley has produced a wide variety of films independently, guided some through the festival markets and sold directly to distributors. He will share his knowledge and real-life experiences exclusively with the Stage 32 community! You will walk away with a sense of the marketplace of today including an overview of how to approach the festival circuit, who should/should not rep your film, how to deal with distributors, VOD vs theatrical and so much more!
There are many ways to forge a path toward a directing career in the film industry. But as almost any successful director will tell you, surviving and thriving takes much more than just talent. Packaging, the streaming platforms, and new and intriguing distribution channels have all but upended the independent film world. More and more filmmakers are embracing a DIY (Do It Yourself) mindset and educating themselves on the business - who's making what, what festivals matter, how a producer sees a project, what investors are looking for (and where to find those investors), who's the audience for my film, where can the film live and, most importantly, how can I use this information to build a long, lucrative, and successful career in the film industry. Director Qasim Basir exploded onto the Sundance scene with his film A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.: Love on Election Night. The film received a massive standing ovation at its Sundance premiere which led to a bidding way, a major theatrical release, and enormous critical acclaim. The film not only takes place in once location, but is filmed in single shot. It's a masterclass, and Qasim proved that he is a talent to be reckoned with. The accolades and offers haven't stopped flowing in. Up next for Qasim is to direct the NFL Biopic ‘Hawk’ based on life of Andrew Hawkins. Prior to his Sundance debut, he was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for his film Mooz-Lum, starring Nia Long, Evan Ross & Danny Glover, and premiered at the LA Film Festival with his film Destined starring Jesse Metcalf, Cory Hardrict and Margot Bingham. Qasim has had choices for all of his films as to how they got out into the world and where they were going to live after their release. He's chosen everything from theatrical to VOD releases, and he's learned much along the way. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Qasim is bringing all his knowledge including the wealth of information he learned from the dream Sundance experience to the Stage 32 community. Qasim will dive right into the deep end of the pool to discuss how to navigate this difficult industry and how to keep yourself intact. He will teach you what you'll learn along the way as you become more successful and how to use that knowledge as fuel. He will discuss short filmmaking as a calling card or as proof of concept of something bigger. He will show you how to identify and engage financiers and production companies. Then, Qasim will delve into the filmmaking process including how casting comes down to understanding the 3 P's. He will discuss pre-production, voice, tone, story, performance & camera. He will teach you how to make decisive and confident creative choices. And he will teach you how to deal with failure and disappointment, but also how to deal with success. "People will tell you many different things in this business, but none is better than when you find what's actually right for you. Let me help get you there." - Qasim Basir Praise for Qasim "I saw A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. at Sundance. The movie is brilliant and watching Qasim during the Q&A it became clear that he is as well. To be able to learn from him here on Stage 32 is such a gift. Inspiration on a whole other level." - Monique T. "Genius in every way." - Tyler K. "Qasim is my hero." - Mikael F. "Another home run for Stage 32. A teacher above and beyond worthy of the subject matter. More please!" - Imani L.
Exclusive to Stage 32! Workshop a monologue from an Emmy-winning show (BARRY) with an award-winning actor from the Emmy-winning ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK! It takes a lot to find success as an actor. It is, after all, one of the emotionally hardest jobs out there and involves facing constant rejection, putting yourself out there, being vulnerable for strangers. And with overwhelming competition, roles can be scarce, which makes it even harder to sustain a career. Yet being an actor can also be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences, especially for those with the passion. Experienced actors know that finding success involves looking past the obstacles and built-in challenges and instead looking inward. Even with difficulties standing in your way, there are always ways to improve yourself and your craft to not only find more work, but to enjoy it more as well. It’s easy for actors to get so wrapped up in the industry and the system, in who they know and the projects they’re being turned down for that they forget to instead work on themselves and their craft. Yet it’s never too late to start. Investing this type of energy in self-improvement over more negative or cynical practices will unquestionably help you and your career. There are a number of techniques and strategies you can apply to your own life and your own craft to improve as an actor and lead to opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise found. Practices like line memorization, calming your nerves, and moving forward with the right mindset can truly make all the difference. There’s no time like the present to explore these techniques. Alysia Reiner is an award-winning actress best known as the villainous warden Natalie "Fig" Figueroa on Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK for all 7 seasons, and won a SAG Award as part of the cast. She also stars as Sunny on the critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning BETTER THINGS on FX and Hulu and Kiki Rains on HBO’s THE DEUCE. She both starred in and produced the Sundance Film Festival hit EQUITY and Tribeca Film Festival favorite EGG. A few other recent adventures include getting naked in an Emmy Award winning episode of Comedy Central’s BROAD CITY and going head to head against Viola Davis’ Annalise on the ABC/Shonda Rhimes series HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Alysia has been invited to speak at The White House, The United Nations, Google, Cannes Lion, Women's Media Summit, Collision, and countless film festivals and other events about breaking barriers for women in all fields, specifically the entertainment industry. Alysia has led a long, successful career as an in-demand actress largely by working on her craft, her mindset, and other strategies for success, and she's excited to share her lessons learned with the Stage 32 community. Alysia will share her secrets tips and tools that she has learned from booking her first commercial to being on 7 seasons of award-winning must watch television. She will cover everything from acting techniques (learning lines, calming nerves, follow up) to mindset tips to business tools. Plus, Alysia will run an exclusive monologue workshop, something she usually only offers in private coaching environments. She will choose volunteers to workshop a monologue from the Emmy-winning show BARRY! Once you sign up you will be sent the monologue we'll be workshopping in class so you can practice. Let Alysia help you reset as an actor and leave eager and ready to get to the next level in your career!