AUSTIN, TX – According to mainstream press, the “sleeping giant,” Latinos, are awakening, inspiring the first Time magazine cover in Spanish. But, despite such validating nods, mainstream television and film are slow to inclusivity. Desperate Housewives’ creator Marc Cherry was asked to adapt a telenovela for American television and disregarding decades of Latinas being pigeonholed into roles of servitude in film and TV, Cherry chose “Devious Maids,” as his vehicle, without irony.
So, when Lionsgate Films asked Latinitas if they’d like to participate in a free /special
screening of Girl in Progress starring Eva Mendes on Sat., April 28, 11am at Cinemark Tinseltown 17, the non-profit focused on empowering young Latinas using media and technology jumped at the opportunity to screen a smart and genuine rite of passage story about a young Latina. Director Patricia Riggen and Austin’s own Spy Kids franchisee Elizabeth Avellón will be present for a
Q&A after the film.
Girl in Progress depicts some genuine challenges of American “Latinidad” including teen and single parenthood, but addresses it in the later years, where mother is providing, flourishing and independent and while still growing up herself, ultimately wants her daughter to feel loved and provided for. The true focus of the film is daughter, Ansiedad’s, clever pursuit of a rite of passage as dictated by American
literature. Though, she gets in over her head in what begins as a game, Ansiedad is smart, cynical and mocks the typical American “geek to chic” ” rite of passage story. She’s a brainy Latina and Latinitas knows this will resonate with the hundreds of girls in Latinitas’ clubs and the thousands who read Latinitasmagazine.org.
“Frankly, it’s so rare to see Latinas as the heroes/leads in movies and to have a young female driving the film’s plot, who is book-smart, ambitious and beautiful is tremendous and extremely meaningful to tens of thousands of Latina and other girls who do not see their identity, culture and face reflected in cinema.” Said Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Latinitas Co-Founder and COO. “Young Latinas are
these fastest growing youth population, yet Hollywood continues to insist a monolithic representation of teen youth in film – usually White.”
Latinitas, (www.latinitasmagazine.org) the first digital magazine made for and by young Latinas with programming focused on empowering Hispanic girls and teens, has been a long-time proponent of not
only publishing and broadcasting positive and more accurate portrayals of Latinas in its publications and social media platforms, but is also busy cultivating these voices in clubs, camps and workshops that have served over 20,000 girls and teens in Central and West Texas, as well as New Mexico.
Latinitas’ club members educated in media, cultural and technology literacy, will blog, vlog and write articles about Girl in Progress for Latinitasmagazine.org and its own social media platform: MyLatinitas.com after the screening. Girl in Progress officially releases on May 12.