Hispanicize 2014 is partnering with Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) to host its biggest night of film April 1 at South Florida’s most historic movie theater, the 1920s era Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. This is the second year in a row that Hispanicize and MIFF are joining forces to help promote the works of U.S. Latino filmmakers.

“We’re honored to continue this great partnership with MIFF and to be able to tell our Hispanicize 2014 attendees that this year we’re going to take them to the movies to the Gusman Center, a cultural crown jewel of South Florida and one of the most majestic movie houses in the country”

“We’re honored to continue this great partnership with MIFF and to be able to tell our Hispanicize 2014 attendees that this year we’re going to take them to the movies to the Gusman Center, a cultural crown jewel of South Florida and one of the most majestic movie houses in the country,” said Hispanicize Film Showcase Director Calixto Chinchilla. “Rest assured, we will marshal all our resources to give that opening night event a lot of red carpet media and social media love.”

“Hispanicize has done a great job of highlighting the cultural contributions Latinos are making to culture and entertainment,” said Jaie Laplante, executive director of MIFF. “We’re proud to be uniting forces and audiences behind our shared love of film.”
The Hispanicize 2014 Red Carpet Night will feature a special night of food, drinks as well as celebrities from a U.S. Latino film that will soon be named. As they did last year with the premiere of “Filly Brown”, Hispanicize 2014 and MIFF are collaborating to bring strong media and social media attention to the film.

Built in 1926, the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center features an enchanting Mediterranean courtyard with shimmering stars and golden balconies. Majestic turrets and towers suggest another era when performances were events, and grand theaters provided a dreamlike escape from the modern world.

Sponsorship and Registration Information

As of today, announced sponsors include: 3M, Toyota, Google, Burson-Marsteller, Transitions, Fox News Latino, Vme, The Axis Agency, Sensis Agency, Texter and many more brands who will shortly be disclosed. Media partners include Being Latino, NPR’S Latino USA, Latin Heat, Media Moves, El Sol Newspaper and PRODU.

Sponsorship information is available by contacting sponsorship@hispanicizeevent.com or calling 203.364.4779. To reserve a hotel room visit:



(via LatinHeat magazine)

Hispanicize 2014 (www.HispanicizeEvent.com), the nation’s largest gathering of Latino influencers in blogging, journalism, film, marketing, music and tech is now right around the corner April 1-4, 2014.  The 5th anniversary edition is expected to bring more than 1,700 attendees and for the third year in a row will feature a Latino Film Showcase directed by Calixto Chinchilla, founder and emeritus executive director of the New York International Latino Film Festival.

We recently sat down with Hispanicize event founder Manny Ruiz and Calixto to learn what’s in store for Latino filmmakers at Hispanicize 2014.

What is Calixto’s role in this edition of Hispanicize?


Manny: Having Calixto lead our U.S. Latino Film Showcase is a great privilege because he is the biggest advocate I know for Latino filmmakers and he’s got an incredible track record of pioneering the space of film festivals and Hispanic entertainment in general.  We couldn’t be more pleased to work with him because he’s laying down a strong foundation for the evolution of U.S. Latino film at Hispanicize.

Calixto: I want everyone to know that this coming year will be special.  The Hispanicize team and I are working at breakneck speed to build a stronger, more effective and memorable Hispanicize event in 2014.

How has the film portion of Hispanicize evolved?

Calixto: What has evolved is our vision of how to better integrate the film showcase into Hispanicize. We’re pruning the program to strengthen it for the future by taking what worked in last year’s event and enhancing it.   As the largest conference for marketers, bloggers, journalists and influentials, we want to create a stronger synergy between what’s great about Hispanicize and tie it with film.  We are improving at every level from our panels to music events. So, instead of having just film exclusive forums and possibly limiting the audience, you can expect more multifaceted forums that better connect marketers and brands to the world of film.

Manny: One of the biggest things the rest of the Hispanicize event will inject into the film showcase is the synergy Calixto is alluding to.  A perfect example of that is our new partnership with the Latino Startup Alliance because we’re going to provide in-depth sessions on the business of financing film projects, accessing capital and marketing that if attended by filmmakers will help them tremendously.

How will you showcase actual films at Hispanicize 2014?

Calixto: We’re going to showcase feature films and short films in a more strategic and integrated way.  For example, this year, the first day of the event will be a major, event-wide event that will not only be created in partnership with the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) but will also not compete with any other program or activity at Hispanicize 2014.  We had a very successful red carpet opening for Filly Brown with MIFF at Hispanicize 2013 so we know the results will be even greater in 2014 because this will be a focal point event in partnership with MIFF and it will take place at one of Miami’s premier movie theaters.

Manny: The bottom line is that whichever film gets that major red carpet film night is going to have a massive splash because we’re guaranteeing massive media and social media coverage for that film and its stars.  We have been doing film for three years at Hispanicize and we’ve had some tough lessons along the way that we’ve taken to heart on how to vastly improve everything about how our media and social media machine can work in favor of our filmmakers.

Outside of the red carpet night, what else are you doing with feature films and short films?

Calixto: We’re finalizing how many other feature films will be part of this year’s event but what I can tell you is that we will have fewer feature film slots in order to better focus resources and media on those films.  In terms of short films by Latino filmmakers, we will be giving them prominent space inside the event hotel with a dedicated theater room to see the films selected in a looping fashion all four days of the event.  We’re going to curate the shorts for a total run time of approximately 2 hours but attendees will be able to come and go as they please.

Manny: We are passionate about film because this is my true personal passion so for all of you filmmakers who are reading this story just know that Hispanicize 2014, and Hispanicize the social media platform in general – is deeply committed to helping you be successful.  We’re no fools and it’s not because we’re purely altruistic about doing this either.  We know that if we can help you be successful, we will be successful as we ourselves delve more into film.

What will be the focus of the film panels this year?

Calixto: We’ll be announcing these soon but one can expect forums – film and others – that better connect the worlds of marketing, finance and brands.  For example, we will delve into the use of social media for crowd funding and marketing of films specifically.  We will also explore how to tap into influential bloggers to build effective word of mouth strategies that best reach Latino film audiences.  As Latinos are the largest segment of moviegoers in the country, more marketers are looking for ways to integrate their brands in film, as well as share learning’s in reaching this elusive audience.

Manny: Every single day of this intense four-day event will have something to offer filmmakers in terms of content that helps them drive the business and marketing side of their artistic endeavors.  We believe the artistic part is important and we will address parts of that but Hispanicize is about helping Latino filmmakers connecting the business, marketing and digital dots because we can do that with excellence.

How will you provide more marketing and visibility muscle to the films and filmmakers at the event?

Calixto: That’s a big part of what the Hispanicize event platform is about.  A filmmaker can expect a premier platform that not only speaks to them as filmmakers but also connects them with influencers from various sectors from social media, brands, music, journalists, and film. What Hispanicize creates is a unique networking opportunity that filmmakers typically won’t find at a film festival.

Manny: To add to what Calixto said, we are the largest and only multi-industry gathering of Latino content creators.  Period.  That is a huge advantage the Hispanicize event and something we will tenaciously build on.  Beyond that, we have a lot more experience in learning how to create visibility for our filmmakers by leveraging the power of our media and social media partnerships and alliances.  One of the most important tools, for example, that we created in time for Hispanicize 2014 this year is the launch of Hispanicize Wire (www.HispanicizeWire.com).  Hispanicize Wire is an incredible press release, multimedia and social media distribution platform that is extremely affordable and that we believe all filmmakers trying to reach U.S. Hispanics will use to promote their projects.  Hispanicize Wire itself is configured for this and will be widely used at the event and beyond it because it was created with Latino filmmakers in mind.

Is there anything filmmakers can do to get their films in your radar for Hispanicize 2014?

Calixto:  The great news is that we’re not charging for any submissions this year.  If anyone has a film project that they want to submit for consideration – feature or short – they can email me at calixto@hispanicizeevent.com.  Please include a private link to your project, a trailer as well as a synopsis.  We’re looking at films from now through January 31st and will be announcing our film slate by early to mid February.  We have a strong prefence for films that are produced, directed or acted by U.S. Latino filmmakers, which is our niche focus.

Manny: Any film that is selected, be they a feature or short film, will be heavily publicized starting with our Hispanicize Wire platform and continuing with specific entertainment and film media we are guaranteeing in 2014 will be at the event for this.  Obviously not everyone will garner the same attention as others but we think the eco system we’ve developed will be much stronger from the insights and experience we’ve had in doing film at Hispanicize for three years.

The Hispanicize Film Festival brought filmmaking stars Rita Moreno, Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gina Rodriguez, Carlos Ponce, Charo, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Nicolás López and more

Crime drama Mission Park was named the best of show feature length film of this year’s Hispanicize 2013 Film Festival while the event’s best short film award went to Clara Como el Agua.

Mission Park, directed by Bryan Ramirez, is the story of four childhood friends who become caught up in a suspenseful crime drama. Clara Como el Agua, directed by Fernanda Rossi, is a magical story about a girl discovering her own name. Both filmmakers will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

“These filmmakers are the pride and joy of Hispanicize and we are looking forward to supporting these award-winning filmmakers throughout the year long after Hispanicize has ended,” said Manny Ruiz, founder and organizer of the Hispanicize event. Both films were part of a powerful line up of Latino produced films that included the Miami debut and pre-national premiere of Filly Brown and Aftershock, among others.

Among the Hollywood celebrities at this year’s Hispanicize red carpets and sessions were: Oscar winner Rita Moreno, Oscar nominee Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips, Vivica Fox, Nicolás López, Gina Rodriguez, Carlos Ponce, Charo and Jeremy Ray Valdez, among others.

This year’s feature film and documentary selections also included: Blaze You Out, Dreamer and Los Wild Ones. The festival’s other short films were #Postmodem, Fireworks, Vincent Valdez: Excerpts For John, El Cocodrilo, Echo Bear, Reinaldo Arenas and Gabi.

In the spirit of building synergies through collaboration, this year’s festival was created in consultation with an advisory board that included Calixto Chinchilla, founder of the New York International Latino Film Festival; Jaie Laplante, executive director of the Miami International Film Festival and festival co-founder Bel Hernandez, CEO of Latin Heat Media.

Among the presenters of this year’s 19 professional development film sessions and workshops were master class sessions with accomplished documentarian Joe Cardona (Celia the Queen) and Det. Gomez of the hit syndicated reality show “Cheaters”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CitYsSg5hug.

The title sponsor of the event is Procter & Gamble. Other sponsors include: AT&T, Disney Parks, Bing, Telemundo Media, Pandora, Google, Bumble Bee Foods, Tide, NASCAR, Charmin, Lowes, Coca-Cola, MundoFox, Sherwin-Williams, Ford, McDonald’s, The Clorox Company, Maseca, ViSalus, Swiffer, Fender, Radio Shack, Transitions, Avocados of Mexico, UnitedHealthcare, NBC Latino, Yo Soy Segundo, The Axis Agency, Collective Bias, ESPN Deportes, The American Latino Museum, JeffreyGroup, NBCUniversal, Lanugo, Visit Orlando, Fox News Latino, AARP, Business Wire, ASK Media Productions, Steady Image, Sensis Agency, PR Newswire, The Zocalo Group, El Sentinel, BajaLibros.com, The American Latino Museum, Marketwired, the Miami Marlins and The St. Augustine Visitor’s Bureau. Media partners include Latin Heat Media, Getty Images Hispanic, Media Moves, Voxxi, Mamiverse, PRODU and Hispanic Market Weekly.