Walmart and NGL Collective Partner to Support Latino Filmmakers in Breaking Barriers and Making an Impact in Hollywood
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, NGL Collective, the pre-eminent digital media and entertainment destination for Latinos in America, announced a new partnership with Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), the world’s largest retailer. Together, the companies have joined forces to foster the next generation of diverse Latino filmmakers with a groundbreaking incubator.
“Walmart recognizes Latinos are a critical part of this country’s creativity, inspiration, and culture,” said D.J. Vaughn, director of multicultural marketing partnerships at Walmart U.S. “In looking to support this community and amplify authentic experiences, we could think of no better partner than NGL Collective.”
The program will provide eight Latino filmmakers with resources that will help prepare and better position themselves in front of Hollywood studios and producers. The program will also provide mentorship from co-founder of NGL Collective, actor, writer, and producer John Leguizamo, who will bring firsthand experience to elevate the content and skills of those young filmmakers. mitú, which merged with NGL earlier this year, will provide filmmaker mentees access to mitúStudios, based in Los Angeles, California, where they will have the opportunity to work alongside other Latino creators on multiple projects, including the development, production, and editing of their short films. Development materials created include Three-Act Structures, Story Circles, Scripts, Shot Lists, Storyboards, and Production Design Mood Boards.
“Walmart understands Latinos play a critical role in shaping American culture, and mitú is the most authentic, credible destination for them in the United States,” said Joe Bernard, Chief Revenue Officer at NGL Collective. “This partnership continues NGL’s work of helping America’s top companies tap into this community with intention and purpose that matters while delivering results for both businesses and consumers nationwide.”
The program was born out of MAPA: mitú’s Accelerator Program for the Arts, which will take participants through the entire storytelling process, including writing and directing, alongside Chief Creative Officer and award-winning director Ben DeJesus. To further support each mentee, Walmart will provide each of them with a Creator Kit consisting of a GoPro camera, sound equipment, lighting equipment, and more to provide mentees with the resources to keep creating content and perfecting their craft long after the accelerator program’s completion. To make this an even greater experience, John Leguizamo will serve as the celebrity mentor. “I am excited to play a role in the development of these young Latino filmmakers,” said Leguizamo, “and am excited to see firsthand the impact that this program will make in the media and entertainment industry. While there is still progress to be made, these are the kinds of efforts that increase Latinx representation in the entertainment industry in front of and behind the camera. NGL Collective and our mitú platform is more committed than ever to being a part of the solution for more inclusion within the industry.”
As Latinos continue to drive growth in every industry including media and entertainment in Hollywood, they continue to be vastly underrepresented, with only 7% of film leads going to Latino actors, according to the latest UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report. “As a Latino in media, I see the value this program brings to young filmmakers. When I began my career, there wasn’t anything like it and now with the help of our partners at Walmart, we’re delivering the promise of storytelling in the language of each individual’s experiences through their voices and talents,” said Ben DeJesus, Chief Creative Officer at NGL Collective.
The program is an accelerated seven-week film program running from November to January. Eight aspiring filmmakers were chosen from a call for submissions on mitú’s social platforms, as well as from a network of colleges and universities across the nation. Candidates were chosen based on their personal stories and creative vision. Out of 75 submissions, 40 candidates were interviewed to arrive at the final eight.
The selected mentees range from California, New York, Texas, and Virginia. Each aspiring filmmaker brings a unique set of experiences. Examples include a Director’s Assistant on Lucasfilm projects, a Columbia University student studying film, or an apprentice to their wedding videographer father. Each mentee has some familiarity with the entertainment industry, and each of them is aspiring to establish their creative voice and tell their own stories.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better — anytime and anywhere — in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit more than 10,500 stores and numerous eCommerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. With fiscal year 2022 revenue of $573 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, and on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart, on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart, and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/walmart.
About NGL Collective:
The recently merged companies of NGL Collective and mitú are together the leading U.S. Latin media and entertainment company. Combined, they connect advertisers with the Latin audience in language, in culture and in context, produce hundreds of pieces of original content, and have the largest consumer-facing digital footprint for Latinos in America. NGL and mitú are dedicated to authentic, credible reach and messaging for the New Generation Latin majority driving growth in America. No company knows that community better, speaks to them more authentically or has as large a reach as the combined companies of NGL and mitú. Our end-to-end offerings span ad networks, social media, content studios, and business solutions. https://nglcollective.com/
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