Social Impact04 October 2021
Earlier this year, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) teamed up with Netflix to create the , an incubator program that provides four writers/or directors who identify as women of color with the opportunity to develop and produce an original short film. This partnership is part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, an effort to help create more behind-the-camera opportunities for underrepresented communities within the TV and film industries.
Today we’re introducing the inaugural cohort of filmmakers and projects selected for the program: Eileen Alvarez with “Mama Retreat,” Caroline Guo with “Firecracker,” Eunice Levis with “Ro and the Stardust,” and Angelita Mendoza with “The Blue Drum.”
From a tense journey into motherhood, one family's hidden past, and relationships that make us confront unanswered questions, these shorts test the limits of our perceived reality. The four filmmakers and their films bring to life stories of love, resistance and loss. These projects also showcase the unique directing styles, genres, and artistic visions that these artists offer through their work, and we’re thrilled to be part of their creative journeys through this program.
Since July, all four women have received production support and mentorship from industry professionals throughout the production process. The films are now set for a special showcase at NALIP’s upcoming 2021 Latino Media Fest on October 13th-14th. As the filmmakers continue to showcase their films, they will also meet industry executives through NALIP’s Access program as a way of continuing to build their careers.
Eunice Levis (“Ro and the Stardust”)
Ro and the Stardust follows a teen and her terminally ill grandmother as they build a rocket ship they plan to launch to outer space.
Eunice Levis is a first-generation Dominican-American, born and raised in The Bronx, New York.
She is currently developing several projects that combine her love of horror, sci-fi, thriller, and fantasy, many through a diasporic lens. She recently wrote and directed “InVade,” a sci-fi short film, which made the second round of the 2020 Sundance Episodic Lab with its pilot script. Her urban gothic horror feature script “Keep” also made the second round consideration for the 2021 Sundance Feature Development program. Eunice's latest work, a folklore horror micro short titled “Fell Ends” was an Extraordinary Selection at NYX’s 13 Minutes of Horror Film Festival and streamed on Shudder. Her upcoming film, an urban fantasy titled “Ro and the Stardust,” is part of the 2021 NALIP Latino Lens Women of Color Short Film Incubator, sponsored by Netflix. Eunice is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment.
Caroline Guo (“Firecracker”)
On the night of their first anniversary in Beijing, a young Chinese woman (Annie Wang) is confronted with a life-changing decision: whether she should keep herself and her Asian-American girlfriend (Same Lee) hidden from her traditional family with the upcoming Chinese New Year…or live out her dream as her true self.
Like any good Chinese-American daughter, Carolie promised her parents she’d be a doctor or a lawyer. Only to become a diehard film nerd. Finalist for the 2020 Women in Film x Black List Feature Film Lab with “Firecracker” and semifinalist for the Universal Writers Program, Caroline wrote, directed and produced the award-winning short film “The Test” in Beijing, China. Having lived in Atlanta, Chicago, Paris, London and Beijing, Caroline is now based in Los Angeles and most interested in telling personal stories, especially those of Asian and Asian-American women, to shed light on larger social issues.
Angelita Mendoza (“The Blue Drum”)
A grieving woman is tormented by memories of a mother that abandoned her as a child, as she tried to mourn her dead father, who raised her on his own. The house calls for her to discover the secrets kept from her.
Angelita Mendoza is an award-winning, Mexican-American film director based in New York City but raised in San Diego. Her passion for film started at her father’s video stores when she was a child. Angelita’s films have screened at HollyShorts, New York Film Festival, and San Diego Latino Film Festival, among others. “The Blue Drum” will be Angelita’s fourth short film as a director.
Eileen Álvarez (“Mama Retreat”)
An expectant Latinx mother attends an all-inclusive retreat for mothers in the woods, where all her deepest fears about motherhood are realized.
Eileen Álvarez is a Latinx writer/actor/director who grew up in San Francisco, and was raised by political activist parents who fled Argentina in exile. Eileen received a degree in Philosophy from UCLA, an M.F.A from the Actors Studio, and made her directorial debut with Finding Mabel, an award-winning feature about Argentina's 30,000 disappeared. Her sophomore film Grit won several festival awards, and was picked up by Elizabeth Banks' platform Whohaha. In 2020, Eileen's comedy pilot Güera took home first place during the Page International Screenwriting Awards, and in the same year she joined the writers' room for the adult animated series Close Enough for HBOMax.