Breaking down stereotypes in Hollywood might seem like a lost battle unless you decide to uproot the problem once and for all.
This is what Latinx directors Alberto Belli (The House of Flowers), Aurora Guerrero (13 Reasons Why), Joel Novoa (Arrow), and Diego Velasco (Orange Is the New Black) intend to do through their new Latinx Directors database.
“For years, the conversation repeats itself: Latinos and Latinas are one of the most underrepresented ethnicities in front and behind the camera,” the team explains on its website. “The statistics show it, and it is irrefutable.”
According to The Los Angeles Times, Latinos make up 49% of Los Angeles, 18% of the U.S. population — and 4% of film directors in Hollywood, which implies an implicit erasure of the Hispanic presence behind the scenes.
“Hollywood’s response continues to be, ‘But there’s a lack of Latinx talent’,” the platform continues. “As directors and members of the Latinx community, we know that this is not true. We exist. We decided to create LATINX DIRECTORS, a database that showcases our community of talented Latinx directors who have the experience and are ready to direct.”
The database is intended to function as a directory to link studios and agencies with Latinx directors “in the simplest way possible,” and through a search engine that includes film, T.V., and commercial filmmakers.
Similarly, the team’s goal is to create a network of contacts that will solidify the creative base and break with the myth of the lack of Hispanic talent.
“We want to create a community where members help each other,” Novoa told Deadline last week. “This database is just the start of that journey. This is a place where we can elevate each other while bringing more inclusivity to our industry during these unprecedented times. Diverse directors are generating great content every day, and it is sad for us to see our industry missing so much of that talent.”
The searchable website includes creatives’ reels, as well as allowing them to self-identify by cultural identity/heritage and gender and sexual identities, the Times continues.
“I’m also committed to making sure our database reflects the diversity within our community of directors,” Guerrero told Deadline. “We are of African and Indigenous descent. We are women, queer, transgender, and or U.S.-born and raised. The Latinx community is far from monolithic. This is what I want the industry to feel when they visit our database.”