Leading up to the L’ATTITUDE entrepreneurial conference taking place next week in San Diego — it runs from September 26th through 29th — there’s been a ton of excitement surrounding the upcoming release of the the LATINXT list, curated by entertainment industry veterans Robert Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The complete list of 60 Latinx creatives includes young producers, directors, showrunners, writers, poets, and actors, all who are poised to make their big break — if given the opportunity. “Everyone on the list is out there working, but how do we get this certain writer to be the next showrunner? How do we get an actor to become a full-fledged writer or director,” said director Rodriguez to the The Hollywood Reporter.
The LATINXT List was a natural fit for Rodriguez. “I would get calls all the time from colleagues looking for that next person that represents the future, so I wanted to create a version of that which would be available to everyone,” he explained. “The goal is to help talent ascend to the next level in their careers by letting people in the industry know who they are. These are all people who caught our eye and whose work and potential we responded to.”
Theresa Vargas Wyatt, who works with Rodriguez, added, “They’re accomplished, like working for Netflix. But they still have not been seen… They needed help ascending, and that’s where we saw the void. The only way you do that is if someone vouches for you and pulls you to the front of the line.” In this way, the LATINXT List is similar in spirit to the Latinx List released earlier this year by the National Association of Independent Latino Producers (NALIP) a curated list of the 10 most promising screenplays of the year — a sort of cheat sheet for producers looking to take on work created by Latinx screenwriters.
Last week, L’ATTITUDE previewed six emerging players in the creative arts who they feel are poised for a big break in their industries. Included on the list is Jane the Virgin’s Rafael Agustin, who also works as the creative director for the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival alongside Edward James Olmos; Camila Mendes, of Riverdale, who recently opened up about overcoming sexual assault; Rosa Salazar, the actors who plays Alita and also works as a director and writer; Darlene Demorizi, a host for Vice Media and self-proclaimed “hood philosopher; Brooklynite poet and actor Lemon Andersen whose spoken word poetry was a highlight of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam; and director brothers Andres and Diego Meza-Valdes, who are currently working on a feature-length horror film called Casa, which centers on a Latino family.
The LATINXT List, ultimately, is about closing the gap in representation within entertainment and media. “The U.S. Hispanic [population] is growing rapidly in numbers, yet our authentic stories go untold,” noted Rodriguez. “These are stories that have the ability to unite, and we need more of them, and more proportionate to the nation. Even though the industry is getting better about representation, we are not where we need to be.”