On May 15-16, 2022, the Mexican-American Cultural Education Foundation (MACEF) will celebrate the First Mexican-American Film and Television Festival Awards, Scholarships and Grants at the historic Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. It will be a star-studded red carpet event to celebrate and promote Mexican-American/Chicana/o films, TV, stars, and filmmakers.
In 2022, the film festival will have the theme “The Past and The Future.”
On May 15-16, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., we will be screening amazing new films, short films and TV pilots produced and performed by Mexican-American filmmakers and actors.
In accordance with our theme, on Saturday, May 15, at 6 p.m., we will be screening “Luminarias,” a film about four professional women who meet at an East Los Angeles restaurant called Luminarias and share secrets about their careers, love and family. After the screening, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a Q&A session with some of the cast, the director and the producer of this groundbreaking movie.
On Sunday, May 16, at 6 p.m., join us at the screening of a Library of Congress honored movie, “Walkout,” about a teacher who becomes a mentor to Chicano high school students protesting injustices in schools in 1968. After the screening, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a Q&A session with some of the cast, the director and the producer of this groundbreaking movie.
On May 16 at 8 p.m., the First Mexican-American Film and Television Festival will have its award ceremony, with eight categories that will receive the “Golden Pyramid” awards, as well as one “notoriously stereotypical scene” on a movie or TV show will receive the “Pinche Award,” denouncing tired old stereotypical depictions of Mexican-American/Chicanas/os. This will be a night of celebration and a meet and greet with prominent members of the entertainment industry.
Hollywood has been notorious for erasing Mexican-Americans/Chicanos from American life for over 100 years. Even in stories where Mexican-American war heroes are featured, as in the film “Hell To Eternity” (1960), Anglo-American actors have portrayed their bravery and never mentioned their Mexican heritage. The perception of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the U.S. is distorted, and the media has played a large part in this, largely portraying Mexican-Americans through degrading stereotypes such as “Bandidos,” “criminals,” “the help,” “lazy,” “illegal invaders” and “uneducated.” Recently, those in political power, including Donald Trump, have legitimized these Mexican-American stereotypes into the American consciousness, with disastrous consequences seen throughout the news. No other Latino group has endured such abuse.
The UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report 2020 shows that film screenplay writers are 89% white, 5.2% Black, 3.0% Asian and 0.7% Latino, and that directors are 84% white, 5.5% Black, 3.4% Asian and 2.7% Latino. The USC Annenberg Inclusion Report 2021 reviewed 126 films and 180 series produced by Netflix in 2018 and 2019, showing great improvement in gender and racial equality with most minorities. Latinos were one of the exceptions, as only 2.6% of all stories had a Latinx lead or colead, with similarly low numbers behind the camera. All of the above numbers show the extreme underrepresentation of Mexican-Americans/Chicanos in media, as all of the above numbers fall far short of fair representation, as Mexican-Americans are 12% of the U.S. population and 70% of all Latinos in America. After well over 100 years of Hollywood erasing Mexican-Americans, it is time for that to change.
Because films and TV have a tremendous impact on the narrative, perception and reputation of our community, the Mexican-American Cultural Education Foundation (MACEF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has chosen to promote positive content, as well as foster future Mexican-American filmmakers to truly change the narrative. MACEF’s three-pronged approach to furthering the goal of bringing positive Mexican-American stories by Mexican-American filmmakers to life is as follows:
FILM & TV FESTIVAL SUBMISSIONS FOR AWARDS
This will be a yearly event celebrating and promoting films, television and streaming content that demonstrate a more accurate, non-stereotypical depiction of Mexican-Americans, helping educate the community at large about the true history and contribution of Mexicans in America, as well as promoting films made by Mexican-Americans/Chicanas/os with positive and true-to-life stories showing Mexican-Americans as a valuable part of American society! This event will prominently feature the content created by our MACEF Filmmaker Grant recipients and provide an opportunity to honor scholarship and award recipients, as well as our caring donors.
The MACEF Filmmaker Scholarship
Directed by Moctesuma Esparza
$60,000 scholarship tuition is available each year from 2021-2023 to filmmakers accepted to the prestigious American Film Institute. (Tuition money will be managed and distributed by AFI.)
$60,000 scholarship tuition available each year from 2022-2024 to filmmakers accepted to the prestigious UCLA Theater, Film and Television School. (Tuition money will be managed and distributed by UCLA TFT School.)
$20,000 scholarship tuition available in 2021 to filmmakers enrolled in the prestigious UCLA Theater, Film and Television school.
Purpose and Rules
To further the education of aspiring filmmakers who want to enter the film/television industry by providing monetary support to film and television institutions and provide mentorships by working Mexican American industry professionals. This program is open to any individual who lives in the United States and self-identifies as Mexican-American or Chicana/o, of any generation or mixed ethnicity. Applicants will be assessed on grades, experience, demonstrable skills and financial needs. Our film students will have a benefit of $120,000 in tuition support every year for the next three years. We are looking to greatly expand this program.
The MACEF Filmmaker Grant
Directed by Naibe Reynoso and Alex Nogales
The Filmmaker Grant is for those individuals already in the industry who need funds to finish their short film, film or TV pilot to put it on the market. Film school students working on their thesis film are encouraged to apply. The applicant to this grant can be of any background, but the production team must include at least one producer, writer, director and main actor who identifies as Mexican-American or Chicana/o of any generation or mixed ethnicity. Grantees will have their film highlighted at the next Mexican-American Film and Television Festival. To qualify for this grant, the applicant must submit the script of the short film, film or TV pilot, and be in the advanced stages of preproduction or production. Qualifying films will be assessed by the quality of the story (culturally positive and non-stereotypical stories are required) as well as the production organization and viability of the project.
Three $10,000 MACEF Filmmaker Grants are available.
Applications for the MACEF Filmmaker Grant will be accepted between April 1 and June 15. Those chosen to receive the grant will be announced on July 15, and the award amount will be dispersed at the August 2021 MACEF Reception. Grantees must present their film at the next Mexican-American Film and Television Festival. The finished project will display a credit to MACEF, including the logo on the credit section of the film.
Jose-Luis Ruiz President of The First Mexican-American Film and Television Festival
Bel Hernandez President of the Festival Selection Committee, First Mexican-American Film and Television Festival
Criteria for Selection: Film and filmmakers with high quality, positive and non-stereotypical Mexican-American/Chicana/o stories.
Moctesuma Esparza President of the Selection Committee of the MACEF Film Scholarship
Naibe Reynoso and Alex Nogales Copresidents of the Selection Committee of the MACEF Film Scholarship
Jerry Velasco Presiding Judge of The First Mexican-American Film/Television Festival (In charge of judging the film and television entries to receive awards.)
Criteria for Selection: Film and filmmakers with quality, positive and non-stereotypical Mexican-American/Chicana/o stories.