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National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Netflix Announces 2023 Women of Color Incubator Class (EXCLUSIVE)

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The National Association of Latino Independent Producers and Netflix have announced the third cohort for their Women of Color Incubator — the finalists were chosen from a pool of over 100 applications. 

The 2023 class of filmmakers are Sonia Gonzalez (“Heartbreak in Another Tongue”), Michelle Salcedo (“Bye Bye Barbarito”), Jackie! Zhou (“Good Boy Banjo”), Lorena Duran (“Last Day Home”) and Fabiola Andrade (“Natural Selection”). 

Gonzalez is a Mexican-American writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. After studying French Literature at Stanford University, Sonia moved to Paris, France, to work in television development. Salcedo was named Best New Filmmaker of the Year in 2020 and is an award-winning director with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. In 2022, Salcedo directed the action feature film, “Switch & Bait,” which was shot on location in Serbia. 

Zhou is a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist, director and sound designer “keen on blurring the lines between formats and disciplines.” Their short “Order for Pickup” was produced through Hillman Grad and Indeed’s Rising Voices fellowship and premiered at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival. Duran is a Dominican-American director and cinematographer. Her films have been official selections for the International Rotterdam Film Festival, Palm Springs ShortFest, Atlanta Film Festival and New Orleans Film Festival. 

Lastly, Andrade is a Honduras-born, US–based filmmaker “inspired by her multicultural heritage and interdisciplinary background.” Her creative journey in Honduras started as a photographer and copywriter while receiving her BA in Mass Communication. 

The Women of Color Incubator, supported by the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, provides five women of color with the opportunity, access, mentorship and production support to develop and produce each of their original short films. 

With support from executives at NALIP and Netflix, the filmmakers receive guidance through all stages of the filmmaking journey — from pre-production, filming, post-production and eventual distribution. 

“For the past 25 years, NALIP has dedicated itself to championing the voices of Latino and diverse creators within the dynamic landscape of the entertainment industry. Our commitment to amplify the narratives of a vibrant multicultural community is possible through strategic partnerships with like-minded visionaries,” Diana Luna, executive director of NALIP, said in a statement. 

Luna added, “In a transformative collaboration with Netflix, this groundbreaking initiative delivers financial support, mentorship and development to a cohort of exceptionally diverse women filmmakers in their journey to telling powerful stories.” 

All five filmmakers receive a $30,000 film grant to produce their work. The films will be presented at a special screening at NALIP’s Diverse Women in Media Forum on April 18 at The London West Hollywood.

NALIP also provided an update on the recent accomplishments of the class of 2022. Holly M. Kaplan’s “Sunflower Girl” premiered at the Uppsala Short Film Festival and continues its festival run across Europe and North America. Nicole Otero’s “Wait for Night” was selected for The Future of Film is Female Grant grant, as Otero is developing her feature film debut. 

Akilah ‘Ak’ Walker and Diana Gonzalez-Morett’s “Pedacito de Carne” had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), then focused on their impact campaign in support of caretakers and families affected by Frontotemporal Degeneration. 

Jhanvi Motla’s “Mirage” won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short at the Santa Fe International Film Festival. Motla was also reaped as a 1497 Features LabMentee, where she is developing her directorial debut under the guidance of Mira Nair. Finally, Frida Perez’s “Detox” premiered at 2022’s LALIFF. Perez is currently developing a show with Apple TV+ and Point Grey.

Learn more about the five finalists and the NALIP here.