NAHREP’s national president, Daisy Lopez-Cid was in town last week, and Marisa Calderon and I decided to take the afternoon off and take Daisy and the NAHREP staff to watch the Robert Rodriguez directed film Alita: Battle Angel. I got the chance to interview Rodriguez on stage last September at the L’ATTITDUE event, and could sense that Robert was feeling pretty good about the prospects for his new film. With a budget of about $170M, the film is by far Rodriguez’ largest project to date. However, the estimates for how it would perform in the box office were pretty modest. The success of the film would depend on how it did internationally and by all accounts it has outperformed the predictions. Battle Angel has earned more than $300M worldwide and already broke a box office record in China. This is great news. Robert Rodriguez is a brilliant filmmaker and an absolute treasure to those of us who want to see more successful Latinos in the film and television industry. Rodriguez cast Rosa Salazar as his lead in Battle Angel and has done more for Latinos in the industry than anyone else — by far. Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Danny Trejo and many others owe their careers to the man who is known for films such as Spy Kids, Machete, Sin City, and El Mariachi. Rodriguez told me in September that he doesn’t see himself as an activist but rather just a filmmaker, who like most people, tends to hire people and tell stories about people he knows. A very humble guy. If all goes well for Alita, Robert Rodriguez could have a blockbuster franchise on his resume and a whole new level of opportunities available to him. Robert Rodriguez is planning to be back at L’ATTITUDE in September. I can’t wait to catch up with him.
About a year ago, I was convinced by some of my closest friends that I should do a podcast. Today it seems like everyone has a podcast, and frankly, 99% of them aren’t very good. I wasn’t sure I could do much better, but I realized I do have some ideas that some people have found interesting in the past.
The decision to invite President Barack Obama to the NAHREP Policy Conference last Spring was a decision I made with the NAHREP National Board. Anytime we have a political figure of that stature at one of our events, we know it will stimulate a lot of buzz among our members and stakeholders.
L’ATTITUDE 2022 is less than two weeks away. This year’s event includes a concert at Rady Shell; the coolest new concert venue in America according to Forbes magazine. The concert is in partnership with La Musica, and will feature music superstars, Juanes and Farukko.