As the audience for Latino entertainment grows, two Hollywood managers with Latino clients have joined forces to make a bigger impact in the film industry and are preparing to go into production on their first movie.
Isabel Echeverry and Erika Olmos merged their companies to create management and production company Olmos Kontakto Entertainment of Hollywood. The two are 50-50 partners.
The company will begin production on its first feature in coming months – a thriller about a student who infiltrates a group of black Israelites – titled “Asher.”
That film demonstrates the company’s business model, Olmos said, since the company’s management business represents Francisco Ordonez, who is making his directorial debut with the production.
“The goal is to not only procure but also create opportunities with and for our talent,” Olmos said.
Prior to the October merger, Echeverry’s company, Kontakto Reps, represented a number of directors, editors and production companies focused on Latino advertising. Olmos Entertainment was a boutique management company focused on representing actors. Both sides brought clients to the newly formed company.
Now, they’re hoping to discover and represent more emerging Latino talent, including actors, writers and directors for TV and film projects. They’re hoping to build a client list that will become a one-stop shop for studios looking to hire Latino talent. The management business generates commissions when clients book jobs.
The company has a few TV shows and movies planned. The furthest along is “Asher,” which has signed actors Danny Glover and Mekhi Phifer. The company expects to begin filming in New York in May and has received financing from Bay Area real estate entrepreneur Mario Burnias, who is executive producing the project.
The company is focused on producing independent films in the $1 million-$7 million budget range.
Echeverry said the opportunity for Latino entertainment has exploded in the past decade and is still growing.
“When I started 13 years ago, nobody was that interested,” she said. “Now, the buying power of Latinos in the United States is a trillion-dollar market. That speaks for itself.”
Emerson College has already made an impact on its Hollywood neighborhood by constructing a landmark $110 million campus on Sunset Boulevard.
Now, Kevin Bright, founding director of the campus, said he’s focused on how the school can affect some change in the Hollywood film and TV industry.
The campus opened to students in January and is being used to house and teach Emerson undergraduates who come from the Boston school to do internships in creative fields in the L.A. area, primarily in the movie and TV industry. The idea is to bolster their experience and connections in the field.
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