History of the Latino Committee
In February of 1990, DGA members Luis Valdez, Sylvia Morales, Edward James Olmos, Frank Zúñiga, José Luis Ruiz and Jesús Treviño met and identified the need for an organization within the Guild that would address the special needs and interests of its Latino membership. The group was officially recognized by the DGA's National Board, which voted to support the creation of the Latino Committee in February 1991.
The primary purpose of the Committee is to explore how Latino artists can advance their careers, enhance their job opportunities in both the English and Spanish-speaking media and improve their craft skills within the television and motion picture industry. Members view the Latino Committee as a networking association whose goal it is to educate the industry about their talents and availability.
The first event organized by the Committee was a tribute to the internationally renowned Mexican cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa, who worked for such diverse directors as John Ford, John Huston, Don Siegel, Luis Buñuel and Emilio Fernández. The Committee strongly believes in being tied to the concerns of the Latino community in Los Angeles, and to that end, co-sponsored an evening with the late Farmworkers Union activist Cesar Chavez in 1992. They also collaborated with the UCLA Chicano/Chicana Studies Program and the National Latino Communications Center on the highly successful "New Latino Image in Hollywood" event in 1994.
The Committee has held informal discussions with producers and directors such as David Valdes, León Ichaso, Andy García, Alfonso Arau, Moctesuma Esparza, Gregory Nava and Carlos Avila. In 1995, Francisco "Chico" Day, the first Mexican-American member of the DGA, was honored during a book signing reception for Hispanics in Hollywood: A Film and Television Encyclopedia, written by Committee member Luis Reyes. In 1997, the Committee showcased the DGA Latino Heritage Project, the first documentary of its kind, directed by Lillian Fuentes.
In collaboration with the African-American, Asian and Women's Steering Committees, the Latino Committee has co-hosted the DGA Student Film Award since its inception in 1995. In 1997, and again in 1999, the Committee held a roundtable gathering of Latinos working within the film, television and advertising industries, bringing together directors, writers, producers and executives that would otherwise rarely get a chance to meet. By facilitating networking both in and outside the Guild, the Latino Committee is accomplishing its goals by communicating to the industry that there is a professional, creative and lasting Latino presence within our industry.
For more information about the DGA Latino Committee, contact Frank Bennett Gonzalez at 310-289-5377 or via email at FGonzalez@dga.org.
DGA Members: Please log in for meeting times and other Latino Committee information.