Sofia Reyes ready to dominate American music industry!

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Sofia Reyes is about to become a big name in the U.S. and could become the next pulling force to stir a new Latin explosion in the music industry.

Two years ago, bachata superstar Prince Royce signed the Monterey, Mexico native to his label called D’León Records, and since then Reyes has been garnering a reputation within the music scene.

Collaborating with reggeaton veteran Wisin, electronic dance music trio Cash Cash, singer Kendal Schmidt, and Prince Royce himself, Reyes could be the leading force that brings a second Latin craze similar to the one seen back in 1999 that introduced Americans to Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira.

I’m really thankful for [Prince Royce’s] support,” said Reyes, 20, in a recent interview about her climbing success. “He’s an amazing person and an amazing artist. He works so hard, and that’s why I admire him so much, and I am just really thankful that artists like him and Wisin and Kendal Schmidt support my career.”

With only a few singles to her name, Reyes is nearing the release of her first studio album which some fans are expecting to drop in June.

I’ve been working on it for three years—which is a long time—and I’m actually working on my second album [as well], because I don’t want to waste any more time,” she said. “These singles are just a little bit of what my album is going to be.”

Reyes albums will feature some songs in English, some in Spanish, and some that are in both. Much like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira, Reyes album and would surely impact more audience members in the country.

I grew up listening to English music, to Spanish music – so singing in both languages for me is very natural,” she said. “It’s not forzado (forced). I feel like people all around the world keep listening to my music. Even people who don’t speak Spanish love my Spanish songs, which is really cool. I feel like music has no rules.”

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The Artist known as Prince, has died at 57

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Considered one of the music industry’s most inventive artists and truly a legendary performer: Prince has passed away.

Yesterday, reports began to circulated that Prince Rogers Nelson had passed away at only the age of 57. The reports were confirmed after the singer’s publicist announced his sudden passing.

It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic, performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” said Yvette Noel-Schure, in the released statement.

Although the exact cause of Prince’s death is yet unknown, the multi-winning Grammy-winner was allegedly found unconscious in the elevator of his home in Minneapolis.

The singer’s death comes after a shock despite reports recently stating the star had been in poor health for some time. To counter these claims, at a recent concert Prince himself debunk the reports. The singer is known to have epilepsy, and whether this is related to his passing is yet unknown.

During his four-decade legacy in the music industry, Prince has worked with numerous artists from Shelia E., Vanity 6, Beyonce, and the list goes on. With an impressive discography consisting of hit album after hit album, Prince was predominantly known for being a sex symbol who balanced a style between androgyny and gender, while also being publicly defiant of racial stereotypes.

After the news regarding Prince’s passing, several Latino stars like Jennifer Lopez, Gina Rodriguez, Demi Lovatio Gael Garcia Bernal, and etc. took to their respective social media to share their sadness over the loss of the innovative music star.

It was Mario Lopez who said it best with his tweet:

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With songs like When Doves Cry, Little Red Corvette, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World to just name a few, one of Prince’s most popular song–from fans who worshipped him to people who barely knew him would agree to–would have to be Purple Rain. And at the 2007 Superbowl Halftime Show, during a downpour of rain Prince performs the hit song reminding everyone why he is the artist.

Photos of the Opening Night of the 5th Annual International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival

International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival reaches new milestone with 5th successful year. November 11-15, 2015.

Photos: Jhon Caballero

Celebrating the Heritage of Puerto Rico with the world!” was the theme for the 5th International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival. The Festival opened Wednesday, November 11, 2015 with an acknowledgement of the contributions of two remarkable Puerto Ricans at the historic St. Paul & St. Andrew in New York’s Upper West Side.

The Festival presented its 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award to the legendary Puerto Rican virtuoso, José Feliciano; Mr. Feliciano has been awarded over 45 Gold and Platinum records; has won 16 Grammy nominations, earning him 6 Grammy Awards and is in receipt of countless prestigious awards the world over. His influence on American culture is widely credited with opening the gate to mainstream acceptance for many Latino artists.

In addition, the IPRHFF 2015 Humanitarian Award was presented to Ray Negron. When George Steinbrenner saw a young Ray painting the team logo on a Yankee Stadium wall in the late 70s, instead of punishing the erstwhile graffiti artist, Steinbrenner hired him as the Yankee bat boy and propelled him into a career with the Yankees that resulted in Mr. Negron becoming a sports executive, award winning author, producer, executive producer, humanitarian and philanthropist. His animated film Henry and Me (voiced by Hollywood mainstays and baseball greats) screened during the festival.

25 separate IPRHFF screenings with over 50 films ran from Thursday, November 12 to Sunday, November 15 at various theater spaces within Mount Sinai Hospital and at the Riverside Theater, in East and West Harlem, respectively. Four Puerto Rican feature presentations made each evening a unique IPRHFF experience: the films included Angel by Academy Award nominated Jacobo Morales, La Granja, and Las Vacas con Gafas (Cows with Glasses), presented in collaboration with AfroTaino Productions, and Ms. Homicide, 15 Faros de Puerto Rico (15 Lighthouses of Puerto Rico) in collaboration with Prime Latino Media.

Prime Latino Media Salon (in collaboration with the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors – HOLA) also produced two panel discussions for the Festival. The first in the West Village featuring interviews with the subjects of two IPRHFF films: Ms. Homicide (featuring Ret. Det. Irma Rivera solving some of NYC’s most notorious homicides) and EKAJ (about homeless gay youth) and a second panel & workshop, LATINOS IN COMEDY, at New York University (Latino Studies) with a distinguished group of thought- leaders: Yamin Segal (FLAMA), Jaime Fernandez (Room28comedy), comedian and author Bill Santiago, Rhina Valentin (La Reina Del Barrio Productions, Inc.) Janio Marrero, Melissa Diaz, plus case studies with reviews of webisodes produced & starring, Elaine Del Valle (Reasons Y I’m Single) and Vanessa Verduga (JusticeWoman.com). Both panels were moderated by Louis E. Perego Moreno, Founder & Executive Producer of Prime Latino Media.

Returning principal sponsors Univision/UniMás (Official Media Sponsor) and Mount Sinai Hospital were joined by Delta Air Lines and WADO 1280 this year to ensure a successful outcome. Chivas Regal also hosted a filmmaker mixer leading into the Festival.

Festival CEO and Founder Veronica Caicedo indicates: “We are grateful for our 5th Annual Festival but are already looking forward to next year and to improving every year for our filmmakers, audience and sponsors alike.

Caicedo Productions is a privately-owned New York corporation established in 1990. Caicedo Productions is a full-service boutique studio that develops, finances, and produces and markets quality films and theatrical productions. The company’s mission continues to be that of providing creative and technical space for writers and visual artists from inter-related genres (i.e. theater, film, video, and television).

For more information visit IPRHFF.COM

Zoe Saldaña upset over forgotten Nina Simone Biopic!

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Zoe Saldaña is angry and upset that her Nina Simone biopic has yet to hit theaters after being completed nearly three years ago.

According to the 37-year-old actress, the reason no one has seen the controversial biopic is due to mismanagement and a lack of organization that surrounds the finalization of the movie. And Saldaña is not afraid of saying how disappointed she is with those who are a part of the project.

The people behind the project weren’t my cup of tea,” Saldaña said in an recent interview in-which the project was discussed. “The director (Cynthia Mort) was fine, but there was a lot of mismanagement, which is why we’re still here three years later. And I’m still trying to fight with everybody to get the movie finished. Nina deserves better.”

While the movie is in post-production limbo it was not without controversy prior to shooting. When Saldaña was cast as the prominent singer and civil rights activist there was a negative response to the casting. Although Saldaña is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descendant, some felt her casting in the role should have gone to a Black actress who could portray an important figure within the Black community.

However, despite the response to her casting the actress was unyielding to it and went through with the project.

I listened to her voice, to her tone. She was angry—and rightfully so. She was a black woman born ahead of her time. Her soul, her spirit was never able to accept or adapt to the heartbreaks that life was giving her.”

For the part, Saldaña stepped out of the spotlight generated by her part in the Star Trek and Guardian of the Galaxy movie franchises to immerse herself in the project.

I needed to walk her path. As a woman, it wasn’t difficult to empathize with another woman, but I needed to be very isolated,” Saldaña said, describing how important the role was for her. “I moved out of my house for three months. I wasn’t really talking to anybody that I knew. I just needed to be all things Nina. It was so intense, and everything happened really fast.”

Since completing the project, Saldaña discusses how Nina Simone seems to be haunting her.

To this day, I can’t listen to her music. I’ll be able to listen to her and not feel so heartbroken once I either finish this movie or release it, knowing that we did the best we could, or this movie goes away,”

And while Saldaña has expressed anger in the movie’s release, she would rather her film be hidden away just as long as someone does one thing in-regards to the film’s subject.

I pray that somebody tells her story, and they do it amazingly well. And then I’ll just put this to rest. But so far I’m still hanging in there with her. We’re still fighting together to tell it like it is. And that’s the best way to be.”

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Edgar Ramírez’s life changed by latest film Point Break

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Edgar Ramírez gave some insight to his latest role in the upcoming remake of 1991’s Point Break.

Over the weekend during a first look event, Ramírez, 38, spoke of his latest project which is the remake of the 1991 thriller which originally starred Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves which will be moving from its surfing crime action shores of Venice Beach to a globe-setting eco-adventure.

In the remake, a young FBI agent (played by Luke Bracey) attempts to infiltrates a group consisting of athletes who participate not only in extreme sports but are suspected of committing high-risk criminal activities as well.

The protagonist of the film will try to prove the groups’ guilt which may become difficult due to his encounter with the group’s leader Bodhi who Ramírez portrays. Now, the group series of crimes is hard to believe considering how extreme their heists are considering they involve wingsuit jumping, extreme snowboarding, solo rock-climbing, motocross racing, and of course tame surfing.

The shoot of this film changed my life,” said the Venezuelan actor, “Being in contact with the majesty of nature makes you appreciate life more and you want to live it to the max.”

The film is scheduled to open in theaters on December 25th.

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William Levy joins cast of ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’

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William Levy, the October 2014 cover of LatinTRENDS, joins the cast of the final film installment of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.

Joining Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, and Iain Glen, the Cuban-American actor made the announcement regarding his latest role via his Instagram by posting an image created by his fans.

Along with his Instagram post, the actor who has been referred to as the “Latino Brad Pitt” thanked both his enduring fans as well as the Latino community for being huge supporters of his.

I chose this photo that was done by one of you guys with the purpose of showing you guys how thankful I am for every single one of you. The name that you see on that picture became known not just because of my efforts and dedication,” said the actor in his post, referring to his fans being as being huge pillars for his success.

The above photo is of Levy dressed as his character “Christian” for the next and final installment of ‘Resident Evil: the Final Chapter’ which his posted to his Instagram account: @willevy

Within the post he dedicated to his fans, Levy described how his past projects in such films like The Single Moms Club & Addicted; to telenovelas like Cuidado con el ángel and La Tempestad; as well as his stint on Dancing with the Stars would not have happened for him had it not been to the strong support of his fans and members of the Latino community.

I feel really lucky to receive love from not only the Latinos but from so many of you from around the world that take the time to write me a message, the actor wrote.

Levy also expressed his appreciation for how during a time where Latinos remained supportive of each other and show a sense of unity since the community currently faces harsh criticism in the United States thanks to the likes of Donald Trump and those who do not express the same sentiment regarding Latinos.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is still currently filming in South Africa and is expected to be released in theaters early 2017, and will be directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.

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Representing Latinos on the Big Screen: Michael Peña’s Year of Films continues

58th BFI London Film Festival - 'Fury' - Premiere

This year is proving to be Latino actor Michael Peña’s year.

Along with drawing attention for portraying activist Cesar Chavez in the biographical film Chavez, Peña’s growing film roles include Frontera with fellow Latino actress Eva Longoria, to Fury with Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt, and currently in theater Marvel’s Antman, Peña years of hard work in the entertainment industry is paying off.

It’s always a struggle you have to fight for all these different roles,” said Peña, while talking about how he feels he has made it and describing how Hollywood can be both a tough and challenging business to break into while promoting his latest film The Vatican Tapes; which Peña believes will be a huge hit with Latinos.

Out in theaters today, The Vatican Tapes revolves around a priest Peña plays named Father Lozano who is trying to help a young woman who has been possessed by a diabolical entity. Peña was drawn to the film because he notes that the film’s religious and horror genre is very alluring for Latino audiences.

In the Jennifer Lawrence horror movie, half of Latinos went to go see that,” notes Peña, referring to the 2012 thriller film House at the End of the Street, which “inspired me to look for a cool horror movie.”

Peña also adds that the religious element of the film also pulls in Latino movie goers.

This, I think, was perfect because a lot of Latinos grew up Catholic or in very religious households and I think that’s why we gravitate toward this kind of movie.

Appearing in films that are appealing to Latino audiences is something that is appealing to the 39-year-old actor who has been in an array of films, playing characters of various backgrounds because for Peña the wide range of roles he played allows Latino audience members to see themselves in various roles they see fit within their everyday life.

I remember like watching Edward James Olmos [play] a teacher in calculus, and that’s kind of inspiring to kids to people of Latino descent,” Peña said, adding, “ remember in high school I took up calculus, it was a big motivator for me, so maybe who knows I can inspire some people,” seeing firsthand how inspiring representation of Latinos in positive movie roles can have on younger, or other Latinos.

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Benicio Del Toro portrays Pablo Escobar in new Film

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Embracing dark roles is nothing new for Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro, however for his latest role in Escobar: Paradise Lost, as the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar Del Toro found the role and the person to be quite interesting considering Escobar was both a dangerous, violent man while also known for his familial values and community aid.

At the height of the Colombian drug trade of the late 80s & early 90s, Escobar was one of the most powerful drug lords who overlooked a cold and bloody empire. His notoriety as drug kingpin has resulted in numerous films about Escobar, particularly wanting to expose how one man took his drug trafficking business onto a larger, global scale and building it into a strong empire around himself until his death in 1993.

And in the latest incarnation, Del Toro will get to portray the drug lord in a new take of his rise to power. Out in theaters now, Escobar: Paradise Lost we get to see the power of Escobar through the eyes of Nick (played by Hunger Games star Hutcherson), a young surfer arrives in Colombia to open up a surf school and by chance meets Escobar through his niece and tries to work his way up to the drug lord’s good side.

According to Toro, Escobar “did a lot of evil, you know, and along the way corrupted a whole system. He brought the government of Colombia to its knees for his own benefit.”

He was a family man, a churchgoing man, or a faith man,” said Del Toro, discussing the film’s approach into showing the protector and paternal side of Escobar, “He helped a lot of people in need like bringing soccer fields and things that a lot of Latin Americans do know; he brought in clinics and built neighborhoods but at the same time he was involved in a very bad business..”

According to those who provided accounts on him, Escobar was quite a complex character. Known for being truly charming and charismatic at one moment, some have said the very next moment Escobar could become the most feared and terrifying psychopath there was.

It is this duality of Escobar that attracted Del Toro to the role.

He became almost like a character out of a fictionalized comic book,” added Del Toro, “Truth (here) is even stranger than fiction.

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Miles Morales, a Latino & Black superhero, becomes the official Spider-Man of Marvel Comics!

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Yesterday, Marvel announced that Miles Morales, the half-Latino & half-Black superhero will be taking up the mantle of Spider-Man along with Peter Parker, who already dons the mask as Spider-Man, within the main Earth-616 universe of Marvel Comics.

Back in 2011, Morales made his debut within the “Ultimate,” universe of the comic books when that universe’s Parker was murdered. Although there have been other characters of color who have appeared in the company’s comic books, Morales was the first biracial superhero to appear in Marvel and within such a coveted role. Since his debut, Morales has accumulated a sizeable following from hardcore comic book fans of the series.

Many kids of color…when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn’t let them be Batman or Superman because they don’t look like those heroes, but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under the mask,” said Brian Bendis, writer and co-creator of Spider-Man and other works in Marvel.

While noting what Morales has done within the Marvel universe by being a character where a wide range of readers can connect to due to a similarity, it is just one factor that has made Morales such a lovable character. And it is because of this adoration for the character that fans have pushed for Morales to appear on the big screen in any future Spider-Man films.

Earlier this year, Marvel and Sony came to a truce of sort and announced plans to team together to produce a Spider-Man & Avengers film which would see the web-slinger team up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. However, many fans want to see a Morales Spider-Man as opposed to a Parker one. A sentiment that isn’t exactly new.

Prior to Andrew Garfield taking up the mask as Spider-Man—which was left open after Tobey Maguire’s tenure—fans began an online campaign to see Morales on the big screen. One actor in mind who’s been heavily backed by fans to take up the role is Donald Glover.

However, it doesn’t seem like Morales will appear on the silver screen anytime soon. For now, Morales will just take to patrolling the streets of the big apple alongside with Parker’s Spider-Man as he protects the civilians of fictional New York City.

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Latino Stars back newest Internet TV platform aimed at Latinos

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Latino stars like Sofia Vergara, Frankie J, and boxer Fernando Vargas are just among a few who are backing the latest entertainment, internet platform aimed at entertaining Latinos within the county.

Much like the Latino version of Netflix and Hulu, TuYu is being named as the first Internet-based TV streaming service for Latinos.

Created and owned by Latinos, TuYu is expected to launch in the upcoming weeks and will be aimed at snatching up the nearly untouched Latino audience that is currently within the United States. With a tentative date slated for July, TuYU will have a system that is described as “ built-by/built-for-Latinos digital subscription TV” for Latinos living in the country.

As previously mentioned on LatinTRENDS, Latinos are considered the highest, and the growing, ethnic groups within the country to be more engaged with digital streaming content via their smartphones or other types of mobile devices.

TuYu was created to expand the content options for audiences and creators on digital broadcast networks today,” TuYu’s is founder and CEO Pete Salgado, who was the manager of late Mexican singer Jenni Rivera and of her viral reality series “I Love Jenni,

TuYu plans on offering both free and paid content to the bicultural and bilingual Latino community in hopes of becoming similar to the much popular apps and platforms like Hulu and Netflix which offers streaming content either for free or paid.

On the Latino platform, TuYu will offer a mixture of entertainment from reality shows, gaming, news, telenovelas, sports, movies, scripted series, and documentaries, along its own original in-house programing. However, the platform also has deals with other well-known internet platforms that would provide more content for Latinos

According to Variety, TuYu already has deals set with several well-known entertainment companies from World of Wonder, Great Glass Productions, and Sofia Vergara’s content company Latin World Entertainment to provide content for the platform.

We have cultivated the best in programming and entertainment in Spanish and English, creating an opportunity for new and established talent and production partners to showcase the best in one-of-a-kind content serving an immediate viewing audience,” adds Salgado talking about TuYu’s partnerships, “We know that we have created a vital platform that delivers the best in unique bilingual content to a marketplace that has been waiting for this mix in one of the most-discussed platforms.

So while Netflix is already providing Latino-based programming for its Latino subscribers, TuYu is sure to grab more with its Latino-oriented content and programming once it launches.

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