This week’s Hispanic organization profile is with Kathryn Galan of the National Association Latino Independent of Producers (NALIP). 

Tell us about your personal background? 

My father was born in Spain; my mother is Irish. I grew up back east, went to college at Amherst, and moved to Los Angeles to do my master’s work at UCLA in film, television critical studies.  I taught ‘third world cinema’ before joining an independent art film distribution company called Atlantic Entertainment. In my seven years there, I moved over to head development and production of films from “Valley Girl”  to “Teen Wolf to A World Apart.”   Then I worked for the new Hollywood Pictures division of the Walt Disney Studios as a production vice president, and made films like “Joy Luck Club” and “Dangerous Minds.”  When I left, I produced “Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale” for the studio, then partnered with Meg Ryan in Prufrock Pictures. We made “French Kiss” and developed projects like the recently released remake of “The Women.”

I joined NALIP 9 years ago to produce their 3rd conference, and help move them from an NCLR special project into an independent non-profit arts service organization. Nine conferences and many millions of dollars in fundraising later, I’m still here!

What is NALIP, when did it start and who started it?

NALIP was founded in 1999 as a national membership organization that addresses the professional needs of Latino/Latina independent producers. NALIP is the first such effort aimed at Latino production in thirty years, and it is the first to last more than one year and to provide ongoing support for the Latino independent film and video makers. We stand as the premiere Latino media organization, addressing for nine years the most underrepresented and the largest ethnic minority in the country.

NALIP’s mission is to promote the advancement, development and funding of Latino/Latina film and media arts in all genres. We’re the only national organization committed to supporting both grassroots and community-based producers/media makers along with publicly funded and industry-based producers.

We’ve had success holding nine National Conferences, plus five other National Initiatives: a Latino Writer’s Lab™, a Latino Producers Academy™ and a published/on-line Latino Media Resource Guide™, our “Doing your Doc: Diverse Visions, Regional Voices” documentary development workshops plus the Latino Media Market™ held during our national conference.  We are now fundraising to support and expand these programs in 2010, plus solidify the infrastructure of our organization to better serve our membership and community.

What is NALIP’s unique value proposition?

NALIP is the only national organization dedicated to supporting the Latino content creator – writers and producers, directors, performers and creative crew who work in film, television, documentaries and new media.  We provide community, opportunities and information, plus professional development programs that advance each member’s projects, skills and relationships.  We also advocate on behalf of diversity media and Latino representation in the mainstream and independent media landscape.

How large is NALIP in terms of members and cities?

We have chapters throughout the country.  You can access the list of chapters on our web site at

What is your organization’s web site?

What programs or partnerships do you have underway?

We have many. We created a partnership with the 13 major Latino civil rights organizations to effectuate change in our representation on television and across media; this is called the National Latino Media Council. We are partnered with Full Frame Film Festival institute, the 5 minority consortia members, ITVS, and local media arts organizations to do four regional documentary development programs.

We partner is local film festivals like LA Film Fest, NYILFF, LA Brazilian Film Festival, etc. to promote our members’ work and build audience awareness. We have 16 regional chapters that build local and regional alliances. We have a major partnership with the New Mexico Film Office to bring our national programs, the Latino Writers Lab and Latino Producers Academy, to New Mexico each year to advance their efforts to build a trained creative filmmaking community. We have many media partnerships. We have solid foundation, government, and corporate partners who help us deliver on our mission and work.  Lots!

What are some ways that corporate partners can get involved in sponsoring or supporting NALIP?

We have six annual national signature programs. Each has the opportunity for corporate partners to do two things: first, provide professional development to the next generation of Latino content makers, so they tell our stories and take positions of leadership working within the field; and second, connect their brand and philanthropy to the national field of Latino opinion makers, and the next generation of storytellers in the most powerful art form today!

What are some success stories you have had with corporate partners and what did those initiatives specifically entail?

HBO is a long-standing corporate partner: they are presenting sponsor of our annual national conference, which has grown from 150 initial attendees in 1999 by five fold. This includes workshops, plenaries, keynotes, networking opportunities, and a gala awards dinner. It has developed into an ideal opportunity for additional corporate alliances, including Fox Broadcasting, NBC Universal Telemundo Mun2, the Walt Disney Company and Disney/ABC Television, Univision, Nielsen Media Research, MTV Networks, CBS, WME, and others seeking to connect with Latino content makers, and hoping to expand their awareness amongst our community leaders.

Time Warner is also a great corporate partner in our professional development programs, the Latino Writers Lab and Latino Producers Academy. Each is an annual residential intensive that provides skills development and critical mentorship for writers, producers, and directors of narrative features and documentary projects.

The Walt Disney Company sits on our board of trustees, advising us on matters that ensure our organization’s financial health. They also bring programmatic support to our LPA and Latino Media Resource Guide, programs that help them identify the creative talent they want to hire from our growing Latino community.

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