A Celebration of the Hispanic Communities Contribution to the Film and Television Industry

October 10, 2014

September 15th through October 15th marks National Hispanic Heritage month.  Begun under President Lyndon Johnson and officially enacted into law on August 17, 1988, this annual event celebrates the “histories, cultures and contributions” of the Hispanic community here in the United States.

Hispanic communities are well known for their diverse and rich cultural heritage. And Hispanic audiences and creators play an outsized role in shaping America’s cultural products and services, like movies and television shows. The MPAA’s 2013 Theatrical Market Statistic Report revealed that while Hispanics comprise 17% of the population, they make up 32% of frequent moviegoers. And this past June John Fithian, President and CEO of The National Association of Theater Owners, remarked that “Hispanic audiences are far and away the most important consumers at our cinemas.”

MPAA’s member companies are responding to this opportunity in creative and innovative ways. In the marketplace, Disney’s Maker Studios recently announced a partnership with Latino-focused MCN MiTú to develop original and branded content aimed at the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic market. “Hispanic millennials in the U.S. are avid viewers of online video across all platforms,” stated Jason Krebs, Maker’s Head of Sales. “Teaming up with MiTú allows us to meet the demands of so many of our brand partners who want to connect with today’s young generation of Latinos.” Additionally, in Washington, 21st Century Fox’s Fox Audience Strategy division partnered with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute during their annual conference to present two first-looks at upcoming projects; Fox Animation’s The Book of Life and Twentieth Century Fox Television’s newest comedy Cristella.

Media companies will always seek ways to engage audiences with market power, but Hispanic creators also have considerable influence creating content that all audiences, regardless of ethnic heritage, enjoy. For example, Alfonso Cuaron, recently won an Oscar for directing “Gravity” and Robert Rodriguez, the “Sin City” director, recently partnered with Univision to create “El Rey, a cable network aimed at men that is “inclusive of second- and third – generation English – speaking Latinos. “

Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the many contributions of Hispanic communities to our shared American history and culture. Those contributions are reflected in the film and television industry where media companies continue to seek new and innovative ways to serve this important market and Hispanic creators and artists continue to produce compelling content that entertains us all.

Pictured Above: 20th Century Fox Animation’s “The Book of Life”