The Maya Indie Film Series hits DC this weekend on it’s eight-city summer tour.
By Anna Jacoby
Eight cities, seven films: The Maya Indie Film Series comes to DC July 30th-August 5th at the Landmark E Street Cinema during its summer tour this year. The film festival, in its second year, upholds culturally diverse cinema. Whether you prefer dramas or comedies, the Maya Indie Film Series features a range of genres with stars such as Martin Sheen, Jimmy Smits, and Michelle Rodriguez. The film series attempts to promote Latino prominence and talent in the film industry and to provide an outlet for independent film exposure. Jose Martinez, Jr., President of Maya Entertainment, tells Washington Life why it’s important to highlight the Latino community and its current significance in the cinema world.
WL: What drove you to become a proponent of changing the image of Latino stereotypes? How will this film festival illuminate the issue?
JM: Maya’s mission is to promote Latinos in the entertainment space—on the screen, production, and executive/management positions. As s Latino, I want to see a true representation of who we are on the big screen: artists, layers, dreamers, parents, children, angsty, trendy, etc. The film series provides a spotlight on alternative stereotypes. For example, Chamaco (The Kid) is a father and son story; Solo Quiero Caminar is just pure entertainment with lots of glitz, drama, and suspense. The series also illustrates the successes of Latinos on the screen, as directors, as talent, etc.
WL: How will you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
JM: Maya will be releasing the series on Hispanic Heritage Month. The films will be available specially at Blockbuster and throughout other retail and rental channels. Maya will also be announcing a new twist on the series during Hispanic Heritage Month.
WL: How did you get involved in the film industry?
JM: My best friend started a film company called “Arthouse Films” while I was working as an attorney in NYC and burnt out a little bit. It was at first a hobby that turned into a career.
WL: What can the Maya Indie Film Festival bring to DC?
JM: The Maya Indie Film Series will bring fresh faces and movies that deserve a theatrical outlet. It is relatively inexpensive entertainment and a glimpse of the surge and rise of us and Latino-themed cinema.
For more information and to see the festival’s full schedule, click here.