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Discovery En Espanol Celebrates ‘El Mundo Hispano’ During Hispanic Heritage Month 2008

September 3, 2008

MIAMI, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ — Discovery en Espanol will celebrate this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) with a unique and creative initiative entitled “El Mundo Hispano” (The Hispanic World) that not only seeks to highlight our strengths and best attributes, but also aims to foster the talent of young and up-and-coming Hispanic directors in the U.S.

The project, which started in June of 2008, sought out promising directors for the purpose of producing short films that would illustrate their view of “El Mundo Hispano” in the U.S. and communicate a positive and relevant message of what it means to be a Hispanic living here. These directors were tasked with using intrinsic traits and strong visuals paired with the voices and sounds of places and people, placed on a video canvas as an expression of their talent.

Of the initial twenty treatments received, three were selected for airing during HHM. The selected short films will begin airing on September the 14th and run interspersed during the month within a special programming line-up that showcases some of the best of our heritage, explores our roots and fighting spirit, as well as the civilizations that mark our history (premiere program schedule listed below).

“During Hispanic Heritage Month, as is true all year round, it is important for us at Discovery en Espanol to highlight the issues that are most relevant to Hispanics. Still, we also wanted to do something extra special. What more apt way for this network to commemorate this celebration of our culture than by giving a voice and a platform to these young directors to showcase their talent,” said Luis Silberwasser, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic Group.

These poignant short films, each with its own vision, narrative, original score and moving visuals are sure to resonate with viewers as they are reflected in these directors’ submissions. Below some quotes that speak to each of our talented director’s vision and approach:

   Director: Maria Agui Carter   Short: Un par de suenos  

“Our families have always valued education and sacrificed for our children. I grew up an illegal immigrant child while my mother supported me through piecework sewing pockets for a nickel in the NY garment district, but she encouraged my education and believed in my future. My story is part of a universal story — that of the inimitable fighting spirit of the Hispanic family.”

   Director: Manolo Celi   Short: Nueva York  

“Hispanics belong to one another. Especially here in New York City … we are all different, and yet we are all beautifully connected together here in la Gran Manzana!”

   Director: Pablo Garcia   Short: La estacion de la Calle Olvera  

“In all of us exists a desire of renovation and change when we migrate to the United States … the sad thing is that sometimes in the search we leave behind our identity and our values.”

The shorts which highlight inherent attributes shared by U.S. Hispanics will also be posted online and can be viewed by logging onto http://www.discoveryenespanol.com/

In addition to the inspirational short films, Discovery en Espanol will also be premiering a number of spectacular specials and originals during HHM:

Lucha Libre — Sunday, September 14, 9:00 PM E/P

Lucha Libre is more than just a sport. It’s a lifestyle, a kind of religion that presides over its main cast of characters and the legions of fans who passionately follow it. Deeply rooted in history, Lucha Libre is not always as it seems. Even from its humble beginnings, fighters have been exploited and their bodies are constantly being pushed to the limit with rigorous training and steroids use.

This documentary follows two Lucha Libre Luchadores (fighters) during their quest to become the best in the sport. One Luchador, who is world renowned, fights his aging body and struggles to keep himself at the top of his game. The other, a passionate rookie, dreams of getting the chance to prove himself in the ring to become the most famous and successful Luchador of his time. Their realities are very different, but both have something in common: their consuming passion for the sport.

Warriors: Cortez and Montezuma — Sunday, September 21, 10:00 PM E/P

Lavish, all-action dramatic special based on the lives of men who shaped the world around them, either by sheer force of will, genius, courage or even greed. Powerful, magnetic personalities who have earned their place in the world’s imagination, all prepared to die for what they believed in — whether it was God or gold, or the pursuit of power and glory. From Cortez whose ambition and greed were only matched by his cunning, to Montezuma who extended the boundaries of the Aztec empire beyond the Valley of Mexico thereby gaining access to exotic goods, this series explores the strengths and even the weaknesses that drove these men to achieve what no one else had dared.

Tlatelolco Massacre — Sunday, October 5, 10:00 PM E/P

This is Mexico’s Tiananmen Square. The massacre took place on the night of October 2, 1968, when a student demonstration ended in a storm of bullets in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas at Tlatelolco, Mexico City. The extent of the violence stunned the country. When the shooting stopped, hundreds of people lay dead or wounded, as Army and police forces seized surviving protesters and dragged them away. Even though months of nation-wide student strikes had prompted an increasingly hard-line response from the Diaz Ordaz regime, no one was prepared for the bloodbath that Tlatelolco became. Who was responsible for Tlatelolco? The Mexican people have been demanding an answer ever since. Forty years later, the Tlatelolco massacre has grown large in Mexican memory, and lingers still.

Santa Muerte — Sunday, October 12, 10:00 PM E/P

In Mexico there is a cult that is rapidly growing — the cult of Saint Death. This female grim reaper, considered a saint by followers but Satanic by the Catholic Church, is worshipped by people whose lives are filled with danger and/or violence — criminals, gang members, transvestites, sick people, drug addicts and families living in rough neighborhoods. Santa Muerte examines the origins of the cult and takes us on a tour of the altars, jails, and neighborhoods in Mexico where the saint’s most devoted followers can be found.

Finally, some of this special month’s programming line-up will also bring back several of Discovery en Espanol viewers’ favorite specials including:

   Discovery Atlas: Mexico -- Sunday, September 14, 10:00 PM E/P   Misterios de Yucatan -- Sunday, September 21, 9:00 PM E/P   La Virgen de Guadalupe -- Sunday, September 28, 9:00 PM E/P   Santo Milagro -- Sunday, September 28, 10:00 PM E/P   Viviendo en las Sombras -- Sunday, October 5, 9:00 PM E/P   Objetivo el Norte -- Sunday, October 12, 9:00 PM E/P    

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15 through October 15. It is a time to recognize the country’s Hispanics and their ongoing contributions to the greatness and growth of the US.

About Discovery en Espanol

The premier Spanish-language network dedicated to offering the finest in quality programming in the areas of science & technology, world culture & history, nature & wildlife and real-life dramas. With original shows made specifically for U.S. Hispanics and the best programming from Latin America, Discovery en Espanol is entertainment that stimulates, informs and empowers, giving viewers a fascinating look at the incredible, varied and always surprising real world.

Discovery en Espanol

CONTACT: Heidi Lazo, +1-305-255-4133, heidi@adcompr.com, or AngelaD’Costa, +1-305-866-4944, angela@adcompr.com, both for Discovery en Espanol

Web site: http://www.discoveryenespanol.com/




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