Maya Entertainment and Blockbuster(R) Team Up to Advance Latino Films With Film Festival & Screenwriting Competition

March 24, 2009

LOS ANGELES, March 24 /PRNewswire/ – Maya Entertainment, the Latino-owned film entertainment company that brought “How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer” to the big screen, is teaming up with Blockbuster Inc., a leading global provider of in-home movie and game entertainment, to support the growing Latino filmmaking industry in the U.S. and spotlight quality examples of its work.

Together, the companies are presenting two programs. The first is Maya Independent sponsored by BLOCKBUSTER(R), a 10-city film festival featuring internationally acclaimed films, actors and filmmakers. The second is Project Goldenlight, a national screenwriting competition.

“We recognize the growing Hispanic marketplace and the massive opportunity to further capture those consumers with the launch of these projects,” commented Keith Leopard, director of film content for Blockbuster. “Maya is a great company for us to work with to promote the Latino film category and further Blockbuster’s focus on delivering diverse entertainment to a broad consumer base.”

Maya Independent sponsored by BLOCKBUSTER(R) will take Latino-themed films and exhibit them theatrically as part of a mid-year, 10-city tour, including at theaters owned and operated by Maya’s sister company Maya Cinemas. Following the theatrical tour, the films will be available for rental exclusively at BLOCKBUSTER stores beginning with Hispanic Heritage Month in September 2009.

“We are excited to team up with Blockbuster to bring quality films to general audiences in both a theatrical and video platform,” said Victor Elizalde, head of home video for Maya Entertainment.

The film program will include both domestically produced and internationally acclaimed films never before distributed in North America. Films being considered for inclusion feature high-profile Latino actors as well as Latino filmmakers and themes. The official list of entries will be announced shortly.

“Historically these films might not have been released theatrically and as a result not be seen in the format for which they were created,” added Jose Martinez, Jr., executive VP of Maya Entertainment who oversees acquisitions. “We are happy to offer this unique opportunity to filmmakers who want to showcase their work and to afford the U.S. audience an opportunity to enjoy high-quality films.”

Project Goldenlight, the second facet of the relationship, is a screenwriting competition in which esteemed industry experts will select an original screenplay from a pool of contestants to be developed by Martinez, who also manages the development team at Maya. Depending on the output of the project, the final product will be released theatrically and then have an exclusive rental window at participating BLOCKBUSTER stores.

Industry experts who will participate in the Project Goldenlight selection process include Moctesuma Esparza, film producer and CEO of Maya Entertainment; Alexis Garcia of Endeavor Talent Agency; Keith Leopard of Blockbuster Inc.; El Mayimbe, Story Analyst & Script Reviewer at LatinoReview.com; Hernany Perla, Director of Development at Lionsgate; and Roberto Orci television producer (“Fringe,” “Eagle Eye”) and screenwriter (“Transformers,” “Star Trek”).

The Project Goldenlight competition is scheduled to launch in the spring through www.LatinoReview.com in association with The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (“NALIP”) Producer’s Academy.

About Maya Entertainment

Maya Entertainment, headed by award winning producer Moctesuma Esparza and co-chaired by Jeff Valdez, is the only Latino owned and managed filmed entertainment company specifically focused on the growing U.S. Latino film-going audience. Maya Entertainment is the sister company of Maya Cinemas North America, Inc. a movie theater exhibition company featuring state-of-the-art multiplex cinemas with a site in Salinas, CA and new sites soon to be opened in Bakersfield, CA, San Bernardino, Fresno, CA, Santa Fe, NM, Chicago, IL, San Antonio, TX, Houston, TX, New York and more. For more info go to: www.maya-entertainment.com.

About Blockbuster

Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI, BBI.B) is a leading global provider of in-home movie and game entertainment, with more than 7,500 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. The Company may be accessed worldwide at www.blockbuster.com.

SOURCE Maya Entertainment

Source: newswire

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