The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) celebrated its 10th anniversary conference April 16-19, 2009 with “NALIP10: A Decade of Influence,” a weekend-long conference dedicated to examining the last and next decade of Latinos in film.

Presented by HBO and The National Latino Media Council, the event included panel discussions with such Latino talents as Wilmer Valderrama and Real Women Have Curves writer Josefina Lopez, producing opportunities and offered networking events for both established and emerging media professionals. Highlights included a special Latino edition of Back Stage’s Actorfest, which had more than 500 hopefuls attending its free open call for Latino talent, writing workshops and an awards ceremony that honored two aspiring moviemakers and three media luminaries who are leading the way to change in the world.

HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo was presented with a Dedication to Diversity and Commitment to Latino Media Award at the high-level keynote luncheon, where director and playwright Luis Valdez delivered the inspirational address.

NALIP’s 2009 honorees also included High School Musical director and choreographer Kenny Ortega, who received the Outstanding Achievement Award, and Raphael Montañez Ortiz, who co-founded El Museo del Barrio in New York City and is considered to be the fist U.S. Latino to have made a movie, for which he received the Pioneer Achievement Award.

NALIP also presented the fifth Latino Media Market, which selects feature production and development projects, documentary works-in-progress and reality television series ideas to participate in an executive meeting series designed to advance each producer’s project, arrange financing and attract broadcast licensing.

Moviemakers Cruz Angeles—whose Don’t Let Me Down premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival—and Hugo Perez, who produced and directed the documentary Summer Sun, Winter Moon, were presented with the Estela Awards, which awarded the up-and-coming moviemakers with a $7,500 cash prize.

For more information, visit