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Academy launches 'Seen,' a new interview series focused on Latinx artists & filmmakers


Tue, Jan 25th 2022 08:45 am

Featuring candid conversations with John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria & Edward James Olmos, hosted by journalist Nick Barili

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has launched “Seen,” a new interview series that follows Argentinean-American journalist, director, writer and producer Nick Barili as he sits down for one-on-one conversations with some of the film industry’s most influential artists and filmmakers with Latin-American and Spanish roots. In the first season, Academy members John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria and Edward James Olmos share their personal journeys, exploring how their crafts and culture play a role in breaking down barriers in filmmaking. Watch the trailer on the Academy’s YouTube.

The series kicks off in Leguizamo’s New York home, where the actor, writer, director and producer talks about his journey from troublemaker to trailblazer. Leguizamo discusses maneuvering through the industry over his decades-long career, how he’s confronted stereotypical casting, and the underrepresentation of Latinx communities both in front of and behind the camera. The conversation covers tokenism, colorism, and what’s left for him to accomplish. The episode is available now on the Academy’s YouTube.

In the series’ upcoming installments, Barili joins Olmos for a visit to students in the Youth Cinema Project program at Los Angeles County’s Bell Gardens Intermediate School (episode available Jan. 31) and meets with Longoria for a tour of California State University, Northridge, from which she received a master’s degree in Chicano studies in 2013 (episode available Feb. 7).

A first-generation immigrant and advocate for more Latinx representation, Barili co-founded the Latinx in Media & Arts Coalition (LIMA), which focuses on promoting Latinx creatives, increasing access to traditional and new media platforms, providing resources and opportunities to youth, and cultivating the next generation of Latinx entertainment and creative professionals. Barili also is the founder of Hard Knock TV, YouTube’s first hip-hop channel, which has garnered more than 100 million views and 285,000 subscribers. Over the course of his career, Barili has interviewed over 300 artists, hosted a show on Apple Music’s Beats 1, and spoken on and moderated industry panels for YouTube, SXSW, Google, Hispanicize, Full Color Future, and Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Read more about Barili and “Seen” in his interview with the Academy’s A.frame.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

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