March 5, 2004

Next Generation of Latino Writers

New group of talent chosen for intensive development program

After a nationwide search for the most promising Latino television writers in the country, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and NBC have selected the next group of talent to be part of their development program.

The writers were selected for the highly competitive program through a rigorous screening process. The intensive five-week program is designed as a writer’s boot camp where they polish existing scripts and develop new material.

During the five weeks, Geoff Harris, former VP of Story and Writer Development at NBC, mentors the program’s participants. They also learn about the ins and outs of the industry through unprecedented access to network executives, literary agents and other television insiders.

The ultimate goal of the program is based on a strategy for career success that includes their individual evolution into staff writers, show runners and producers, including a plan to help and mentor other young writers to attain their goals. This agenda creates a cycle of opportunity for talented writers whom otherwise would go unnoticed.

The program, only in existence since the Spring of 2003, has successfully placed Victor DeJesus, who is currently working on the writing staff of the NBC show THIRD WATCH.

The program came about as a result of the ongoing talks between the National Hispanic Medial Coalition and the Networks regarding the under representation of Latinos in the media. The program is one of many steps the networks are taking in order to attain more diversity throughout their programming.

This group of talented writers is worth keeping an eye on this year. The ever-growing demand for solid writers in Hollywood makes these artists an important asset to the industry’s future. Calls are already being fielded from production companies and agents expressing interest in the writers even before the five-week program has concluded; although, NBC has first-look rights at this exceptional talent pool.


- DAVAH AVENA graduated with an MFA in Cinema/Television Production from USC, where she was a Tele-mundo Fellow. Her short film, IN HOT PURSUIT, was a hit on the festival circuit. Most recently, Davah participated in the Nickelodeon Minority Writing Fellowship.

- RAFAEL GARCIA studied English at Columbia University. He continued his education at UCLA’s School for Professional Studies focusing on Television Writing. Rafael also participated in the Warner Bros. Comedy Writing Workshop and the Groundlings School.

- CONRAD E. GOMEZ is recognized for his stylized use of New Mexican flavor in his writing. His screenplay, SABINO DAYS, was a Sundance Screenplay Writing Contest finalist and a Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship quarter-finalist. He has also written for Hispanic Magazine.

- NELLIE MEDINA has been an independent producer/writer in the television and film industry for the past decade. She was under an exclusive contract with HBO, where she produced its highest rated documentary series AUTOPSY. She was selected for the National Independent Latino Producers Academy and participates yearly as an Emmy Judge.

- QUINTO REYES, a Puerto Rican-born international stand-up comedian, has appeared on BET’S COMICVIEW and NASH BRIDGES. He was also the writer and creator of the critically acclaimed television show NUT-N-NICE. Quinto has also produced and directed the feature film LOVE TAKES TIME for national festival circuit.

For more information, please contact the National Hispanic Media Coalition at (213) 746-6988 or email

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