El Nuevo Herald, March 28, 2002 (in Spanish)
FESTIVAL DE CINE LATINO by Charles Cotayo,
El Nuevo Herald, March 28, 2002
Pablo es un inmigrante ilegal hondureño que en su tierra natal fue un profesor de literatura inglesa. Después de perder trágicamente a su mujer y su casa durante el huracán Mitch, decide buscar nuevos horizontes, o lo que clásicamente se llama el American Dream.
En Estados Unidos su vida se convierte en una pesadilla cuando accidentalmente atropella con su vehículo a una niña norteamericana. Su fuga por las calles de Los Angeles se convierte en el tema de un documental que una muchacha filma, a la misma vez que él y su hija pequeña son perseguidos por la policía.
El filme, hablado en inglés, es impactante en su exploración de los dolorosos desafíos que sufren tantas personas en busca de una mejor vida.También es una prueba absoluta de que no se necesita un presupuesto multimillonario o un elenco de superestrellas para lograr una excelente y emotiva película.
Con los ingredientes esenciales de una cinta bien escrita y dirigida:
actuaciones maravillosas, una buena dosis de suspenso y, sobre todo, compasión
humana. No tiene una nota falsa.
UN ARTISTA QUE NO VUELVE ATRAS by Isis Sauceda, La Opinion, February 23, 2002
Jesús Nebot presenta este fin de semana 'No Turning Back', una historia sobre el amor de un inmigrante indocumentado hacia su pequeña hija.
Al perder a su esposa en la devastadora tragedia provocada por el huracán Mitch en Honduras, Pablo decidió buscar nuevos horizontes.
Con su hija de la mano, su mirada apuntó hacia el norte. Con mucha suerte logró cruzar la frontera y pisar suelo americano. Su sueño de brindar una mejor vida a su pequeña Cristina poco a poco se fue convirtiendo en realidad. Sin embargo, Pablo olvidó que el mañana es incierto, que las cosas pueden cambiar de un momento a otro y nunca esperó lo que el futuro le tenía deparado.
Así comienza el filme No Turning Back, de Jesús Nebot, la historia del amor de un padre hacia su hija.
Basada en hechos reales, la cinta relata la experiencia de un inmigrante indocumentado en Estados Unidos que se ve forzado a evadir a las autoridades para proteger a su niña de 6 años de un futuro inseguro.
Muchos pensarían que éste es un cuento que nadie quiere ver. De hecho, Hollywood lo hizo. La Meca del Cine vio el proyecto como una locura, pero el productor, actor y cineasta español no desistió. Nebot se arriesgó a llevar la historia a la pantalla grande.
"Cuando fui a Hollywood a buscar dinero para esta película me dijeron: 'Estás loco si crees que la gente va a ir a ver la historia de un inmigrante indocumentado que tiene tantos problemas'", recuerda desilusionado. "Pero es importante hacer películas que tengan algo que decir, que den voz a gente que normalmente no la tiene, películas que inspiren a los demás, que toquen el corazón de la gente".
Por eso, el joven de mirada firme tenía que arriesgarse para no dejar muda la voz de Pablo, el protagonista de la historia. Su meta es que la cinta despierte el sentimiento humano de la gente y que contribuya a crear un mejor lugar donde vivir.
No Turning Back se presenta este fin de semana ante críticos (y posibles distribuidores) durante el festival del Mercado Cinematográfico Americano (AFM). El largometraje lleva ventaja, ha ganado varios premios alrededor del país, incluyendo el de Mejor Película en el San Antonio Cinefestival de Texas, con lo que ha demostrado que aunque Hollywood rechazó el proyecto, la historia quiere ser vista.
"El mundo del entretenimiento es muy complicado. Los latinos no estamos representados. Pero no hay que presentarnos como víctimas. No podemos esperar que Hollywood venga y diga: 'Vamos a hacer historias latinas'".
"Hollywood no está a favor de la Acción Afirmativa. Su objetivo es ganar dinero. [Pero] Hollywood es necesario porque abre las puertas a nivel mundial", comenta con tono frustrado el hombre de 32 años que de chico sentía el deseo de ser misionero.
Desde pequeño, Nebot estuvo dispuesto a ayudar al prójimo. Peleaba con sus padres por cuestiones políticas, porque debían ayudar a los demás, porque debían cambiar el mundo. Luego, según él, encontró la mejor manera de hacerlo. Se dio cuenta que podría expresar sus deseos y sentimientos artísticamente. Así decidió convertirse en actor.
"Ser actor no es tan frívolo como pensaba. Uno puede cumplir con una labor social y ser un reflejo de los demás, de lo que pasa en el mundo", manifiesta.
Precisamente, ése ha sido su deseo desde sus inicios. Está avanzando paso a pasito hasta su meta, pero no es un desconocido. En la pantalla chica participó en las series La loba herida y Divina obsesión, que se vendieron en 27 países. Ha realizado ocho obras de teatro, incluyendo Bodas de sangre, de Federico García Lorca, y El mercader de Venecia, de Shakespeare.
Desde que llegó a Los Angeles --hace cuatro años-- no ha parado de trabajar. Participó en NYPD Blue, The Sentinel, Angel From the Sky y Final Voyage, entre otros proyectos; aunque reconoce que ninguno es más importante que No Turning Back.
A Nebot, quien antes sólo era reconocido como actor, este filme le brinda el respeto de la industria como productor y cineasta, reconocimiento que está dispuesto a aprovechar.
"Desde ahora soy director y productor. Se me da un grado de respeto como profesional en el medio que antes no tenía. Ahora es mi obligación utilizar mi talento para contar historias que tienen que ser contadas. Tengo el compromiso de dar voz a aquellos que no son tan privilegiados".
Ese compromiso no es sólo un decir. Nebot actualmente trabaja en su segunda cinta sobre la conquista de México, mostrando otra cara de la historia: el indígena que termina enriqueciendo al ibérico.
No Turning Back se presenta gratuitamente hoy y mañana a las 11:00
a.m. en el teatro Mann Criterion, 1313 Third Street Promenade, en Santa
Mónica. Información: (310) 478-0770.
ANGEL WITH THE KEY by Maria Elena Fernandez, Los Angeles Times, July 17, 2001
encounter with a woman with a video camera and a mission led to his on-the-run
film "No Turning Back."
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS? by Alexandria Abramian, Speak Up Magazine, November, 2000
Abrirse camino en Hollywood no es tarea facil pero ello no es oblice para que actores y actrices espanoles esten alli a la espera de una oportunidad. Antonio Banderas lo consiguio y otros, como Jesus Nebot o Laura Bayonas, van por buen camino.
Breaking into Hollywood is not easy but it doesn't stop Spanish actors and actrices from waiting over there for an opportunity. Antonia Banderas has made it and others are well on their way, such as Jesus Nebot and Laura Bayonas.
In only three years in Los Angele, Jesus Nebot has starred in countless television shows, films, commercials, and plays. These days, Nebot has added his own independent production company to an already enviable resume, with offices in the upscale Santa Monica Mountains.
After a promising start in Venezuelan soap operas, Nebot decided to try his luck in Hollywood. Soon he had an agent, was going to auditions, oftern appeared on television, and is now "turning down offers."
Cut! Reality check. While true, Nebot's story is more of a Hollywood fairy tale. For hundreds of other Spanish hopefuls, the transition to Hollywood is a difficult one; where big dreams are quickly tested in low paying jobs, fruitless auditions, and the logistical mightmare of obtaining work visas.
"Accent, accent, accent," laments Laura Bayonas, who comes from a long line of Spanish film actors and screen writers. "In the past, actors like Greta Garb could have an accent, but now it's different. The market is for Americans."
For Bayonas, leaving a lucrative film and television career behind in Madrid and coming to Los Angeles was like starting over. "It's difficult to break in here. You go to all these auditions and you try to find an agent and you feel like nothing. I couldn't even talk."
Her experience is echoed by countless other Spanish editors, directors, writers, and actors, who all come to Hollywood in the hopes of making it big. Even those with flourishing careers in Spain, like Inma Nunez, recount the same sensation of feeling like a nobody in Los Angeles. "When I got to LA I said, 'I'm going to be rich, I'm going to be famous, because I have so much experience'". But the TeleMadrid producer and second assistant director of Libertarias soon learned otherwise. "It was horrible. Coming here was the worst experience I everhad in my life. I couldn't get a job." For many, starting from zero means taking low paying jobs to make ends meet until the "big break" arrives. Carlos Mendez, an actor/producer, did eveything from flipping hamburgers to doing construction work in order to support himself while he went to acting auditions.
But why give up a successful career in order to sell hamburgers in Los Angeles? The answer is simple: Opportunity. As the world's birth place and leader of the film and television industry, there are more opportunities to work in film and television in Hollywood than anywhere else in the world.
But as many soon find, while the film industry may be huge, jobs in it are still very hard to find. "Opportuities are much better here," says Javier Carbo, who worked as a door to door salesman before he founded his own production company which made such films as "Things I Never Told You," by Spanish director, Isabel Coixet, "but it's a matter of quantity. There are so many people here, many of whom are willing to work for free to get experience, that it can be hard to find work."
Even so, the recent boom in the Latin television and film industry has sparked a new wealth of opportunity for Spanish actors, producers, writers and directors. Jesus Nebot attributes much of his success to the flourishing Latin Market: "I position myself as Latin in this country. I don't emphasize that I'm from Spain."
But some consider the Latin market a double edged sword; both an opportunity to work, but one one that cannot compare to American cinema and film. Bayonas, who works as the host of a Latin American morning talk show, says that "Latin TV is very poor compared to the American Market. It's old fashioned."
Some even specualte that their success in Hollywood could ultimately benefit the Spanish film industry. Javier Carbo represents commericial directors from Spain looking for work in the US and helps produce films by Spanish directors. Similarly, Nebot works with Spanish screenwriters in his new production company and hopes one day to return to Spain, although he admits, "In the long run, Los Angeles is the place for me to be."
Interview with Jesus Nebot by Jenna Glatzer, Absolute Write, October 27, 2000 http://www.absolutewrite.com/screenwriting/jesus_nebot.htm
Jesus Nebot began his career as an actor in Spain. He is a renowned actor in Latin America and Spain, starring in the popular television series La Loba Herida and Divina Obsesion, distributed by Warner Brothers International in over 27 countries. He came to the United States to branch out his career, and started Zokalo Entertainment to produce films geared to the growing Latino audience in the U.S.
Tell us about your background in film and television.
I've been a working actor for almost 15 years. I'm a graduate of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts of Madrid (Spain) and The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute of New York.
Why did you come to the United States?
After a successful career as an actor in Spain and Latin America I wanted to expand my professional horizons with new challenges and have the opportunity of working in projects that would reach a wider audience. That meant coming to the World Capital of Entertainment and improving my English in order to work in this language.
Did the fact that you starred in a very well-known Spanish TV series make it easy for you to make connections in Hollywood?
No. My prior career didn't help me much beyond allowing me to secure an agent. I had to prove myself again... from scratch, since this was a new and highly competitive market.
Why did you decide to get into directing and producing?
I wanted to have more creative control over my acting career and at the same time take to the big screen projects that, aside from being entertaining, were meaningful and had the potential of touching people's hearts. I believe that part of my responsibility as an actor and filmmaker is to make sure I'm contributing in making this planet a better place. Ultimately my fullfilment as a media artist comes from knowing that I am using all my talent to, at some extent, making a difference in other people's lives. That vision is the one that motivated me to become a producer, writer and director.
Where did you find the story for your directorial debut film, NO TURNING BACK?
NO TURNING BACK came to me in a magical way. A guerrilla journalist by the code name of SOID approached me to take to the screen a fascinating story that she had been covering with her mini-DV camera in the last ten days. Yet, she broke the law to do so and therefore, in order to protect her identity, we had to proceed with strict confidentiality. More information can be found on our web site www.noturningback.com.
What was special about this story for you?
Telling the story of the "underdog". Embracing the challenge of taking the audience into a journey where they could have sympathy for a guy who kills a child and runs away. I think it is important to awaken people's compassion for the so called "bad guys" of our society. Healing will never occur by demonizing them.
What did you learn about the filmmaking process while working on this film? Everything. Most importantly that filmmaking is a collaborative art and therefore, not only do you need a vision, but also the ability to communicate to your team that vision to get the best out of them. In other words, beyond talent, you also need leadership skills that will allow you to listen to people, appreciate their work and then guide them towards the desired outcome.
What were the most positive and negative aspects of making the film?
The most positive thing was giving birth to the film itself. There is nothing more fullfiling on a creative level. I can't see negative things, only a lot of challenges that have helped me to grow as producer and filmmaker.
What are your hopes for the film's future? I will be very happy if we can secure domestic theatrical distribution. In the meantime, my main goal is that this film is embraced by different audiences while playing in the film festival circuit.
What kinds of scripts are you looking for now? Contemporary character driven stories that are written from the heart. Great scripts that, beyond being entertaining, have something to say. I'm also open to documentaries.
Will you star in all of the films you produce and direct?
Not necessarily. I actually think doing those three things at once is kind of crazy.
Do you believe Hollywood is getting better at recognizing minorities and women?
I think Hollywood cares about making money, period. This is a "for profit" industry to them and affirmative action is not part of their agenda. They will care more about women and minorities when projects like mine prove to be successful at the box office.
What's something you wish you knew before you came to Hollywood?
The importance of "perception" in this town.
What is your dream role?
Roles with dimension. It could be a spiritual master in crisis or a psychopath who has an opportunity to reveal his humanity. Characters who are intriguing in essence and speak with their eyes more than with their mouths.
What are your plans for your future in the film business?
Establish Zokalo Entertainment in the market place as a company that can succeed producing low budget character driven films with a strong humanitarian component. Films that entertain and enlighten audiences worldwide.
Anything further you'd like to add?
Follow your heart.
FILM SHORTS by Zorianna Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, July 10, 2000
Lindsay Price ("Beverly Hills 90210") is starring in Zokalo Entertainment's indie film "No Turning Back." Written and directed by Jesus Nebot and Julia Montejo , the project is inspired by the true story of a guerilla journalist's experience of being on the run with an illegal immigrant and his daughter, the latter of whom thinks she is on a vacation celebrating her birthday.
Price stars as the journalist, while Joe Estevez, Vernee Watson Johnson, Susan Haskell, Chelsey Rendon, Kenya Moore and Nebot round out the cast.
Aqua Vie Obtains West Coast Movie Placement, Engages International Trade Expert to Assist with Global Distribution, Aqua Vie Press Release, June 22, 2000
KETCHUM, Idaho, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Thomas Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Aqua Vie Beverage Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: AVBC - news), announced today that on the heels of the company's having reached agreements for product distribution in southern California, Aqua Vie Hydrators(TM) have been slated as a product placement to be featured in the Spanish Cinema production of No Turning Back, which is being shot in Los Angeles during June and July.
Filmmakers Julia Montejo and Jesus Nebot, who also stars in the production, are the film's directors. The film showcases the talents of director of photography Ian Fox (Runaway Bride, Twister). No Turning Back is a feature developed in the U.S. and being produced in English for mainstream audiences under the banner of Zokalo Entertainment. Inspired by writing of a journalist named Soid, the movie is described as a ``road movie'' and a cross between Thelma and Louise and Life Is Beautiful. In addition to Nebot, who is widely known in Latin America and Spain, also starring in the film are Lindsay Price (Beverly Hills 90210), Vernee Watson Johnson (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Susan Haskell (JAG), and Joe Estevez (Lockdown).
``Movie placements historically have worked quite well for Aqua Vie. Spanish cinema is a new 'flavor' in entertainment, and Aqua Vie is pleased to be part of it,'' said Gillespie.
Further on the marketing and international front, Gillespie announced that the company has engaged the services of Washington, D.C.-based International Trade Services Corporation (ITSC), a specialized trade advisory firm, to assist Aqua Vie in strategic planning and management issues related to international distribution of the company's all-natural products made from spring water. International Trade Services Corporation is expert in the various regulatory, customs, tariff and other issues affecting international trade. The firm has an excellent track record with companies in the food and beverage sector, including some of the world's largest and most successful. ITSC has global experience including Europe, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Central and South America, Africa, and the CARICOM group of countries.
``Aqua Vie's decision to engage in international distribution of its products is an important commitment that represents excellent long-term potential and warrants the professional expertise offered by ITSC,'' said Gillespie.
Aqua Vie Beverage Corporation develops and markets all natural, lightly flavored, still (non-carbonated) bottled spring water. The company's low-calorie alternative beverages are bacteria-free and contain no preservatives. Aqua Vie produces and markets the Hydrator(TM) line of beverages in the United States and Europe. This beverage line, comprised of seven low-calorie, all-natural beverages that are lightly flavored and packaged in half-liter bottles, is designed to increase one's personal consumption of water, naturally. The underlying technology also serves as the new delivery system for Aqua Vie's nutritionally fortified E Line(TM) -- Elixir(TM), Empower(TM), and Ecstasy(TM); its nutritionally specific line of Aquaceuticals(TM); and Aqua Vie's nonalcoholic wine and champagne beverages made from spring water. For further information about Aqua Vie Beverage Corporation, visit the company's web site at www.aquavie.com.
"BODAS DE SANGRE" COMO LORCA SE LO DEBIO IMAGINAR por Gustavo E. Fernandez, Mundo L.A., September 30, 1999 (Translated from Spanish)
Jesus Nebot as "Leonardo" is magnificent. He finds qualities to this character that other actors overlook. Nebot makes us see the delicate side of this lonely and outlawed individual, due to the pain of love. Instead of being a full of hate "Leonardo," Nebot shows us a terrible suffering hidden behind a wall of masculinity. A bomb waiting to explode, yet romantic and subtle at the same time.
ACTOR-PRODUCER JESUS NEBOT LAUNCHES INDIE PROD'N OUTFIT by Anne Marie de la Fuente, Screenland International, July 2-8, 1999
LOS ANGELES Los Angeles-based Spanish actor and producer Jesus Nebot has launched his own independent production company. Dubbed Zokalo, the fledging outfit plans to develop and produce feature films budgeted at under $6m as well as television movies and series.
Joining Nebot are Chris Sablan as director of development and Trisha Mesa as head of business affairs. Sablan hails from Canal Fox and Codikow Films while Mesa held posts at Regent Entertainment and MTV Networks. According to Nebot, Zokalo's first of many projects aimed at the global market is romantic thriller Out of Love scripted by Spanish screenwriter Julia Montejo. Nebot is attached to play the lead. Principal photography is slated for March 2000.
Zokalo aims to produce an average of two to three theatrical or television movies a year in conjunction with film companies from the US, Canada and Europe.
Nebot has starred in a handful of US independent films, and is renowned in Spain and Latin America for his leading roles in wildly popular telenovelas (Latino soaps) La Loba Herida and Divina Obsesion. He recently won the Golden Star Halo award from the Southern California Motion Picture Council for his 'outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry'.
Other projects in development include a sitcom for a US Hispanic network. Nebot is in co-production talks with Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith's Green Moon Productions and Salma Hayek's Ventanarosa Productions. Both companies have production deals with US Hispanic broadcaster Telemundo, co-owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media. Zokalo is also developing a TV series on spiritual masters of the world.
SUPERSTAR, SPANISH SALSA STYLE by Tracey Alexander, The Hollywood Chronicle, Summer 1999
Jesus Nebot is one of the many performers who comes from a different country to make it big in LA, and, surprisingly enough, Jesus Nebot does really seem to have the stuff to make it happen. Native to the mother country, Spain, Jesus (pronounced Hay-zues) is a hard-working actor, producer, director.
Jesus is an international TV star, on such shows as La Loba Herida and Divina Obsesion. These two programs are distributed by Warner Bros. International to 27 countries. Also, he recently played the title role in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespear.
Jesus Nebot has developed an independent theatrical company called Zokalo. The purpose of Zokalo is to specialize in developing and producing character driven feature films under six million dollars with a strong appeal to the international market. Jesus Nebot says, "My goal is to produce highly entertaining and powerful films with some of the most talented writers, directors and actors."
Jesus Nebot will be one of the guests of honor at the July 25th program at Seafood Village.
HISPANOS Y MUJERES RECIBIRAN MAYOR PROYECCION EN EL CINE DE HOLLYWOOD por Miguel Suarez Orozco, Orange County Register, June 4, 1999 (Spanish Language Edition)
Zokalo, una compañía creada por el actor y productor español Jesús Nebot, dará mayor impulso a artistas hispanos y mujeres en Hollywood, integrándolos a películas destinadas al mercado internacional.
"Los latinos y las mujeres son los grupos menos representados en la industria fílmica estadounidiense", dijo Nebot, indicando que hará largometrajes "interesantes, de fuerte temática, con los más talentosos escritores, directores y actores, que podrían estar siendo ignorados por el gran público".
La creación de la nueva productora fue anunciada por Stacey Kumagai, quien dijo que se destinarán casi seis millones de dolares a cada película.
Chris Sablan, quien laboró para Canal Fox y Codikow Films, será director de desarrollo de Zokalo, cuyo plan incluye de dos a tres películas anuales en coproducción con firmas de Canada, Europa y Estados Unidos.
El primer proyecto incluirá como protagonistas a la actriz Julia Montejo y a Nebot en la película de suspenso "Out of Love", cuyo rodaje será iniciado en marzo del año 2,000, dijo el informante.
Nebot es un astro de la televisión en España y Sudamérica, y recientemente recibió el premio Golden Star Halo del Southern California Motion Pictures Council, por su contribución a la industria del entretenimiento.
Durante los últimos tres años, Nebot filmó en este país cinco películas, y es famoso por sus roles estelares en las series de televisión "La loba herida" y "Divina obsesión" distribuídas por Warner Bros. International en 27 países. En teatro hizo el papel principal en el drama de Shakespeare "El mercader de Venecia", en el Los Angeles Theatre Center.
Zokalo tiene su base en Santa Mónica, y quines deseen más información pueden llamar a Kumagai al (818)506-8675.
Copyright 1999-2000 Zokalo Entertainment
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