Welcome to NYWIFT Talks, a new weekly series to bring updated news and vital information about the impact of COVID-19 on the media and entertainment industry. Industry professionals will be in conversation discussing what you need to know about theatrical releases, digital advances, virtual tools, festival opportunities, production updates and more.
This edition of NYWIFT Talks is free for all to attend.
In this NYWIFT Talks, join Co-Directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch to discuss their new documentary about beloved psychic Walter Mercado in Mucho Mucho Amor.
Mucho Mucho Amor started streaming on Netflix on July 8th.
This conversation will be moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Zenaida Mendez.
Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado
Every single day for decades, extravagant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender nonconforming legend Walter Mercado charmed the world with his televised horoscopes. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, Walter was a celebrated daily part of Latin culture, who at his peak reached over 120 million viewers. Since childhood, Walter was regarded as a healer, but his greatest miracle might have been his personal transformation from shy farm boy to flamboyant showman. Walter enthralled much of the world with sequined capes, opulent jewelry and pressing horoscopes that shared a message of love and hope to his devoted viewers — until one day he mysteriously disappeared.
Over a decade later award-winning documentarians Cristina Costantini (Science Fair) and Kareem Tabsch (The Last Resort) plus producer Alex Fumero (I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson) received unprecedented access to Walter during his post-fame seclusion and invite us into his home and interior world. With Mucho Mucho Amor, they capture Walter’s final two years, when the pioneering icon grappled with aging and his legacy, as he prepared for one last star-studded spectacle.
Featuring Walter Mercado, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eugenio Derbez and Raul de Molina.
Cristina Costantini (Director/Producer) Cristina directed Science Fair, which won audience awards at Sundance and SxSW in 2018, as well as an Emmy and a Critics’ Choice award for best first time director. Cristina previously worked as an investigative journalist, covering detention centers, sex trafficking and the opiate epidemic. Her investigative work has been recognized with a GLAAD Award and a duPont. She is a partner at Los Angeles-based production company, Muck Media.
Kareem Tabsch (Director/Producer) Kareem directed The Last Resort, an official selection of DOC NYC distributed by Kino Lorber. His short Dolphin Lover premiered at Slamdance and won Best Short Doc at LA Film Festival. Former Program Director of The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Kareem is the co-founder of South Florida’s largest art house theater, O Cinema.
Zenaida Mendez (Moderator) holds the esteemed position of Director of Manhattan Neighborhood Network(MNN) El Barrio Firehouse Community Media. Ms. Zenaida Mendez has an intensive career in public service and community activism. She first became involved in public access television in the early 90’s as a member of Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) board of directors and as an independent television program producer. In 2006, she became MNN’s Director of External Affairs and as such Mendez was responsible for leading a successful outcome of the cable television re-franchising process.
In 2015, Mendez became Director of MNN’s newest television studio in East Harlem/El Barrio, in New York City. Responsible for personnel, administrative and operational management of the Media Center, she also develops dynamic and event-based programming initiatives, including developing partnerships with local nonprofits and community groups. Mendez is responsible for overseeing the production and development of the MNN Firehouse facilitated television productions as the Executive Producer. Mendez is a social justice activist and an avid voice for tolerance, has many years of experience working as an advocate for women’s right, equal marriage, and economic, racial and environmental justice. Mendez earned a BA in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Masters degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York, Graduate School of Public Affairs.
This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.
We encourage you to download Zoom in advance.
NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.