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2018 Latina of Influence | Sandra Avila

2018 Latina of Influence | Sandra Avila

Hispanic Lifestyle is pleased to recognize Movie and Television Independent producer Sandra Avila as a 2018 Latina of Influence. Ms. Avila along with our entire list of 2018 Latinas of Influence are invited to participate in Hispanic Lifestyle’s 2018 Latina Conference taking place April 4 and 5, 2018 in Ontario, California.

Sandra Avila currently works as a producer in Los Angeles focused on creating English language film and TV content for the U.S. Latino Market. As an independent producer, I have dedicated the last 18 years of my professional life to creating Film & TV content that speaks to and celebrates are community. I have worked tirelessly behind the scenes helping Latino writers, directors and actors achieve their professional goals, while also working on mine.

My most recent film, ENDGAME was inspired by the true story of the national award-winning chess teams from the Brownsville, TX school system.This was a story from the region of the country of which I was born and raised.  I was able to get Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family) to star in it along with Ivonne Coll (Jane the Virgin) and Justina Machado (One Day at a Time). I then sold it to HBO Latino and it had it’s TV premiere in July 2016. We have so many wonderful stories like this that need to be told. Recognizing me for this incredibly opportunity would give me the platform I need to continue to do just that.

She started her company in 2012 after wrapping a four-year stint at Maya Entertainment the previous year. As Director of Development, she oversaw all TV and film projects for the company. These include the indie comedy, TACO SHOP (2017 release) starring Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), the completion of the features, HARLEM HOSTEL starring Ramon Rodriguez (BATTLE LOS ANGELES, TRANSFORMERS; REVENGE OF THE FALLEN) and VALE TODO: Anything Goes.

In 2009, Avila co-executive produced Maya’s first TV production, ONE HOT SUMMER (A Latina “Sex & the City”) starring Vanessa Marcil and Jon Seda, in collaboration with the Lifetime Movie Network. In addition, she developed a (7) hour TV mini-series entitled, RAIN OF GOLD with Moctesuma Esparza (Selena, Gettysburg, Gods and Generals) and Gregory Nava (Selena, Frida and American Family) for HBO based on the novels by the same name.

Under her own banner, Avila produced ENDGAME starring Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family) that is inspired by the success of national award winning Brownsville, TX chess teams (premiered on HBO in July 2016) and a 1⁄2 hr. scripted dramedy entitled, TABLE MANNERS about a young female social worker that goes to work in a men’s home, directed by Angel Gracia (From Prada to Nada).Prior to her tenure at Maya, Avila worked in TV development at Showtime Networks where she worked on such shows as DEXTER, NURSE JACKIE, RESURRECTION BLVD., QUEER AS FOLK and BARBERSHOP. In addition, she oversaw the LATINO FILMMAKER SHOWCASE, which highlighted the work of upcoming Latino filmmakers from around the world.Avila received her BA from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX and her JD from Loyola Law School in New Orleans, LA.

She is also a member of groups that support diversity such as Colour Entertainment, Latino Filmmaker Salon and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. She was honored by NALIP as “TV Producers on the Rise” at MIP Cancun 2016 and is a frequent speaker on panels about her work as an independent producer and the importance of diversity in entertainment.


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