Co-founded in 1997 by Mario Zavaleta and Martha Isabel Sánchez, Latino Northwest Communications was created in response to the rapidly growing Latino community and their need for video production that properly portrayed Latinos in the Northwest.
As the Latino community continues to grow, so too does the need for proper production of television programs, feature stories, documentaries, and educational, corporate and promotional videos. Media Inc. asked Zavaleta to answer a few questions about the Latino community’s expanding production needs.
Is there a rapidly growing Latino production industry?
Certainly the Latino production industry in this area is rapidly growing, considering that just in the state of Washington, the Latino community tripled since the year 2000.
What do those numbers look like?
As far as I have knowledge, in this state there are at least a dozen professional video production companies serving the Latino market, which have capability to produce on a high level. However, there are many others that are engaged in producing all kinds of projects, including documenting family events.
Tell us about the Latino production trends. Is most of the production work in television? Documentaries? Movies? Commercial?
As in most markets, Latino producers in Washington are mainly using digital media to show their work and serve their audience. Although there is a significant market in the production of TV commercials for the six stations that broadcast in Spanish in this state (Univision Seattle, V-me TV, Azteca America, Hispanavision in Yakima, Univision Yakima, and Univision Tri Cities), every day there are more people interested in producing documentaries, corporate, educational, music videos, etc., that are using digital media as their main forum.
To date, our company, Latino Northwest Communications, is the only one in this region that produces special programs in Spanish, and does news coverage for Univision, the largest Spanish television network in the United States, which is extensively seen throughout Latin America, Canada and parts of Europe.
How is the Latino production industry different from the rest of the industry? Does the Latino community have different consumer demands?
It does. The Latino community is very diverse and complex because what works for first generation immigrants does not necessarily work for the second or third generations. What may work for Mexicans, may not work for Puerto Ricans, Argentineans or Peruvians. According to the 2010 Census, the Latino community has reached a buying power that surpasses $1.3 trillion a year. In order to successfully reach this desirable market, all types of corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations need to rely on the knowledge and cultural understanding of Latino production companies.