Abrams Artists Agency has signed award-winning actress, comedian and producer, Kiki Melendez for representation under Paul Weitzman, VP and Co-Head of its literary department. The announcement follows the success of the first Multicultural Television Sizzle Reel Upfronts produced by Melendez to promote a high-quality, multicultural slate of programming in a variety of television genres.
Melendez, founder and executive producer of Latin Hollywood Films, along with Latin Heat Media Institute, co-produced the newly-formed TV Upfronts in New York (Sept. 30) and Los Angeles (Oct. 13). The events were conceived by Melendez to spotlight independently-produced, original, English-language content for networks, alternative distributors and advertisers.
“We are so incredibly happy to be working with Kiki, who is a force to be reckoned with,” said Weitzman. “She is a powerful creative voice who’s bound to become a household name.”
The groundbreaking presentations highlighted behind-the-scenes work by TV veterans like Paul Rodriguez, who served as a director, as well as writers like Greg Wilson (The Girl Next Door), Jon Macks (Jay Leno, Academy Awards) and Craig Moss (Bad Ass).
The original pilot presentations also featured stars in a variety of genres. They included Noemi Gonzales, Emilio Rivera and Sofia Milos in the sitcom, Hail Mary!; Guy Ecker and Shaula Vega in My MotherMarried A Green-go; Zulay Henao, Joseph Julian Soria and Shari Belafonte in the drama, Life Coach; and Yancey Arias, Jason Gedrick, Ilia Volok in Velvet Underground. The screenings also showcased the talk shows #BuzzChat and Kiki Mobile; the reality shows, Million Dollar Sketch Off, The Real Miami Vice and Banquet Hall Drama, as well as a children’s program, Tipi Tom.
“Attending the Latin Hollywood Films Upfronts was a great experience and an example of the untapped talent and original programming that we have in our multicultural community,” said Ozzie Areu, President of Tyler Perry Studios.
“The talent, content and production value was impressive,” said Justin Steger, Creative Development Executive at Electus. “The founders put on an incredibly passionate event and it’s this kind of diverse movement reflective of the world today that Electus always wants to be a part of.”
“This is an exciting time for multicultural talent and the response from buyers has been phenomenal,” said Kiki Melendez. “The networks and studios are ready and willing to receive and we can deliver!”
Melendez made her TV debut with Galavision’s #1 entertainment show in 2000, “Kiki Desde Hollywood,” and then created Showtime’s hit comedy special, “Hot Tamales Live!” which aired from 2007-2011. Melendez also garnered critical acclaim on the big screen with the dock-comedy, “Journey of a Female Comic” released by AMC Theaters’ Independent Program in 2014 and added to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences core collection.