Eva Longoria has become a force in politics – she’s a rare breed who’s as influential in Washington as she is in Hollywood.
The actress and philanthropist is now lending her voice and name to a documentary that meshes the two – a film about the impact of Latino voters leading up to the upcoming midterm and presidential elections.
Longoria joined actor Amaury Nolasco and Puerto Rican brothers Gianpaolo and Alessandro Pietri, to produce “El Voto Hispano,” which is currently raising funds via Kickstarter.
“We wanted to do a crowd-funded project to be as transparent and objective as possible,” Gianpaolo Pietri told Fox News Latino. “It’s important to get the crowd-funding because of the transparency that it brings.”
Longoria told Politico that everyone talks about the Latino vote as if it was a simple, defined and easily described phenomenon, but in reality the community is broad and diverse and has only just “begun to exercise its true political power.”
“This film will help America understand the nature of that power,” Longoria continued. “A lot of attention has been paid to the role of Latinos in electing President Obama, but that election is really only the very beginning of the influence that our community is going to have on American politics and in shaping the future of this country.”
Pietri, who co-owns a Spanish-language news site in Puerto Rico with his brother, said they have been very interested in the topic of Latino voters for some time, but it was not until about six months ago that they began discussing doing a documentary.
“It’s a hot topic in the United States – the voice of the Latino voter,” he said. “We thought it was the time to show it. We are interested to see the Latino vote post Obama.”
Obama’s re-election was partly credited to Latinos flexing their political muscle and rallying behind him. His political opponent, Mitt Romney, has acknowledged his campaign blundered by not having a stronger Hispanic outreach.
Romney won just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote while Obama won 71 percent of the vote.
The Pietri brothers said they wrote the script and storyline for the documentary and then approached Nolasco through a mutual friend. Pietri said he immediately fell in love with the project and felt Longoria would also want to be involved – so the actor passed it along to her.
“Eva first learned about the project about two weeks ago,” said Pietri, adding they spoke over the phone soon afterward. “She spoke (to us) about her experiencing in the U.S. – which was incredible. She seemed like the perfect person for us.”
Longoria and Nolasco soon signed up as producers of the documentary. With them as backers, the film began to generate buzz and interest.
Now all they need is money. Through the Kickstarter campaign, the documentary has already raised close to $100,000.
“El Voto Hispano” will focus on the human side of politics. The Pietri brothers want to tell the story of a young Latina who recently became eligible to vote.
“She will be a regular girl and we will follow her as she gains an interest in the process and comes into her own (politically),” the filmmaker said. “She represents the three largest demographics that played a part in the last elections: young, female and Latina.”
The brothers also want to speak with Latino politicians like Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, along with the other possible presidential contenders in the upcoming elections.
Pietri said they have already reached out to several politicians and have received positive responses so far.
He said they eventually want to use the documentary to educate Hispanic and non-Hispanic voters about the importance and power of the Latino vote. After the documentary is done, they want to take their message on the road and want to hold town hall meetings and speak at voter registration events.
“This is an incredible opportunity,” Pietri said. “Thirty percent of Latino voters who are eligible to vote are not voting.”