This fall, HBO will spotlight Latin music’s history in a new star-studded documentary featuring Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana and others. Entitled The Latin Explosion: A New America, it will explore the history and the cultural impact of Latin artists living stateside from the 1950s to today. It’s set to premiere November 16 on HBO and HBO Latino. Tommy Mottola, a former Sony music executive who was essential in Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Ricky Martin’s success in the ’90s, executive produced the doc.
“We have assembled the largest array of Latino superstars ever in a film telling a powerful story of their history and immigration, politics, and rise from a small minority population to the most critical demographic in the United States,” said Mottola in a statement.
The Latin Explosion will cover the cultural, political and economic impact of Latin music movements like cha-cha and mambo in the ’50s, salsa in the ’70s, and Shakira’s, J-Lo’s, and Pitbull’s explosion in the ’90s, among others. Also featured in the film are interviews with Marc Anthony, Martin, Eva Longoria, George Lopez, Los Lobos, Cheech Marin, and others.
Since Mottola left Sony in 2003, he has delved into a slew of other projects including a management/TV production company called Champion Entertainment and a biography called Hitmaker: The Man and His Music. He also co-produced a live theater production of Pink Floyd’s The Wall with former Miramax head Harvey Weinstein. He has also continued to champion Latino music, most recently in helping Marc Antony relaunch his career.
Matthew O’Neill and Jon Alpert, the duo that previously won an Oscar nomination for 2010 doc China’s Unnatural Disaster, directed and produced the film. Columbian-American actor John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet) will narrate the doc. Mottola also worked with HBO’s Sheila Nevins on the production.