Selena: About The Filmmakers

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Director/writer GREGORY NAVA was born in San Diego, California, and attended film school at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he made his first half-hour dramatic film based on the life of Garcia Lorca, entitled "The Journal of Diego Rodriguez Silva." This short film earned Nava the Best Dramatic Film Award at the National Student Film Festival. In 1976, his first feature, "The Confessions of Amans," won the Best First Feature Award at the Chicago International Film Festival.

In 1984, Nava collaborated with his wife, Anna Thomas, on the film "El Norte," the moving account of a young brother and sister from Guatemala who enter the U.S. illegally to work. The film garnered many international awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Last year, it was named an "American Classic" and designated for special preservation by the Library of Congress -- one of only 150 American films to be so honored.

Most recently, Nava wrote and directed the multi-generational saga "My Family/Mi Familia," starring Jimmy Smits and Edward James Olmos and featuring his "Selena" stars Jennifer Lopez, Constance Marie and Jacob Vargas. The film was both a critical and financial success and was also nominated for an Academy Award. In 1987, Nava directed "A Time of Destiny," starring William Hurt and Timothy Hutton.

In addition to his feature films, Nava has worked extensively on the growth and development of the American Independent Film movement. He is one of the founding members of the IFP West.

Producers MOCTESUMA ESPARZA and ROBERT KATZ are partners in Esparza/Katz Productions. Among their most recent projects are "Lorca" starring Andy Garcia, Esai Morales and Edward James Olmos; and "Avenging Angel," starring Tom Berenger, James Coburn and Charlton Heston.

Esparza and Katz produced the Civil War drama "Gettysburg," which was released as a feature film and shown as a mini-series on TNT. Among EK Productions' other feature-film credits are "The Cisco Kid" and "The Ambulance." For television, Esparza and Katz produced the Culture Clash special, "A Bowl of Beings," which aired on PBS' Great Performance series, and the acclaimed HBO/Cinemax musical special "Caliente y Picante," featuring Ruben Blades, Linda Ronstadt, Carlos Santana, Tito Puente and Jerry Garcia.

Esparza/Katz Productions currently has in development projects about such figures as Cesar Chavez and John Wesley Powell and is in production on the mini-series "Teddy Roosevelt and the Roughriders" for TNT, directed by John Milius and starring Tom Berenger.

Moctesuma Esparza, a Los Angeles native, received his Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees from The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Film School, where he was a classmate of Gregory Nava. Esparza's thesis documentary film, "Cinco Vidas," won an Emmy Award. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Film for his "Agueda Martinez -- Our People, Our Country." Among his feature-film credits as producer are "The Milagro Beanfield War," "The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez," "Radioactive Dreams" and "Only Once in a Lifetime."

Before co-founding Esparza/Katz Productions, Robert Katz was a packager and producer of some of the most successful home video titles. Katz was a co-founder of AVSA, a production and distribution company of health-care programming which produced series such as "The Body Human" and "Lifeline," both of which won Emmy and Peabody Awards.

Executive producer ABRAHAM QUINTANILLA, JR. spent his early career as manager and vocalist of the original "Dinos" band, with whom he recorded a dozen albums and toured throughout the United States and Mexico. Later, beginning in the early '80s, he managed "Selena y los Dinos." He founded Q Productions, Inc., a full-service talent-management agency and built Q Zone Recording Studio, which he still supervises.

Quintanilla remains owner and operator of Q Productions, where he manages and produces five successful recording artists and continues to develop new talent.

Co-executive producer DAVID WISNIEVITZ has been associated with producer Moctesuma Esparza previously as production manager on the films "The Milagro Beanfield War" and "The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez" and as writer, director, director of photography and editor of the documentaries "Roberta," "Iron Shoes Are Not for Walking" and "Gregg Will Never Walk Again." Wisnievitz' other feature-film credits include "Marvin's Room," "Bushwacked," "Chasers," "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "White Sands," "Talent for the Game,' "Ghost Dad," "Old Gringo" and "Valentino Returns."

Wisnievitz was co-producer/production manager of the acclaimed Showtime special "Fallen Angels." Wisnievitz's early experience in feature films and documentaries includes extensive credits in technical areas.

Co-producer PETER LOPEZ has been an entertainment law specialist for 20 years with a wide range of experience in sophisticated entertainment law dealings in both the motion-picture and music industries. Lopez represents a diverse group of clients that includes numerous independent record labels and such superstars as The Eagles, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and The Rolling Stones as well as many international superstars, including the Quintanilla family and Julio Iglesias, among many others.

Lopez has also served on the governing board of the American Bar Association Forum on Sports Entertainment Industries and formulated planning and implementation of American Bar Association entertainment law programs both in the U.S. and overseas. He has represented all aspects of the industry and talent in dealings with motion picture and television agreements, record and music publishing agreements and commercial sponsorship agreements.

Director of photography EDWARD LACHMAN, A.S.C. worked with Gregory Nava on "My Family/Mi Familia." His additional recent feature-film credits include "Dark Blood," "My New Gun," "Light Sleeper," "London Kills Me" and "Mississippi Masala." He also shot "Backtrack," "Less Than Zero," "Making Mr. Right," "True Stories," "Desperately Seeking Susan" and "The Lords of Flatbush."

For television, Lachman's credits include the acclaimed movie-of-the-week "A Gathering of Old Men," the "Red Hot & Blue" musical special and PBS's "Soliders of Music," which followed Mitislav Rostropovich returning to Russia with the National Symphony.

Production designer CARY WHITE received Emmy Award nominations for his art direction on the acclaimed mini-series "Buffalo Girls" and "Lonesome Dove" and the cable film "The Good Old Boys" and a CableACE Award nomination for the cable film "The Final Verdict." White's additional television work includes "Ruby Ridge," "Crazy Horse," "She Fought Alone," "Willie Nelson's New Year's Eve Party" and "But It's Not My Fault." He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction for the ABC After School Special "Andrea's Story: A Hitchhiking Tragedy."

White's feature-film credits include "White Fang II: Myth of the White Wolf," "Gettysburg," "The Hot Spot" and "Nadine."

Editor NANCY RICHARDSON is working with Gregory Nava again after editing "My Family/Mi Familia." A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Califonia, Los Angeles film school, she has been a feature-film editor for 10 years. Among her other credits are "Stand and Deliver," "To Sleep With Anger," "Money for Nothing," "Homecoming" and "White Man's Burden." When her schedule permits, Richardson teaches editing at UCLA graduate film school and has recently been an advisor at the Sundance Film Lab.

Composer DAVE GRUSIN is a noted jazz musician as well as a multiple Grammy Award winner and an Academy Award winner for his score of "The Milagro Beanfield War." He has earned five other Best Original Score Academy Award nominations for "The Firm," "Havana," "On Golden Pond," "The Champ" and "Heaven Can Wait," and he shared a nomination for Best Original Song for "It Might Be You" from "Tootsie." He earned Grammy Awards for "The Fabulous Baker Boys" and "The Milagro Beanfield War" and nominations for his work on such films as "The Cure" and "The Firm."

Among Grusin's many other motion-picture credits are "Mulholland Falls," "For the Boys," "The Bonfire of the Vanities," "A Dry White Season," "Tequila Sunrise," "Clara's Heart," "Lucas," "The Goonies," "Falling in Love" and "The Pope of Greenwich Village." His earlier work includes "Racing With the Moon," "Reds," "Absence of Malice," "My Bodyguard," "The Electric Horseman," ". . . And Justice for All," "The Goodbye Girl," "The Graduate," "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter," "Yakuza," "W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings" and "Three Days of the Condor."

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