Award-Winning Producers Talk Hollywood Diversity in Conversation Series

April 27, 2016

by Liz Felix

Moctesuma Esparza (right) on the 1987 set of "The Milagro Beanfield War"

Moctesuma Esparza (right) on the 1987 set of The Milagro Beanfield War

This Friday, the Fox Tucson Theatre will be hosting Hanson Dialogues, the new free conversational series focusing on film, television, and culture.

Hanson Dialogues, presented by the University of Arizona Hanson Film Institute, will debut on April 29th and will tackle the topic of diversity in one of America’s biggest money-making industries, Hollywood. The series will be moderated by Tucson native and Emmy award-winning producer, Peter Murrieta who cemented his showrunner and executive producer status with Disney Channel’s mega-hit, Wizards of Waverly Place. Murrieta was also a producer and writer on ABC’s half-hour comedy, Cristela and is currently writing for Netflix’s Latino remake of the 1975 series, One Day At a Time, that will co-star the legendary Oscar-and-Emmy-winning Rita Moreno.

The series of talks will feature influential producers, directors and actors, all with experience in working in today’s entertainment climate with the topics of discussion encompassing issues that affect and interest everyone.

“In an age when we’re absorbed with technology, there’s a great need for civil discourse and interaction with others. The Hanson Dialogues will focus on film, TV and culture – elements that are so much a part of our lives,” says Hanson Film Institute Director Vicky Westover. “We’re delighted to be teaming up with UA alum Peter Murrieta to launch the Hanson Film Institute’s newest program, and our inaugural guest will address an important topic – the need for diversity in Hollywood to accurately reflect American society.”

Award-winning producer, entertainment executive, entrepreneur and community activist, Moctesuma Esparza.

Award-winning producer, entertainment executive, entrepreneur and community activist, Moctesuma Esparza.

With years of championing for better representation of minorities in Hollywood under his belt, Academy award-nominated film and television producer, Moctesuma Esparza will be the series first guest speaker. Esparza’s producing career highlights include the popular biopic Selena starring Jennifer Lopez (in the title role that catapulted her to stardom), The Milagro Beanfield War directed by Robert Redford, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge starring Halle Berry, and the HBO film Walkout directed by Edward James Olmos.

The event will start at 7pm and is free and open to the public! For more information on Hanson Dialogues, please visit the Hanson Film Institute at