All in the family: Edward James Olmos talks working with son on ‘Mayans MC’

Christine Samra, Sam Rubin


May 23, 2022

Show business is a family affair for actor Edward James Olmos and his children.

Recently, he shared the set of the hit television series “Mayans MC” with his son, director Michael D. Olmos. “It was fantastic. I worked with him throughout the years, and he did really, really well.” explained the Oscar-nominated actor. “The show is extremely dark and very, very strong and very well-written.”

Olmos’ son directed his dad in Episode 4 during the show’s fourth season.

While some in Hollywood want their offspring to stay away from the industry, Olmos is all for it. “From the very beginning, all my kids have been involved in it to help me,” explained the veteran actor. “I’ve needed their help and they’ve risen to the occasion.”

When it comes to bringing more Latinos into the film industry- Olmos is doing the helping. Over two decades ago, he founded the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LA LIFF). “This is really the strongest platform for Latino films from all over the world and the United States of America,” Olmos explained.

This year’s festival marks 21 years since its inception and the organization teamed up with Netflix to hand out “tens of thousands of dollars to film makers.”

While the festival and organization is making strides, Olmos believes there is still more work and progress that need to be made when it comes to more Latino representation in Hollywood. “We have a long way to go,” Olmos explained. “We’re more than 20% of the population, we’re less than 4% of the images that we see on film and television.”

To help the next generation of Latino filmmakers, LA LIFF and the Latino Film Institute work alongside the Youth Cinema Project to teach thousands of children about filmmaking with their projects being showcased at the film festival itself.

“It’s probably the most progressive and the strongest understanding of the usage of film that’s ever been seen in the United States,” said Olmos. “They call it 21st century teaching at its highest level. We’re not there trying to make filmmakers, we’re trying to make life-long learners.”

The Los Angeles International Film Festival takes place June 1-5 at the TCL Chinese Theatre and TCL Chinese 6. Purchase tickets here.

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