August 08, 2019
“I was too old when Dora came out. I was already past that stage of watching cartoons, but boy, did she have an impact on me even though I didn’t watch it regularly. Everybody knew who Dora was, especially in the Hispanic community, and everything that she represented on a mainstream television [show]: to see this little girl speaking Spanish, and she was brown like us, and she was positive!” — Eva Longoria Bastón
Raise your hand if you remember when “Dora the Explorer” made her debut on Nickelodeon in 2000. She was the first animated Latina character in a leading role, and remains the star of the longest-running American TV show featuring characters speaking Spanish. Now, 19 years later, the live-action Dora and the Lost City of Gold gets the big-screen treatment in a family action-adventure that is breaking boundaries and stereotypes.
Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure ever: high school. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots, Diego, a mysterious jungle inhabitant, and a ragtag group of teens on a mission to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization. The film stars IMTA alum Eva Longoria alongside Michael Peña, Benicio Del Toro, Danny Trejo, Eugenio Derbez, and Isabela Moner as Dora.
March 21, 2019
“I was born in Senegal, West Africa, and I moved to the States when I was six years old. When I first came I had to assimilate. I learned the language in two months and I was in school two months later, assimilating into this culture. And sometimes I just feel like an outsider too, right? I think a lot of people can relate to that.” — Anna Diop
Accompanied by her husband, son and daughter, Adelaide Wilson returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something bad is going to happen to her family. Her worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. When the masks come off, each stranger takes the appearance of a different family member.
From writer/director Jordan Peele comes the horror feature Us, which stars Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, and IMTA alum Anna Diop.
March 14, 2019
“You should always live outside your comfort zone. I have always been a fan of doing things that are outside of my comfort zone, and challenge me as an actor or a person, whatever.” — Moises Arias
In Five Feet Apart, Stella Grant is a mostly normal seventeen-year-old, attached to her laptop and her friends. But unlike most people her age, she's got cystic fibrosis and has to spend a ton of time in the hospital. Her boundary-filled, controlled life is tested when she meets Will Newman, a fellow patient who also has CF. Despite their instant connection, they must keep a safe distance between them because of their condition. Things intensify and temptation rises to throw caution to the wind and embrace their attraction.
IMTA alum Moises Arias co-stars in Five Feet Apart as Poe, best friend to Stella, opposite Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse as the young couple in love. Justin Baldoni directs from a script by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. The cast also includes Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Parminder Nagra, Claire Forlani, Emily Baldoni, Elena Satine, Gary Weeks and Sophia Bernard.
March 05, 2019
“Back in Minnesota, one of the only ways you could leave the farm was through sport. That’s why everybody in the Midwest—or at least where I grew up—is a triathlete. We all just wanted to get out. But for me, the way to get out was acting.” — Garrett Hedlund
Triple Frontier centers on a group of former Special Forces operatives who reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the first time in their prestigious careers these unsung heroes undertake this dangerous mission for self instead of country. While each of them has served the U.S. in multiple operations—and been wounded as a reward—they still don't have the money to put kids in college, so a new plan dangles that money in front of their faces. But when events take an unexpected turn and threaten to spiral out of control, their skills, their loyalties and their morals are pushed to a breaking point in an epic battle for survival.
IMTA alum Garrett Hedlund stars in Triple Frontier alongside Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Adria Arjona and Pedro Pascal. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee J.C. Chandor and co-written by Chandor and Academy Award winner Mark Boal. The action feature is set to join the exclusive group of Netflix original films that get a theatrical release in select theaters before premiering on the streaming service.
March 01, 2019
The Power Rangers franchise, which began in 1993 with the debut of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” is a live-action superhero series for children that was based on the Japanese Super Sentai franchise. Now in its 26th year, the franchise consists of more than 20 different themed series, three feature films, and billions in merchandise sales.
The newest addition to the franchise is “Power Rangers Beast Morphers,” the first series of the franchise to be produced by Hasbro, which purchased the franchise last year. Set in the future, a secret agency combines a newly discovered substance called “Morph-X” with animal DNA to create the “Power Rangers Beast Morphers” team. The Rangers must fight off an evil sentient computer virus bent on taking over the source of all Ranger power, the Morphin Grid itself.
IMTA alum Jasmeet Baduwalia stars in “Power Rangers Beast Morphers” as Ravi, the Blue Beast Morpher Ranger, alongside Rorrie Travis as Devon, the Red Ranger, and Jacqueline Scislowski as Zoey, the Yellow Ranger. Baduwalia, who was born in India in the Punjab state and goes by “Jazz,” is the first Indian actor in the franchise. Other cast include Abraham Rodriguez, Kevin Copeland, Colby Strong, Liana Ramirez, Kristina Ho and Cosme Flores.
February 21, 2019
“I think the first thing I noticed when I got the audition and went a little bit further into the process was the Tebow family being involved. That’s obviously a huge deal with the credibility there. And I could really relate to the character; we were going through similar things at the time, and it seemed like real life to me.” — Tanner Stine
Run the Race follows two young brothers reeling from their mother’s death and their father’s abandonment. Zach, an All-State athlete, finds glory on the football field, working to earn a college scholarship in the hopes of earning him and his brother, David, a ticket out of their small town. But when a devastating injury sidelines Zach, it is up to David to lace up his track cleats to salvage their future.
February 14, 2019
“Chicago has grown so much. It's blown my mind. I've always said like, Chicago is my first home. I've been trying for 20 years to get series to last here, and so I'm like, maybe this is the one, that way we can settle down and make some roots in Chicago.”— Riley Smith
IMTA alum Riley Smith returns to prime time TV as one of the stars of the new FOX courtroom drama “Proven Innocent.” The series centers on Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre), a passionate attorney who focuses on overturning wrongful convictions. Her work is personal to her as she was wrongfully convicted, along with her brother, Levi (Smith), of murdering her best friend. Madeline runs a firm committed to such cases with her partner, Easy Boudreau (Russell Hornsby), the attorney who helped set her free after 10 years in prison. Kelsy Grammer also stars.
January 17, 2019
I Hate Kids follows Nick Pearson, a former lothario and author of the title best-selling memoir, who has everything he wants. He’s about to marry the woman of his dreams, Sydney Bartlett, who shares his disinterest in becoming a parent. But just days before their wedding, he’s shocked to find out that he has the one thing he never wanted: a child.
Nick’s happy, child-free existence is put in jeopardy when awkward 13-year-old Mason interrupts the engaged couple’s rehearsal dinner and claims to be the groom-to-be’s son. With the aid of flamboyant radio show psychic The Amazing Fabular, who claims he helped Mason find his father after having a vision about them, the three strangers embark on a wild road trip to find out which of a dozen eccentric women from Nick’s past could possibly be Mason’s mother.
October 18, 2018
In Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s, IMTA alum Sunny Suljic stars as Stevie, a thirteen year old boy growing up with an abusive older brother and a somewhat absent mother in Los Angeles in the 1990s. In an effort to escape his unhappy home life and find a place where he can feel he belongs, Stevie tries to teach himself to skateboard so that he can hang out with a group of other skaters from his neighborhood, each one of the kids having a similar life story. The film also stars Lucas Hedges, Katherine Waterston and Jerrod Carmichael.
Suljic, who is an avid skateboarder in real life, had a hard job appearing as a novice skater for the film. “He’s an amazing skateboarder! He’s not an arrogant person so he’s not going to say it, but he’s incredible,” said director Hill. “Not only is he a great actor, but it’s so hard to pretend to be worse than you are, to pretend to be just starting. We were so careful, and Sunny did such an amazing job of being worse than he actually is skill wise, which is very hard to do.” Hill added, “I've never had to carry a movie like that. I usually play supporting roles, and, like, it's crazy to carry — literally strap a movie at 11 years old to your shoulder and [have you] walk across the field with it. It's insane.”
October 11, 2018
In the small town of Wardenclyffe on Halloween Night, best friends Sonny and Sam find a manuscript in an abandoned house that was previously owned by author R. L. Stine. When they open the book, which is ominously titled “Haunted Halloween” and serves as a compendium of every Halloween-themed creature imaginable, they release a ventriloquist’s dummy named Slappy who plans to create the Halloween Apocalypse with the help of his Halloween monster allies. Now, Sonny and Sam, alongside Sonny’s sister, Sarah, must work to thwart Slappy’s plot before all is lost.
IMTA alum Madison Iseman stars as Sarah, together with Jeremy Ray Taylor as Sonny and Caleel Harris as Sam. The cast includes Wendi McLendon-Covey, Chris Parnell, Ken Jeong and Jack Black. “Sarah is a typical high-school senior. She’s struggling with school, and the balance of relationships and social life while trying to get into college…a lot of real stuff,” Iseman explained about her character. “And her mom’s putting a lot of pressure on her to take care of her brother and take care of the family…it’s a lot of relatable things that a lot of people are dealing with in today’s world. So, throughout the story she finds this confidence she never really knew she had, and she learns to believe in herself, and that she can do anything she puts her mind to.”
October 11, 2018
Based on the book “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by James R. Hansen, the feature film First Man is a study of the life of the legendary American Astronaut from 1961-1969. While on his journey to becoming the first human to walk the moon, the film explores the sacrifices and costs on the Nation and Armstrong himself, during one of the most dangerous missions in the history of space travel.
Starring in the film as young Rick Armstrong, one of Neil’s sons, is IMTA alum Gavin Warren. Ryan Gosling stars as Neil Armstrong, with Claire Foy playing his wife, Janet. Also starring are Kyle Chandler, Pablo Schreiber, Corey Stoll, Ethan Embry, Jon Bernthal, Jason Clarke, Patrick Fugit, Lukas Haas and Shea Whigham. Damien Chazelle directed the biopic for Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures.
Coming to IMTA with Neal Hamil Centre in Houston, the LA13 Most Sought Male Talent—and finalist for both Child Actor and Child Model of the Year—decided he wanted to be an actor after watching the comedy Happy Gilmore. “What happened was I used to do gymnastics, and me and my brother were planning to do acting for like awhile. Then we finally decided we should both do it,” Warren says. “We said let’s ask mom so we can be like Adam Sandler.”
September 06, 2018
Each fall as a new television season begins, it is gratifying to note the IMTA alumni who add to their résumés with work on “television.” In the 21st Century, “television” is not just a “smart” TV, but any portable device or computer with internet access. Networks and cable channels produce their own line-up of original shows and films, as do streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu…and soon, Apple TV. YouTube and Vimeo serve as platforms for independent filmmakers and writers to release original series and films. All of these outlets provide unlimited—and ongoing—possibilities for IMTA alumni to appear on “the small screen” by making their full catalog of shows, new and old, available on-line so that they may be viewed year-round, 24-7.
Below are just a few of the IMTA alumni working on network, cable or web series, appearing on returning or new series in regular or recurring roles, announced guest-starring appearances, and lead or supporting roles in TV movies and mini-series. Our apologies for any names missing. IMTA is equally proud of all of the alumni working in the entertainment industry and we try to keep track of as many as we can. Please let us know of castings, guest appearances and other successes of IMTA alums.
May 03, 2018
When it was announced that Anna Faris was set to star in a remake of the beloved 1987 rom-com Overboard, which starred Goldie Hawn alongside Kurt Russell., many people were already comparing the two actresses: blonde, big blue-eyes, perfect comedic timing. In the original film, Hawn played a spoiled heiress who gets amnesia and ends up falling for a rugged carpenter. But in the 2018 version, there is a twist: Faris won’t be reprising Hawn’s character; instead, she’ll be playing Kate, a working-class mother who turns the tables on a wealthy playboy (Eugenio Derbez) when he loses his memory. IMTA alum Eva Longoria costars as Kate’s best friend Theresa, who helps Kate figure out how to take advantage of the situation.
“The script was amazing because of the gender switch, so Anna is not playing Goldie Hawn, Anna is playing Kurt Russell,” explained Longoria. “Eugenio is Leonardo, the spoiled brat, the spoiled trust fund baby. You can expect a lot of heart, a lot of laughs!”
March 15, 2018
In his review of Love, Simon for Variety, Peter Debruge wrote: “It takes enormous courage to come out in high school. It’s a period marked by peer pressure and bullying for most teens, and one can’t blame most adolescents — gay or straight — for wanting to keep their heads down. … But let it be said: Love, Simon is precisely the kind of movie its main character so desperately needs — which means, Simon is about to become the model for an entire demographic that has had to do without, until now.”
It’s very rare for a major Hollywood studio to produce and distribute a coming-of-age story centered on a closeted gay teenager. These kinds of stories are nothing new to independent film, but major studios have long avoided putting a gay protagonist front and center. That drought has ended with the 20th Century Fox feature Love, Simon, a film adapted from Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.”
January 11, 2018
In 1914 in the small town of Crestwick, a demonic spirit named Nefas surfaced to prey on a family, which ended with the death of an innocent young girl. The mysterious events haunted the Midwestern community for years. Now, decades later, a 17 year old teenager who is ready to go to college moves to Crestwick with her mother. She is a sweet vibrant girl with a blossoming personality that drastically changes to a deceitful, angry, ultimately evil girl once her soul is latched on to by Nefas. A skeptical town doctor struggles to stop history from repeating itself by confronting his personal demons while fighting to save the life of the teenage girl who has become possessed in his family’s old house.
IMTA alum Patricia Ashley stars in the film as the possessed teen Charlotte, alongside Charlene Amoia, Julia Larsen, Clint Hummel, Jeremy Miller, Michael Ehlers and Cole Crawford. “It was such a great experience to work on a horror film,” said Ashley. “I personally didn’t watch scary movies before being cast in this film because I was scared of everything, but boy let me tell you, being the one who gets to scare everyone is pretty awesome! It’s an experience I’ll never forget!”
December 19, 2017
In the 1995 hit film Jumanji, two kids find and play a magical board game, releasing a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game. In 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a video game turns the tables on four teenagers who discover an old game console and are thrust into the game’s jungle setting…and into the bodies of their avatars. What do both films have in common? You don’t just play Jumanji — Jumanji plays you.
IMTA alum Madison Iseman stars as Bethany in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle alongside a cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Phys Darby, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner and Ser’Darius Blain. “Bethany is your classic pretty, phone-obsessed, kind of mean, entitled teenage girl,” Iseman said of her character. “But underneath all that, she’s just an insecure girl trying to figure out who she really is.”