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Entertaiment

October 08, 1992|ELENA KELLNER

Opportunities for a newcomer to make a feature film are rare. For a Latina, those opportunities are almost nonexistent. So the fact that 41-year-old Mexican director Maria Novaro has not only made a film, but an internationally acclaimed one, is doubly impressive. Speaking in Los Angeles about her motion picture, "Danzon," writer-director Novaro said: "I wanted to make a movie which would recall the fresh and ingenious tone of the old Mexican movies. I wanted to make a joyful, savory, vibrant movie with much color, much music and much laughter. I know very well that things are going badly in the world today. . . . Perhaps precisely for this reason I made 'Danzon.' " The film, a box-office success in Mexico and Europe, opens in Los Angeles on Oct. 16 at the Sunset 5 cinema complex at Sunset and Crescent Heights boulevards. The award-winning film, which stars Maria Rojo, is a joyful and passionate story of a woman who escapes her humdrum lifestyle through dance competitions. Novaro is preparing her next project, a $2-million movie to be filmed on location in Tijuana next year.

Univision network's nationally televised telethon last month to aid Florida's victims of Hurricane Andrew garnered more than $4.5 million in donations from Spanish-language viewers. Celebrities on hand included Gloria and Emilio Estefan, who live in the Miami area. Before the telethon was organized, the Estefans had given $100,000 to the cause and collected and delivered supplies to the most devastated areas. The rich and famous were not spared the wrath of Andrew. Spanish singer Raphael's Key Biscayne house, which was previously owned by President Richard Nixon, suffered extensive damage, as did the Coconut Grove home of one-time KMEX newscaster Maria Elena Salinas, who now co-anchors the Miami-based "Univision News." She had the difficult task of reporting on a tragedy in which she was also a victim.

Although her daily talk show in English was canceled, Cristina Saralegui says she is pleased with the experience on CBS. "As a Hispanic, I'm very proud of the opportunity to represent my people in English. The eight weeks of programming that we produced were a great learning step for my career," she said. Saralegui said talks are still going on with other distributors and production companies in Hollywood on a new project in English. Meanwhile, she continues with her daily Univision talk show.

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