College of Communication and Department of Radio-Television-Film alumnus Robert Rodriguez visited campus on May 2 to host a conversation with students and inspire what he called, “the next generation of innovators.”

Charles Ramirez-Berg, a university distinguished teaching professor in the RTF program, arranged the event in conjunction with the Center for Mexican-American Studies under the title, “The Future of Latino Images in Film and Media.”

Rodriguez, founder of Austin-based Troublemaker Studios, said that many of his innovations ushered original trends into the Hollywood mainstream. These included the push and acceptance of independent films in the 1990s, the rise and explosion of digital film around the new millennium, and the profitable return of the 3-D genre in the 2000s.

A large portion of Rodriguez’s lecture centered on the filmmaker’s new cable channel “El Rey,” slated to premiere in 2013 on Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider. When it airs, shows will be spoken in English but tailored to Latino audiences.

Rodriguez also said he wants the programming to be so good that the network attracts all audiences, and that "El Rey" is currently accepting pitches.

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