Empire Builder: Hip-hop icon & urban filmmaker Franc. Reyes
By Al Carlos Hernandez, Herald de Paris, February 7, 2010
HOLLYWOOD (Herald de Paris) – Franc Reyes is the writer/director of several motion pictures including The Ministers, Illegal Tender, and Empire. A Puerto Rican born in Spanish Harlem and raised in the South Bronx, Reyes started his career traveling the world as a dancer/choreographer. By the early 1990’s, after becoming an accomplished songwriter, Franc had written three Billboard Magazine top-forty songs for artists on the Columbia and Atlantic/Atco Record Labels. Soon after signing a music publishing deal with E.M.I. Publishing in 1996, and after reading and soaking in the books and works of the greats (i.e.: Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, Francis Ford Coppola), Franc raised the money and wrote, then directed his first short film In The Deep South, a concept currently being developed for television. In 1998 Franc wrote the script for what would become his first feature film. Empire Music was a big part of Franc’s life so he co-wrote four songs for the films Motown Records soundtrack. This included the title track “Welcome To My Empire” sung by Latin superstar La India. After convincing legendary music producer Emilio Estefan Jr. to produce two of his songs and singer Jon Secada to sing one of them, he was able to get Ruben Blades, actor and music legend, to score his film. Shot independently in New York in 2000, Empire went on to become the highest grossing film at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002 leading to Franc signing a deal with Universal Pictures in 2003. More.
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