US producer-distributor New Latin Pictures plans to open romantic comedy Luminarias on more than 60 screens in California, in a bid to repeat the success of its first crossover Latino release Nueba Yol.

The $1.5m feature, directed by UCLA drama professor Jose Luis Valenzuela, will open May 5 in greater Los Angeles and San Francisco. "We are aiming for the mainstream audience which in our minds is the Latino moviegoer; we hope it crosses over to the indie/arthouse crowd," said New Latin CEO Lawrence Martin.

Luminarias, a Sleeping Giant production, will be platformed to New York, Chicago and Miami after its California run. Artist View Entertainment is handling international sales on the film and plans to launch it at Cannes.

New Latin is one of several outfits aiming for crossover success beyond the US Latino market. Luminarias follows in the wake of other attempts such as Latin Universe's Santitos and New Line's Price Of Glory, both of which failed to meet expectations. However, upstart distributor Hombre de Oro has secured an additional 25 screens for the April 17 US debut of Mexican box office hit, The Other Conquest. The film will now open on 75 screens.

"It's not easy to crack the US marketplace, but we're bent on focusing on the American Latino experience," Martin said.