Netflix to Air the Selena Gomez Exec-Produced Docu-Series “Living Undocumented”

Selena Gomez is shining a light on the issue of immigration…

The 26-year-old Mexican American singer/actress’ latest project, Living Undocumented, has been picked up by Netflix.

Selena Gomez

The documentary series, which will premiere on the streaming giant on October 2, counts Gomez among its executive producers. It follows eight families who agreed to let film crews chronicle their lives as they faced potential deportation. Their stories range from harrowing to hopeful and illuminate and humanize the complex U.S. immigration system, while the families endure in their quest to pursue the American Dream.

Aaron Saidman and Anna Chai co-direct the series.

“I chose to produce this series, Living Undocumented, because over the past few years, the word ‘immigrant’ has seemingly become a negative word,” said Gomez. “My hope is that the series can shed light on what it’s like to live in this country as an undocumented immigrant firsthand, from the courageous people who have chosen to share their stories.”

Added Saidman, “Living Undocumented is designed to illuminate one of the most important issues of our time. But rather than discussing this issue with only statistics and policy debates, we wanted viewers to hear directly from the immigrants themselves, in their own words, with all the power and emotion that these stories reflect.”

Living Undocumented joins a roster of docuseries at Netflix that includes Our PlanetChef’s TableDiagnosisUgly Delicious and Explained, among others.

NBC Orders Diana-Maria Riva’s Immigrant Comedy “Sunnyside” to Series

Diana-Maria Rivais ready for the Sunnysideof life…

NBC has picked up to series the Queens immigrant comedy Sunnyside,  starring the 49-year-old Dominican American actress.

Diana Maria Riva

Co-written and executive produced by Kal Penn and Matt Murray and executive produced by Michael SchurSunnyside stars Penn as former New York City Councilman Garrett Shah, who finds his calling when faced with six recent immigrants in need of his help and in search of the American Dream. In keeping the authenticity of the project, the producers assembled a cast of predominantly immigrant actors to star opposite Penn, a rarity on broadcast television.

In addition to Riva and Penn, the cast includes Joel Kim BoosterKiran DeolPoppy LiuMoses Stormand Samba Schutte.

Sunnyside is produced by Universal Televisionin association with Fremulonand 3 Arts Entertainment.

Riva previously starred on the short-lived NBC series Telenovela, as well as CBS’  Man with a Plan.

JJ Soria to Star in Netflix’s 10-episode Half-Hour Latinx Dramedy “Gentefied”

JJ Soria is getting gentefied

The 32-year-old Mexican-American actor has been cast in the 10-episode half-hour Latinx dramedy Gentefied.

JJ Soria

Soria joins a main cast that includes Karrie MartinCarlos Santos and Joaquín Cosio.

The project hails from Gente-fied: The Digital Series creators Marvin Lemusand Linda Yvette Chávez, showrunner Monica MacerAmerica FerreraTeri Weinbergand Macro.

Written by Lemus and Chávez, Gentefied is adapted from the web series which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Described as a badass bilingual series about family, community, brown love, and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefiedis about three Mexican-American cousins (Martin, Soria, Santos) who struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather (Cosio), and the family taco shop. Set in a rapidly changing Los Angeles, the Spanglish dramedy will navigate important themes like identity, class, and balancing insta-fame with translating memes for their parents. But most importantly,Gentefiedwill settle once and for all how to pronounce Latinx.

Martin will play Ana Morales, a sarcastic, woke, blunt, and endearing, queer artist. Ana is a Chicana who leads with her heart and fights for her art with untethered conviction. She loves her abuelo and her entire family almost to a fault.

Soria will portray Erik, a wisecracking, well-read, charismatic, but tough homie with a heart of gold. He’s a high school dropout, but there isn’t a book in the local library Erik hasn’t read. He’s a reluctant dreamer trying to find his way back to himself. But his loyalty to his grandfather who took him in keeps him from putting time into himself or Lidia, the love of his life.

Santos is Chris, the prodigal grandson, a fun-loving, know-it-all, chef-in-training. Chris is a homegrown Boyle Heights boy who moved to Idaho at a young age and was abruptly introduced to Weezer and cow-tipping. His cousins call him guero for acting and looking like a white boy, which always leaves him wondering if he’ll ever be Mexican enough for anyone.

Cosio is Pop, a hard-working, stoic, but warm, old-fashioned ranchero and the rock of the Morales family. Though gruff with his Tejanaand potty-mouth (“cabron” is his favorite word!), Pop has a huge heart, but that also means a lot of heartache trying to protect them.

“We are thrilled to have gathered a lead cast that captures the unique nuance of the chisme, chistes, and chingaderas that we grew up with in our multi-generational, bilingual, immigrant families,” said Lemus and Chavez. “Joaquin, JJ, Carlos, and Karrie are the abuelo, primos, y prima we shot the shit with as kids, the cousins we partied with, and the grandpa we cried with. They are the Morales family and we can’t wait for everyone to start sending them invites to the carne asada!”

Lemus directs the Netflix production.

A love letter to the Latinx and Boyle Heights communities, creators Lemus and Chavez hope Gentefiedwill let their little cousins rocking Adidas, hoops, and big dreams see themselves on the big screen in ways they only dreamed of growing up.

Martin has co-starred on shows like Pretty Little LiarsThe ArrangementThe Purgeand will soon be appearing in David Ayer’s film The Tax Collector

Soria most recently appeared in the series regular role of Pete Ramos on Crackle series The Oath, and has recurred on TNT’s Animal Kingdom and Freeform’s The Fosters. On the film side, Soria can next be seen in the indie John Henry alongside Terry Crews

CBS Diversity Showcase alum Santos has appeared on CBS’ 2 Broke GirlstruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything and Seeso’s Bajillion Dollar Properties. He also was the lead in the 2013 Slamdance comedy horror feature Ghost Team One and guest-starred on Fox’s The Last Man on Earth

Cosio’s credits include the role of Angel de Plata on FX’s The Strain and Don Neto in Narcos: Mexico.He’s returning for Season 2 of Narcos: Mexicoand will be seen in a starring role in Amazon’s new series CDMX.On the film side, he’ll next be seen in Emilio Portes’ horror thriller Beelzebuth,as well as the sequel to Matando Cabos, where he’ll return to portray the title character. 

Diana Maria Riva to Star in NBC’s Comedy Pilot “Sunnyside”

Diana Maria Riva is looking at the sunnyside of life…

The 49-year-old Dominican American actress has been cast opposite Kal Penn in NBC’s comedy pilot Sunnyside (formerly Untitled Kal Penn/Matt Murray).

Riva joins a cast that includes Kiran Deol, Moses Storm, Samba Schutte, Poppy Liu, Joel Kim Booster and Tudor Petrut.

Co-written by Penn and Matt MurraySunnyside is named after the neighborhood in the historically diverse Queens borough of New York where the show is set. It centers on former New York City Councilman Garrett Shah (Penn), who finds his calling when faced with seven recent immigrants — five of them played by immigrant actors — in need of his help and in search of the American Dream.

The single-camera comedy is being executive produced by Penn, writer-producer Murray, The Good Place creator/executive producer Michael Schur and Universal Television.

The seven recent immigrants are Jin Hao, played by South Korea-born Booster; Mallory, played by UK-born Deol; Mei Lin, played by China-born Liu; Drzen, played by Romania-born Petrut; Hakim, played by Africa-born Schutte; Griselda, played by Riva, a first generation Dominican; and Brady, played by Storm.

Directing the pilot is another immigrant, Oz Rodriguez. The ensemble was put together by casting director Allison Jones who also has worked with Schur on his other shows, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place

Riva was last seen in the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan and NBC’s Telenovela. She’ll next appear in the Netflix series Dead to Me and the Appledrama series Morning Show.

Netflix Green Lights the America Ferrera-Executive Produced Series “Gentefied”

America Ferrerais getting Gentefied

Netflix has given the green light to Gentefied, a half-hour bilingual dramedy executive produced by the 34-year-old Honduran American actress and former Ugly Betty star.

America Ferrera

The project hails from Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, the creators of Gente-fied: The Digital Series, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festivalin 2017. 

Ferrera is executive-producing alongside Teri Weinbergvia their production company. Netflix is the studio.

Described as a badass Spanglish series about family, community, brown love and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefied follows three Mexican-American cousins and their struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather and the family taco shop. Set in a rapidly changing Los Angeles, the series will navigate important themes such as identity, class and balancing insta-fame with translating memes for their parents. And it will settle once and for all how to pronounce Latinx, Netflix notes.

Co-creators Lemus and Chávez will write and co-exec produce the 10-episode series, with Lemus also directing.

Lemus and Chávez call Gentefied a love letter to the Latinx and Boyle Heightscommunities and hope the series will let their little cousins rocking Adidas, hoops and big dreams see themselves on the big screen in ways they themselves only dreamed of growing up.