Inclusion StatementThis is a show about Americans: Mexican-Americans. Our cast and crew includes an inter-generational diverse creative team.
About The Project
What is Funny Brown People?
Whenever we watch a border story or something about immigrants there seems to be a lot of crying. And yes, the immigrant experience is hard, but there’s also a lot of laughing. At least there was at my house. My grandfather Augustin Lopez was the king of the one line groaners, and my dad could put the family into a belly laugh in no time flat.
This made me want to write a story that was about immigrants assimilating to American culture and their children born in this country. I took a survey from my large extended family and piled up a stack of funny stories -- and that is how Funny Brown People came to be.
Apparently, it had some legs as we made it into the second round of the Sundance|Youtube New Voices lab and found a few industry professionals excited about the TV sitcom version. That said, we haven’t been able to move the project forward in normal Hollywood channels so we’ve decided to come to the people. To our audience that we believe exists.
This is an old school family comedy that has it’s roots in the Dick Van Dyke show, Happy Days, Family Ties, One Day at a Time, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and even the Sopranos. We want a show where we can see a family face challenges and work it out in a short period of time. It always gives me warmth to see that at work. I love the sweetness, comedy, and characters faced with challenges but remaining heroic as they try to solve them.
My name is Salvador Paniagua, I discovered filmmaking my senior year of college. I started by walking over to the student station and producing a show. That followed many, many hours in the media lab watching old movies and documentaries about filmmakers. I found that I loved unique filmmakers who helped me see a world I didn’t know.
What We Need
This is a unique and diverse story that needs to be told; however, we can't do it without your help. Film and TV serve as powerful platforms because of their ability to reach a widespread audience.
Unfortunately, it's also an expensive platform. In order to bring our vision to life, we will need to pay for things such as costumes, sets, post production, camera equipment, editing software, permits for locations -- the list goes on and on.
What You Get
Every little bit counts, and I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your contributions. When you support this campaign you have the opportunity to receive a wide variety of perks, to show our sincere appreciation. Some of the perks include: a personal shout out on the series' Facebook page, a private link to view the series as soon as it is released, or even an executive producer credit on the series!
In the past year I workshopped my film, tv, and web series scripts in a writers lab and writers group. I was surprised by how foreign my Mexican-American characters were to my mostly white peers.
It dawned on me that my characters needed to see the light of day. I want to see these characters up on the screen. It reminded me of attending a People of Color Conference just a few years ago. Yes, such a thing exists. It started as a place for people of color who work at prestigious independent schools to meet and network and support each other. What happens most of the time is that you are the only person of color on the faculty or staff at your school and so the national conference provides a safe space.
I’d reluctantly agreed to attend the conference but was struck by how the conference affected me and how it felt to be one of the only brown people in the room. Funny Brown People emerges from this experience and my desire to bring this characters up onto the screen. Hope you enjoy it!
Other Ways to Help
In order to reach our goal for this series, we will need help from as many of you as possible. In addition to contributing to the campaign, sharing the link to the campaign via social media will help to spread the word about this important story.
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Salvador Paniagua’s option for his script But She Wasn’t Perfect was recently renewed with PixL Television where he’s adapting his feature for the network. His web series Funny Brown People was a finalist for Latino Public Broadcasting Funding. In 2017 he was invited to the second round of the Sundance|YouTube New Voices lab where he submitted Los Curanderos. His pitch for Los Curanderos screened at the American Cinematheque’s Apertura series.
Paniagua participated in Film Independent's Project:Involve Writer/Director fellowship and NALIP's Writers Lab. Paniagua’s short films have appeared in the Sacramento International Latino Film Festival and the San Diego Latino Film Festival, among others. Paniagua was a finalist for the ABC/Disney Feature Writing Fellowship Program. He also received a grant from the Mercury Latino Lens Challenge to shoot Los Tamales, a comedic and warm-hearted story about a 7-year-old boy's trek across the neighborhood which featured Modern Family’s Rico Rodriguez in his debut role.
Paniagua discovered his love of cinema while an undergrad at Stanford University producing shows for the student TV station, SCBN.
Lynda Correa is the mother of Manuel and Yazaira Correa. Manuel plays J.J. Valdez - the young son of the Valdez family and precocious high school freshmen — in Funny Brown People. Lynda is new to the entertainment world entering within the last year after her two children expressed interest in being actors. As an immigrant from Mexico with two children born in the United States, she feels that the story of the fictional Valdez family really resonates with her. She finds that the stories reflect her own reality. Lynda works as an office manager and accountant and is a Brand Ambassador and Founder of GSR.
Jaime Ferrar is an accomplished actor, director, and talent manager with over three decades of experience in the entertainment business. For the past 12 years he has coached and interviewed thousands of actors on how to prepare for an audition, nailing a callback, and working on set.
Ferrar started his acting career at the age of sixteen doing local theatre in Oxnard, California and then moved to Hollywood where he studied with Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse from 1989 to 1999. During his ten year run at the Beverly Hills Playhouse he worked as the Artistic director for Paul Morse productions and traveled throughout the state of California performing for young audiences. Ferrar also performed in over 100 commercials and many television shows and feature films.
Ferrar served on the commercials negotiating committee for SAG and AFTRA from 1998-2000 and assumed various leadership roles in the Unions for over ten years. Jaime became an agent and founded JFA (Jaime Ferrar and Associates) in 2003.
After over 15 years as an agent, JFA transitioned into personal management.
Alejandro Patino is an established and incredibly versatile actor across stage, film, and TV. From stage performances in Cabaret, and American Buffalo, to recurring roles on such TV hits as the FX drama series The Bridge, Desperate Housewives, and Always Sunny in Philadelphia, to gracing the screen in such films as Fast and Furious 4, and Iron Man 2. He will star beside Matt Bomer in John Butler’s forthcoming Papi Chulo. On top of acting, Alejandro is also a talented dancer, prop-maker, producer, theatre director, and a passionate philanthropist of the arts who pays it forward by donating to numerous theatre groups around Los Angeles.
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