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America Ferrera Will Direct Adaptation of Iconic Book: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

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By Natalie Rodgers  

Longtime actress and advocate, especially for the Latinx community, America Ferrera is finally making her directorial debut. Initially announced in 2021, Ferrera was hired to direct the book-to-movie adaptation of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Earlier this year, the rights to the film were sold to Amazon MGM studios, but it was confirmed that Ferrera will still be heading the project. The book, by Erika Sánchez, is renowned for its emotional and comedic insights into identity, race, culture and immigration topics. The announcement surrounding studio changes leads the public to believe that the production and release of the highly-anticipated film will be coming soon.

Sánchez’s novel follows the story of fictional teenager Julia Reyes, who longs to move to Chicago to become a famous writer, something her traditional Mexican immigrant parents don’t understand. As her family desires for her to be more like her deceased “perfect” sister, Olga, Julia seeks to forge her own path while discovering the traumas her family has processed. The book gained tremendous critical and audience acclaim. It won the 2018 Tomás Rivera Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and was one of Bustle’s Top 15 Books for Young Adults in 2017.

Ferrera, an outspoken personality on all issues of inclusion and equity since her early days of film, expressed her love for the novel and her excitement to direct in 2021, telling Netflix:

“Years ago, I fell in love with Erika L. Sánchez’s stunning novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. The depth, wit and searing intelligence of her writing and her young Latina heroine struck me to my core and left me wanting so much more. I am truly honored and humbled to direct Linda Yvette Chávez’s beautifully adapted screenplay. The opportunity to direct the work of these two incredibly talented Latina writers is a dream come true. I can’t wait to share this film with the many fans of the novel and to introduce this funny, profound and resonant story to the world.”

Though her directorial experience consists of singular episodes of the television series Superstore, Ferrera’s longtime activism and filmography reflect her passion and ability to take on the project. Often taking roles in media that promote messages of inclusion for the Latinx community, women and body positivity, Ferrera’s credits include series such as Ugly Betty and Superstore and films like Real Women Have Curves, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and her newest project Barbie, for which she received her first Oscar nomination.

Ferrera is known for her outspoken stances on diversity, representation and inclusion issues. She co-founded Harness, an organization encouraging inclusive storytelling for a more equitable world, and She Se Puede, a digital platform that registers Latina women to vote. Ferrera has additionally served with projects like Vote Latino, Families Belong Together and several women’s rights groups and was a founding member of the Time’s Up legal defense fund.

Thus far, the film exclusively consists of Latina writers, with Sánchez leading the adaptation alongside Flamin’ Hot and Gentefied writer Chávez. Further announcements on casting, crew and a release date have not been announced at the time of writing. However, the film is anticipated to premiere later this year or in 2025.

Discover more articles for the Hispanic communities here.

The post America Ferrera Will Direct Adaptation of Iconic Book: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter appeared first on DiversityComm.

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