The Documentary ‘Mija’ Pays Tribute To The First-Generation Experience – And It Will Land On Disney+ Soon
In news that’s giving all of us goosebumps, Mexican-American filmmaker Isabel Castro’s much-lauded documentary “Mija” was just acquired by Disney Original Documentary in a bombshell deal.
“Mija” follows Doris Muñoz, 23, a music manager who befriends a young Chicana singer, Jacks Haupt.
While Muñoz is passionate about bringing recognition to Latinx musicians, Haupt wants a chance to leave her home base in Dallas, Texas and live out her dreams.
“Mija” largely revolves around the struggles of being first-generation immigrants, and the guilt felt when you’re the first in your family to be born in the United States. This story is about the risks taken to grab the bull by the horns and follow your ambitions, while also sharing an intimate perspective on being first-generation, family, and the power of music.
Marjon Javadi, VP of Disney Original Documentary, said: “‘Mija’ beautifully captures a first-generation story and what it means for that to be a part of your identity — no matter where you’re from.” Talking about Castro, she continued, “Isabel and her team accomplished the rare feat of sharing a multidimensional immigration story, utilizing music as a universal language of expression.”
While “Mija” already made waves at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, this acquisition by Disney will surely put both Castro and the film further on the world stage.
The Disney deal means “Mija” will be featured in several other festivals this year like the Miami Film Festival, will have a theatrical run, and will land on Disney+ soon. Even more? Disney-owned FX now has the rights to make scripted content based on “Mija”— meaning a series could potentially be headed our way before we know it.
Castro is undeniably overjoyed by the news, sharing, “We are so excited to join the Disney family… we share a common belief that music can be a conduit for change.” Even more, the director hopes that “through this music documentary, we can show unexpected, emotionally universal facets of the immigration experience.”
The director explained to Sundance earlier this year, “what has frustrated me, even throughout my own work, is that immigration stories exclusively center trauma and pain.” She continued, “I wanted to tell the story that covered the whole spectrum of emotions that come with immigration.” Sharing how “the overarching goal of this film is to have as many people see this and feel this and be heard,” there’s no doubt many will identify with Muñoz’s plight traveling to Mexico to see her brother who was deported several years ago.
Including Muñoz’s family in the film was crucial, with the artist manager telling Sundance: “when I asked my family if they were willing to open up their lives [to be in this film], their yes [was] my yes.”
And while the film is surely Castro’s own tribute to immigrants everywhere, it was just as important to Muñoz. She said, “Baby Doris needed this film… I hope that [it] gives that sense of help to others too.”
There’s no doubt this is a huge win for Latinos everywhere, and will only continue to put our authentic experiences and culture at the forefront worldwide.
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