A biopic about Mexican American Banda singer and icon Jenni Rivera, also known as “La Diva De La Banda”, has been in the works since last year and now we’re getting a sneak peek. Directed by Mexican actress and filmmaker Gigi Saul Guerrero (Into the Dark: Culture Shock), the highly-anticipated biopic, tentatively titled Jenni, will focus on the life and career of Jenni Rivera until her tragic death in 2012 in a plane crash. To this day, she is considered one of the most important, best-selling figures in Mexican music and culture for her groundbreaking work in her work in male-dominated music genres like banda, mariachi, norteño, and Latin pop. Actress Annie Gonzalez (Gentefied/ Flamin’ Hot) is set to star in the titular role and will also serve as an executive producer with the support of Rivera’s family. Filming has already begun in Bogota, Colombia, with additional filming being done in Los Angeles, according to Deadline.
“I am beyond honored to portray the essence of this phenomenal survivor that is Jenni Rivera who despite adversity at every turn was never a victim and showed her daughters, her family, and her audience what grace, forgiveness, and true authenticity is— liberating us all,” Gonzalez said in a press statement. “Jenni’s messages of feminism, civil rights, and nonconformity within her music were well before her time and made space for all of us to feel empowered. With the support of the Rivera family, I cannot wait to help tell the beautiful story and the impactful legacy of what Jenni means to me personally and what it will mean to women and Latinas everywhere.”
“Even though we have started filming this incredible film a few weeks back, I still wake up everyday feeling like the luckiest filmmaker. Jenni Rivera’s journey doesn’t just represent la raza, but it’s a story that represents the strength, resilience and power us women carry. I am forever thankful to be the director to bring a this story to life with a modern lens,” Guerrero tells HipLatina. “My whole heart and spirit is put into this film with the most beautiful cast I could ask for. For those who know me … I promise you can expect a film with a new side of Gigi showcasing dynamic, and complex characters, but my dark and gritty side is not gone.”
We’re excited to see Jenni receiving her flowers on the big screen, not only for her numerous music awards—22 Billboard Latin Music Awards, just to name a few—but also for her early life and humble roots in Long Beach, her personal struggles versus her professional persona, how she found strength and broke down barriers in an industry that was not built for women, and how she remains an inspirational star more than a decade after her death. And we can’t wait to see Gonzalez stepping into her shoes and shining in a way we have not seen her before.
No release date has been announced yet but Jenni will be available to stream exclusively on ViX and watch in select movie theaters in the U.S. and Mexico sometime this year.