The comedy series The Gordita Chronicles was announced last year, loosely based on the life of show writer Claudia Forestieri, and now Eva Longoria is set to direct, Deadline reported. The show focuses on a Latina journalist who reminisces on her childhood “as a chubby, willful and reluctant Dominican immigrant growing up with her eccentric family in 1980s Miami,” the outlet originally reported. Forestieri was an award-winning producer for Telemundo’s L.A. affiliate and is also a co-executive producer along with Longoria for the HBO Max comedy series.
When news that the pilot had been ordered for the series, Forestieri wrote in an Instagram post, “Somebody pinch me!” She is also a writer on Netflix’s Selena: The Series and previously worked on Freeform’s Good Trouble. She’s earned five local Emmys and a GLAAD Media Award for her work covering the Latinx community.
The series is still in development and there’s no additional news about the cast or premiere date. Forestieri did post a casting call for a young girl to play Carlota “Cucu” Castelli and described her as a “12 years old, chubby biracial, willful, confident reluctant Dominican immigrant with a heart of gold.”
Zoe Saldana, Mariel Saldana and Cisely Saldana executive produce the series for Cinestar Pictures. Saldana is of Dominican descent, while Forestieri was born Puerto Rico, grew up in Miami, and is of Dominican-Italian descent and Longoria is Mexican-American. Seeing a show about a Latina immigrant with a team of Latinas behind the scenes is definitely exciting especially considering how rare Latinx representation on TV is.
The announcement that Longoria will be directing comes after it was revealed that America Ferrera will make her film directorial debut on Netflix with I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Longoria will make her own film directorial debut with Flamin’ Hot, a biopic about Mexican-American Richard Montañez, the janitor turned executive who created the beloved snack, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
“The lack of representation and diversity in Hollywood continues to be a major focus, rightfully so, and I’m so honored to be a part of the change,” Longoria wrote in an Instagram post announcing her role as director of The Gordita Chronicles.
Though these developments are certainly indicators of progress, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. The Directors Guild of America (DGA) Inclusion Report found that while the number of shows directed by women and people of color reached “new highs,” Latinos and women of color, “continued to be severely underrepresented despite their sizable and growing presence in the population,” the guild said, Deadline reported. Of the more than 4,300 episodes produced in the 2019-20 season, the portion directed by women grew to 34 percent but Latinas only made up 2.4 percent.
Forestieri joined several Latinx creatives in Hollywood including Longoria asking to #EndLatinXclusion. In an Instagram post last year she wrote, “The demands are simple, Hollywood: Put us in charge of our own narrative. Greenlight our projects. Represent ALL of us. Don’t make us repeat levels. Hire us for more than our identity.”
While no release date has been announced for The Gordita Chronicles, we’re thrilled to see a Latina power team telling the story of a Dominican teen. We’ll be tuning in!