Claudia Forestieri and “The Gordita Chronicles”

In “Guionista puertorriqueña busca romper esquemas con la serie ‘The Gordita Chronicles,’” Ana Milena Varón (EFE, El Nuevo Día) writes about Claudia Forestieri, a Puerto Rican-Dominican screenwriter who is breaking molds and stereotypes with her series “The Gordita Chronicles.” This is a proyect she has developed after ten years in Los Angeles.

Telling the events that have marked her life and her community is the lesson that Puerto Rican screenwriter Claudia Forestieri learned in her effort to enter Hollywood and tell stories for a Latino audience, which despite multiple calls, still does not have sufficient representation on the screens.

“They always encourage one to write something personal, because it will be a story that no one else has, and this will be a letter of introduction of who you are and what your point of view is,” explains Forestieri, who came to Los Angeles more than 10 years ago seeking an opportunity to bring Latino stories to television or film, and to fill the gap that exists in the industry.

However, she says that she had reservations about writing about her life and getting a Hollywood producer to commit to giving her project a chance. President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 and the constant attacks on immigrants and her community that prompted her to find the inspiration for “The Gordita Chronicles” through her own life experience.

THE STORY OF THE “GORDITA” IMMIGRANT

Despite having a US passport since her birth, Forestieri asserts that she knows what an immigrant faces in the United States and much more about the adaptation problems that foreign children face. Born to Dominican parents [in Puerto Rico], the Latina writer and her family moved to Miami, Florida in the 1980s when she was just seven years old.

“It was very hard because Idid not know the language, the culture. They told me that I needed to start changing, and they began to tell me ‘la gordita.’ It was a very shocking combination,” she recalls. Added to all this is the fact that Forestieri and her family arrived at a stage where immigrants were identified as generators of violence in South Florida. The screenwriter highlights how, in 1981, the famous Time magazine declared on its cover that South Florida was a “Lost Paradise,” a special issue with photos that show a moment when Miami was known for cocaine traffickers, a crime wave, and an influx of immigrants from Haiti and the Mariel boats from Cuba. “There were many negative stories in the press, and that greatly affected the image of Cubans and other nationalities in Miami. Despite the fact that criminals were a very small percentage, we all suffered these accusations,” she says.

THE VALUE OF LATINOS

Forty years later, things have changed in Miami, Forestieri acknowledges, a transformation that is largely due to Hispanic and immigrant hands. “That new face of Miami is largely due to our contributions,” she proudly says of the city that she calls home, and where “The Gordita Chronicles” takes place, a comedy that takes place in the 1980s around a 12-year-old Dominican girl. This month, HBO Max approved the filming of the show’s pilot. Forestieri brings the experience of being part of the writing team of “Selena: The Series,” a Netflix production that premiered on December 1 reviving the legend of the queen of Tex-Mex. The Puerto Rican screenwriter was also part of the scriptwriters of “Good Trouble.” [. . .] Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For full article (in Spanish), see https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/peliculas-series/notas/guionista-puertorriquena-busca-romper-esquemas-con-la-serie-the-gordita-chronicles/

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