This Boy's Vida (Made in America)
Based on true events, with the help of his imaginary future self, an American Latino boy who dreams of being an actor turns "Robinhood" to feed his starving sisters, until the system catches up with him and forces him to choose between his family or dreams.
Joseph Castillo-MidyettWriterThis Boy's Vida
Adrienne Acevedo LovetteDirectorI'm Okay We're Okay, The Dark Room, Hidden Daylight
Gisela ChípeProducerThis Boy's Vida, Con Dios, Black?
Heidi-Marie FerrenProducerAmerican Housewife, Bored to Death
Sebastian MontanezKey Cast"Little Joe"
Joseph Castillo-MidyettKey Cast"Future Joe "She-Hulk, Fear the Walking Dead, True Lies
Gisela ChípeKey Cast"Ms. Chípe "Manifest, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens, Law & Order
Catherine CurtainKey Cast"Melody"Stranger Things, Orange Is The New Black, Hangdog
Nathalie SepulvedaKey Cast"Cyn"Gordita Chronicles, New Amsterdam
Sofie NesanelisKey Cast"Nane"Blood Harvest, You Matter
Heidi-Marie FerrenKey Cast"Agent Laurie Heller "American Housewife, Bored to Death
Joseph MelendezKey Cast"Detective Sunrise"NCIS, The Blacklist, Lucifer
Project Type:Short, Television
Runtime:32 minutes 24 seconds
Country of Origin:United States
Country of Filming:United States
Shooting Format:Arri 35
Adrienne Acevedo Lovette is an award-winning New York-based director, actor, writer, and producer. She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and grew up in Orlando, Florida, and Springfield, Massachusetts. She is the founder of The Garage Productions, which has created several award-winning films and web series, all of which showcase diversity, the LGBTQIA+ community, and differently-abled people. Adrienne is a self-made filmmaker driven by stories that reveal the inner workings of the human condition. Even though she's a fan of all genres, her personal favorite genres to work on are suspense, thriller, horror, action and drama (though she's no stranger to comedy.)
Most recently, Adrienne produced and assisted directed a coming-of-age drama called BROWNSVILLE BRED, which premiered at SXSW and won the "AUDIENCE AWARD" for best episodic pilot. Adrienne was also a winner for the SUNDANCE collab film challenge, for her film LITTLE BEAN, and has been named “Women Directing Mentorship Semifinalist” through Series Fest sponsored by Shonda Rhimes company Shondaland.
Adrienne's directed the psychological horror called HIDDEN DAYLIGHT, which premiered at Dances With Films, and won "Best Film" at Phoenix Comicon, "Best Short Film" at Freak Show Horror Film Festival, and earned her the title of "Women in Horror Honoree" at FEARnyc. She also directed the supernatural horror called THE DARK ROOM, which premiered at the Catalina Film Festival, and won "Best Ensemble" at the Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival. Following those award-winning films, Adrienne has also directed an award-winning female-driven comedic web series called YOU’RE THE PEST, available on youtube, and she directed the Latinx coming-of-age short drama called THIS BOYS VIDA, which is being adapted as a series, and won “Best Trailer” at HollyWeb Festival. She has directed several music videos by artists like singer-songwriter (Featured at SXSW) ARMSTRONGLEIGH, New York City native rapper STASH CASH, and Florida native rapper-singer WOMBINO.
Recently, Adrienne was invited to speak at the Geena Davis Institute where she spoke at a panel during the Bentonville Film Festival about body positivity and diversity in front and behind the camera. She's also been invited to speak at schools and universities like NYU, Wesleyan University, and Dr. Phillips High School. She continues to encourage underrepresented filmmakers and artists to achieve their dreams in the tv, film, and theatre industry and supports them by creating as much opportunity as possible in the indie space.
Adrienne’s acting work ranges from stage to screen, and she has had the pleasure of working
opposite Naomi Watts, Aziz Ansari, Joaquin Phoenix, Sam Rockwell, Richard Gere and Michelle
Williams just to name a few. Adrienne’s favorite TV credits include BETTER CALL SAUL (AMC),
RAY DONOVAN (Showtime), FOSSE/VERDON (FX), THE DEUCE (HBO), THE SINNER
(USA), MASTER OF NONE (NETFLIX), MR. ROBOT (USA), and GOTHAM (FOX). She is also
known for her roles in SUNLIGHT JR. (Tribeca Film Festival) playing opposite Naomi Watts, and
the lead role in the award-winning short film THICK HEART where she won Best Actress at the
Top Shorts Film Festival and CAR BATTERY where she won best actress at the Chain Film
Festival in NYC. On stage, Adrienne has had the pleasure of acting opposite Joey Fatone,
Alfonso Ribeiro, and Jeff Conaway. Some of her favorite theatre credits include WEST SIDE
STORY, TOP GIRLS, OEDIPUS, NICKEL & DIMED, THE SEAGULL, and GREASE.
She has several works currently making their way through the festival circuit including her psychological drama I'M OKAY, WE'RE OKAY that she directed, co-wrote, produced, and starred in and the pilot of THIS BOY'S VIDA, a coming-of-age drama based on true events. She is currently in development and pre-pro for several feature films, series, and shorts in the horror, drama, and biopic space.
CREATOR STATEMENT - Joseph Castillo-Midyett
"What are you?", I still get asked this question all the time, almost every day and my response is always the same, "I’m American, what about you?"
I was the first generation born in this country. I was homeless 3 times before I was 16. By the time I finished high school I had attended over 15 schools and read my first word in the third grade (racism). I was first shot at, at the age of 13. I started working at the age of 10 to help put food on the table. I’ve been called a wet back and a white boy, and have been told to go back where I came from, but to stand proud because I am American. I AM NOT ALONE…this is the story of SO many Americans TODAY. Why do you think my director and producers were so drawn to This Boy’s Vida, the story I wrote based on my own life story? Cause it sounded like their story.
Movies and TV shows today, are looking across the border or overseas to hear crazy stories that deal with extreme hunger, dream chasing, violence in the streets, “making it”, extravagant love stories, etc. But these stories are happening RIGHT HERE, right in front of everyone’s face, right in the USA.
Listen, movies and TV shows got me through so many messed-up and dark times. I turned to them to drown out what was happening to me, and wanted to live in a world that I WISHED and LONGED for. But more importantly, they taught me in my formative years, who I could be and what life could be. 'Mrs. Doubtfire' taught me how to be a strong and kind man, 'Goonies' taught me about ride-or-die friendship, and 'Family Matters' taught me how a family could work through things in a healthy way...but, when I saw Barry Jenkins’ MOONLIGHT, that was the FIRST TIME I saw a life that looked a lot like mine. A lot like my friends, a lot like my whole block, my city, my part of the state, parts of this beautiful country. So I created, wrote, and acted in this project because no one has done anything about the Latino-American story.
This is an AMERICAN story--I didn’t grow up in a petri dish with ONLY other Latino-Americans. That’s what’s so weird about what’s happening in T.V. and Movies. Poverty is an equal Un-opportunity employer. Yes, the main protagonists are Latino-American because I am Latino-American, but the woman who gave me my first real job was white. I learned about self-respect from a black woman that was my neighbor, and my friends were Afghani- American, Filipino- American, Mexican- Americans, White, and Black. So, this is an AMERICAN STORY.
Americans as a whole are demanding more inclusion. They want to give people like us a chance. See work, (by us - mainly so they don’t mess it up which is what usually happens) that looks like the vast majority of America. BUT LET’S KEEP IT REAL. This is a business made up of producers, executives, production companies, and distributors and they want to make money. Well, this is a product that does both. So why not? Let’s give everyone what they want and make a change for the betterment of the whole.
DIRECTOR STATEMENT - Adrienne Acevedo Lovette
THIS BOY'S VIDA holds a personal significance for me as the director, having grown up in a low-income household myself. This story of a young Latino boy navigating poverty while caring for his sisters, based on Joseph Castillo-Midyett’s own personal life as a child, resonates deeply with my experiences.
Through THIS BOY'S VIDA, we aim to shed light on the strength and resilience within the Latin American community. Drawing from our personal upbringing and the stories of others, we strive to challenge perceptions, break stereotypes, and foster understanding of the complex factors contributing to poverty.
We infused the storytelling with authenticity and emotional truth, creating a visually captivating and emotionally resonant narrative. We want to inspire and empower viewers who have faced similar challenges, offering a renewed sense of hope and self-belief, letting them know that there’s circumstance does not have to dictate their future.
THIS BOY'S VIDA is a project that amplifies the voices and stories of those who have navigated poverty in the Latin American community. Together, we will illuminate the indomitable spirit that emerges from difficult circumstances.