Mission StatementMy mission as a storyteller is to bring more Queer-BIPOC centric stories into the world! NATIVES serves to bring folks into the NYC I know and love that rarely gets the spotlight it deserves on screen. Every single cast and crew member on this project is also a part of the Queer-BIPOC community!
About The Project
Izzy Sanchez is a 22-year-old aspiring actor and control freak who believes the only way to achieve his dreams is to leave the projects of NYC and attend the prestigious Los Angeles Academy of Drama. When he is forced to leave school over financial constraints and return back home to New York City, an immediate encounter with a neighborhood friend leaves him even more confused about what his next move is. Navigating this "adulting" thing with his 3 best friends, Kai, Adrian, and Jaz - whose lives aren’t any less messy… Let’s just say, thank God they have each other. And Buela, of course, Izzy’s no-bull grandmother and unofficial grandma to them all.
When people ask me what it was like growing up in New York City, I think of friendship, community, the slang we use, Hip Hop/Reggaeton music blasting at all hours of the day, mangu, mofongo, Chinese food, chicken spots, the list goes on.
Tired of waiting to see me and the people I know and love accurately reflected on-screen, I decided to do it myself. NATIVES explores what it's like to be a young, queer dreamer in a city full of hustle and bustle. Whether you can directly relate to these circumstances or not, anyone who has dreamt of something more and has faced bumps along the road will be able to see themselves reflected in these characters and this series.
New York City has served as the backdrop for countless TV shows. As a native New Yorker, one who grew up in NYC's public housing developments (projects), a few things have always crossed my mind while watching shows centered here:
Wow, this city looks way cleaner on TV...
Why do they always focus on midtown and gentrified parts of Brooklyn?
Where the hell are all the project buildings that I walk by every day?
And most pressingly, where are all the Black, Brown, and Queer people (plural) in lead roles?
Known as being one of the most diverse and open-minded cities in the world, the Black, Brown, and Queer communities that have dramatically shaped the culture of NYC are constantly left out of media. Not just media about NYC, but media as a whole.
- "Today, Latinos are more than 18% of the population yet made up only 5.3% of the share of broadcast TV roles in the 2018-19 season, according to the 2020 UCLA 'Hollywood Diversity Report.'” -LA Times
- "For the first time in five years, L.G.B.T.Q. representation on television decreased, an annual report by the L.G.B.T. advocacy organization Glaad has found." -NYTimes
To make this disparity even more apparent - there have only been 2 (yes TWO) shows EVER in the history of television that featured an all queer, minority-led cast (Noah's Arc - 2005 and Pose - 2018). And both of these shows are now over.
Will you help us make history?
With your help, once funded, produced, and picked up, NATIVES would be the third series (EVER) to cross this milestone, helping usher in a new generation of television, one that promises authenticity and actually delivers on it.
Dark, edgy, and mature. Extremely cinematic. Juicy. raw, real, and relatable. Sexy older brother of Euphoria and Genera+on. Visually energetic, vibrant, and colorful. New York City is a character in our show. The pacing is fast like the fast pace oftheir dialogue and NYC itself. We show what a massive city this is and how you can have such big dreams yet feel so small.
This will be garbage-infested staircases, rats running across streets, taking the train New York City. We will of course show glitzier parts as well noting how different experiences exist. Although set in present day, it will feel nostalgic.
The soundtrack will be a mixture of different genres reflecting the different identities of our characters and NYC itself. There will be blends of Hip-Hop, Trap, Rap R&B, Pop, and moody bops when needed highlighting smaller QBIPOC artists. The soundtrack is overall high energy.
*These figures represent estimations, not all additional factors have been included*
Film is a powerful tool. As filmmakers, we have a duty to portray the people and cultures we are representing in an accurate and respectable light because we know that what we put into the world can have a lasting effect on how others view said people/cultures. A few intentions we have for this project are for it to:
Allow us (Queer-BIPOC folks) to see ourselves reflected on screen and our experiences normalized.
Destigmatize the perception of people from public housing.
Showcase a more nuanced Latinx diaspora: one that exists in all shades.
Showcase the parts of NYC that don't currently exist in media.
- Because we are a team of dedicated independent filmmakers, hellbent on centering the Queer-BIPOC community in media, and making a Pilot isn't cheap. Your contributions will help us pay for our cast, crew, locations, food - everything from pre-production to post and all through the film festival circuit.
- Because while Latinx folks accounted for only 5% of speaking roles on Television (LA Times), Afro-Latinx representation is even smaller.
- Again, you would be helping us make history. The intersectionality of Queer-BIPOC folks rarely exists in media, especially in mainstream television.
- By contributing dollars to our campaign (perks included!) or fulfilling goods listed on our wishlist.
- By following, liking, and sharing our content on social media with everyone you know (friends, followers, co-workers, family.) Seriously y'all, your shares are SO powerful in expanding our reach thus helping us reach our goal! It's SO simple and SO effective and we've even made it easy for you by attaching some prompts below!
Feel free to copy and paste or modify as you see fit! :)
I'm so excited to see the Pilot for NATIVES by filmmaker @ronaldthomashinton! Following a group of unapologetic, queer, native New Yorkers from the projects of NYC, I know this show's about to be good! Follow them at @nativestheseries, and support them on @seedandspark: NATIVEStheseries.com
Help filmmaker @ronaldthomashinton by supporting their boundary-pushing Pilot, NATIVES, exploring the lives of four queer native New Yorkers navigating adulting in the projects of NYC. Follow them @nativestheseries to stay up to date and help bring this project to life at @seedandspark: NATIVEStheseries.com
Do you want to see more stories centering queer Black and Brown folks by queer Black and Brown folks? Support filmmaker @ronaldthomashinton and his all Queer/BIPOC crew in funding their Pilot NATIVES, following a group of unapologetic, queer, native New Yorkers from the projects of NYC. Check them out on @seedandspark: NATIVEStheseries.com
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Creator | Writer | Actor
Ronald Hinton is a queer Afro-Puerto Rican actor, writer, and all-around impact creator. Acting since he was 11 years old, Ronald has always known he's wanted to leave a footprint in media. In the Summer of 2020, he founded Shared Soil Productions with the goal of creating stories by and for the Queer-BIPOC communites. He believes that representation leads to understanding thus leading to connection. Passionate about bringing his whole self, across all intersections, to every one of his projects, Ronald strive to collaborate on bodies of work that encourage the same freedoms to other artists in his community, ultimately filling the unnecessary void that exists for queer artists of color.
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