America Ferrera will make her feature-length directorial debut with I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter for Netflix. The film is based on Erika L. Sánchez’s New York Times Bestseller of the same title and will be adapted for the screen by Linda Yvette Chávez. Chávez and Ferrera have previously worked together on the first season of Netflix and MACRO’s Gentefied (2020- ), on which Chávez co-created and co-writes, with Ferrera listed as executive producer. Ferrera also showcases her directorial skills on two of the series’ episodes (and guest-stars), after previously directing four episodes of her popular NBC sitcom Superstore (2015-2021).
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, originally published in 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers, tells the story of Julia Reyes, a first-generation, Mexican American teenager. Julia often finds herself in a cultural and generational clash with her immigrant parents. She feels misunderstood and weighed down by their comparisons of her to her older sister Olga, perceived to be the ideal Mexican daughter. After Olga dies in a tragic accident, it is up to Julia to mend her broken family. Sánchez’s Young Adult novel was the winner of the 2018 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award and a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award.
About the profound effect Sánchez’s novel had on her, Ferrera says via Instagram, “The depth, wit and searing intelligence of her writing, and her young Latina heroine, struck me to my core and left me wanting so much more.” She continues, “The opportunity to direct the work of these two incredibly talented Latina writers is a dream come true. I can’t wait to share this film with the many fans of the novel, and to introduce this funny, profound, and resonant story with the world.”
The Netflix feature will be produced by Doreen Wilcox Little for Anonymous Content, and Charles King and Poppy Hanks for MACRO, with author Sánchez also acting as producer. Executive producers are listed as Michelle Brower for Aevitas Creative Management and MACRO’s Greta Fuentes.