'Ugly Betty' actress producing, starring in drama

“Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera will topline and exec produce the drama “American Tragic,” with Ryan Piers Williams helming from his own screenplay.

Latino mini-studio Maya Entertainment will produce and distribute the pic, with Heather Rae (“Frozen River”) serving as producer. Sergio Aguero (“Y tu mama tambien”) will exec produce alongside Ferrera.

Drama marks Ferrera’s second collaboration with Maya, which also distributed Ferrera starrer “How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer.”

“We hope that this is validation of the job we did on ‘Garcia Girls,’ ” said Jeff Valdez, who co-chairs Maya Entertainment along with founder Moctesuma Esparza.

“American Tragic” centers on a young war vet, played by newcomer Ryan O’Nan, who sets off across the country with a buddy to find redemption. Ferrera will play his wife and Melissa Leo (“Frozen River”) his mother.

Production on “American Tragic” starts in February in New Mexico for a projected fall 2009 release.

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