You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Arte Mecánica Pitches ‘Kicked Out’ at Inaugural FICG TV Pitchbox (EXCLUSIVE)

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Mexico’s Arte Mecánica is participating at this year’s inaugural FICG TV Pitchbox with one of the company’s first TV projects, a border-crossing immigration series titled “Kicked Out.”

The series was created by Jacopo Fontana and Tereza Suárez, and is produced by Ozcar Ramírez at Arte Mecánica. The company’s work in feature films has participated at Cannes, Locarno, Morelia and more, and “Kicked Out” marks an early, but indicative push into TV for the company.

In “Kicked Out,” a young vlogger name James discovers that his mother illegally entered the United States when he was only a baby, meaning he is not a citizen of the country in which he was raised.

Unfortunately, the revelation comes only once he is deported to Mexico. Finding himself alone and ignorant of the local language, he must find a way to exist in his true country of origin, Mexico, a place that he always considered hostile and foreign, while he figures out how to get back into the U.S.

Despite less than ideal circumstances, James never stops vlogging, trying to keep the shame of his deportation a secret from his fans. Eventually, he decides to try and enter the U.S. illegally, following in the footsteps of so many immigrants before him. He recruits the help of Carla, a young Central American girl who is hiding her own identity but wants to get into the U.S. just the same.

Fontana discussed the series with Variety ahead of its FICG TV Pitchbox pitch.

Immigration has become a hot political topic recently, but for immigrants it has always been a source of drama and sometimes trauma. Why do you think this series will work now?

It is a mixture between the current political situation, particularly in the U.S., and the ease of communication that the Internet has given us, a powerful medium that can be disseminated as real news and can even provoke violence against innocent people. A movement of globalization also needs human displacement, not only economic goods or information. The phenomenon of the criminalization of immigrants worldwide is not new, what we are trying to do is to contrast misinformation, to show the reality that a daily mile of people in the world live in their search for a dignified life.

What was the inspiration for the series? Is it based on real events, or is it invented?

We were inspired by some stories of people who experienced going to the U.S, and others who experienced expulsion. It also comes from stories that we’ve found in the newspapers since Trump won the elections. In particular the story of a female Trump supporter who had come illegally many years before. The lady complained because she thought that they were going to kick out “only the bad ones.” This reflected the current situation in a country like the United States.

What will you be looking for in Guadalajara?

We are going to Guadalajara looking for a co-producer and distribution company that will help us to elevate “Kicked Out,” as well as to contact with people in the TV industry to pitch some other series projects we are working on.

The program is described as a comedy, but it will approach some serious issues facing real people as well. How will you try to balance these two sides?

The best comedies are distinguished by their ability to deal with topics of great importance. And the best way to promote reflection on these issues is through catharsis, crying and laughing, so we decided to go with this genre. To that end, we wrote our protagonist into a classic fish out of the water situation. The comedy will be carried by James, an absurd and insane character who is catapulted towards a reality totally alien to his own. He finds himself in a highly dramatic and even tragic situation. This will require a lot from whichever actor stars in this story, because he must be offensive but at the same time charming.

More Film

  • Macon Blair27th Annual Gotham Independent Film

    Macon Blair to Direct and Write 'Toxic Avenger' Reboot for Legendary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Macon Blair has been tapped to write and direct Legendary’s reboot of the cult classic “The Toxic Avenger,” sources tell Variety. Legendary acquired the feature film rights in December and have quickly made the project a high priority at the studio. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers with Alex [...]

  • Danny Boyle Bond 25

    Danny Boyle Calls His Exit From 'Bond 25' a 'Great Shame'

    Director Danny Boyle has finally spoken out after leaving the upcoming 25th James Bond movie over creative differences. After splitting from the new 007 flick last August, Boyle told Empire in a story published on Thursday that the script he penned with his “Trainspotting” co-writer John Hodge “wasn’t finished, but it could have been really [...]

  • Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    An elegiac documentary exploring the brief life of rapper Lil Peep, “Everybody’s Everything” certainly doesn’t lack for perspectives. Interviewing virtually everyone who knew the musician (born Gustav Ahr), directors Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan cover the waterfront, from Peep’s family to his girlfriends, his innumerable collaborators, his managers and his fans, trying to distill exactly [...]

  • A Brinks armored truck pulls into

    Layoffs Hit Fox After Disney Completes Deal

    Layoffs have hit Fox following the entertainment company’s sale to Disney. The staff cuts are hitting employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level. Senior staff is expected to be among the first to be impacted. However, the cuts will be deep, with the ax falling hardest of Fox’s film team. There could be as [...]

  • Emily Blunt in Talks for Inspirational

    Emily Blunt in Talks to Star in Annapurna Drama 'Not Fade Away'

    Emily Blunt is in negotiations to star in Annapurna’s inspirational drama “Not Fade Away” with David O. Russell and John Krasinski producing. The project is based on Rebecca Alexander’s 2015 memoir “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found.” Alexander was born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III and [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' Nabs Nine Nominations for 6th Premios Platino

    As was widely anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron’s triple Oscar-winning “Roma” dominated the 6th Premios Platino nominations, unveiled Thursday at Hollywood’s legendary Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the very first Oscars. It snagged a total of nine nominations, including best film, director, art direction, cinematography, and acting for its two Oscar-nominated actresses, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de [...]

  • Stephen Bruno

    Stephen Bruno Exits Netflix for Top Marketing Job at MGM

    Netflix global marketing chief Stephen Bruno has exited his post for MGM, where he has been named chief marketing officer. His departure follows that of Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett and marks a major shake-up for the streaming giant. Bruno had been with the streamer since 2014, and is known as an innovator. He joins MGM [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content