Doris Muñoz and Jacks Haupt are two daughters of undocumented immigrants from Mexico who are both navigating their careers in the music industry. Seeking to provide for their families while achieving their dreams, Doris and Jacks bond over the ever-present guilt of being the first American-born members of their undocumented families and the financial risks of pursuing their dreams. For them, the pressure of success is heightened because it is their family’s hope for green cards and family reunification.
Mija is a moving love letter to immigrants and their children. Director Isabel Castro’s intimate debut feature constructs an ethereal vision and dedication to the daughters that fight for their families, their dreams and themselves.
"The brilliant Mija is not a standard story about immigration, in part because it is constructed through the eyes of two meteors, Californian Doris and Texan Jacqueline ("Jacks"), forged by the infinite possibilities of social networks. For them, music is both an intimate therapy and a collective political act of representation for all invisible Latin American youth. Isabel Castro's first feature film is a heartfelt ode to the vulnerability of these two young women torn between the pressure to honor the sacrifices of their undocumented parents and the courage to forge their own unconventional musical path. Isabel Castro creates a pop cocoon that gently embraces their painful ambitions. Mija deconstructs the sacrosanct "American dream" that imposes capitalist blinders, and offers a multiform rewriting that cherishes the creative poetry of individual trajectories. Doris' sensitive voice-over invites us into the vibrant heart of a youth in search of its own joy and its own language.”
Robin Miranda das Neves – Préselectionneur
Doris Anahi Muñoz, Jacks Haupt
Isabel Castro is a four-time Emmy-nominated, Mexican American filmmaker who combines a practice in journalism and art to tell stories about immigration, civil rights, and identity. She splits her time between Mexico City and Los Angeles.
Castro directed, produced, and filmed the Emmy-nominated, award-winning documentary short USA v Scott (Tribeca 2020, The New Yorker), Emmy-nominated Darlin (Tribeca 2019, NYT OpDocs), and on the Emmy-nominated Netflix docu-series Pandemic. Her debut project Crossing Over (Univision/Participant Media) won a 2015 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary. Interviews about her work on Crossing Over were nominated for two additional GLAAD awards. She’s worked on dozens of stories as a producer, cinematographer and multimedia journalist for The New York Times, as an Edward R. Murrow-award winning producer at The Marshall Project, on two seasons of the Emmy-award winning series VICE on HBO, and as an Emmy-nominated producer covering civil rights and policy at VICE News Tonight on HBO.
Mija is her feature length debut. Mija has received support from the Sundance Institute, Impact Partners, Cinereach, the SFFILM Catapult Documentary Fellowship, Points North Institute / CNN Films, Fork Films, Chicken & EggPictures, Firelight Media, and NBCU Academy & NBC News Studios Original Voices. Castro is an Artist-in-Residence at Concordia Studio, and she was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40”, both in 2021.