Sony Pictures Television Latin America is developing a new Colombian drama series inspired by popular hip hop band ChocQuibTown that will examine racism in Latin America and what it means to be Afro-Latino.
Announced Sunday during the American Black Film Festival, series “Somos Los Prietos” (“We Are the Black Ones”) marks the first cross-company collaboration – referred to internally as “One Sony” – between SPT’s international production arm and Sony Music Latin, which counts the Latin Grammy Award-winning Afro-Colombian trio among its roster of artists.
Set in Condoto, a town on Colombia’s Pacific coast, “Somos Los Prietos” follows a group of adolescent friends of Afro-Latin descent as they struggle with the challenges of poverty and racism and seek to avoid the recruitment efforts of local armed commandos while trying to form a band and take part in a festival organized by their favorite group, ChocQuibTown. Along the way they confront their family, friends, underhanded racism, violence and their own fears to finally define their identity and find their place in the world.
Venezuelan writer Karin Valecillos (“El Amparo,” “Luis Miguel: The Series”) is penning the show, which is inspired by ChocQuibTown’s own music and trajectory.
The Colombian band has become internationally renowned with its blend of urban sounds and folklore from the Pacific coast that fuses hip-hop, funk, reggae, pop and elements of electronic music to produce elaborate beats.
“We are thrilled to partner with Sony Music Latin and ChocQuibTown to develop this project with the aim of shedding light on a taboo topic in Latin America: Racism,” said Ana Bond, SVP and MD, international production and US Hispanic, SPT. “Latin America’s music is astonishingly diverse, and so much of it is influenced by the historical Afro-roots in the region.
“ChocQuibTown’s Colombian Pacific genre enters the spectrum of popular music, and it’s a point of pride for a population that has long been relegated,” Bond noted. “It is important for us to be able to share this story with our diverse audiences, especially as the discussion of race and discrimination in the global landscape are front and center.”
By Ed Meza for Variety, August 31, 2020