IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund Grantee

Mija

Director(s):
Isabel Castro
Producer(s):
Tabs Breese
Grant Year(s):
2021
Latina woman dances to music amongst a crowded concert audience, in blue light.

Synopsis

Doris Muñoz is an ambitious music manager whose undocumented family depends on her ability to discover aspiring pop stars. At just 26, she has already launched multiple Chicanx musicians, carving out space for her culture within a turbulent industry. Mija dives into the world of a young woman hustling harder than anyone else, because for Doris and her family, “making it” isn't just a dream—it's a necessity.


Isabel Castro, Director

Isabel Castro is a four-time Emmy-nominated, Mexican-American filmmaker who combines a practice in journalism and art to tell verite, character-driven stories. Castro directed, produced, and lensed the Emmy-nominated, award-winning documentary short USA v Scott (Tribeca 2020, The New Yorker) a film that explores the legality and ethics of humanitarian aid for migrants, Emmy-nominated Darlin (Tribeca 2019, NYT OpDocs), which follows a Honduran family in the months after their separation under the zero-tolerance policy; and the Emmy-nominated, Netflix docu-series Pandemic. Her directorial debut Crossing Over (Univison/Participant Media), about transgender asylum seekers, won a 2015 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary. Castro has worked as a multimedia journalist for The New York Times, as a 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. She is currently working on her feature-debut, Mija, which tells the story of an ambitious music manager whose undocumented family depends on her ability to discover aspiring pop stars. Mija has received support from the Sundance Institute, Impact Partners, Cinereach, Concordia Studio, the SFFILM Catapult Documentary Fellowship, Points North Institute / CNN Films and NBC Original Voices. Castro is an Artist-in-Residence at Concordia Studio and has fellowships with Firelight Media and Chicken & Egg Pictures.

Tabs Breese, Producer

Tabs Breese is a producer from London. She began her career working in-house for production companies Pulse Films, Passion Pictures, and Concordia Studio. Tabs worked on a range of non-fiction projects in various capacities, including as Associate Producer on the USC Shoah Foundation virtual reality film The Last Goodbye (Venice Film Festival 2017), Field Producer on Second Coming about artist D’Angelo (Tribeca 2019) and Field Producer on Defying Gravity, a series directed by Lucy Walker (YouTube Originals 2020). She was Development Producer on the Netflix Original documentary Bikram: Yogi, Guru Predator (TIFF 2019) and Development Associate Producer on A24 and Apple+ feature documentary Boys State (Sundance 2020). As an independent producer Tabs has built a slate of films from directors intent on exploring the world through careful observation and aesthetic innovation. This includes Isabel Castro’s Mija supported by Impact Partners, Sundance Institute and Cinereach, Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan’s Naked Gardens supported by Concordia Studio and Cinéma du Monde and experimental essay documentary short about the Olsens The Twins premiering on WeTransfer’s platform WePresent Winter 2021, from director Zara Meerza. Tabs is a Sheffield Documentary Festival Future Producer (2017), a Refinery29 x Google News Initiative Fellow (2019), an IDFAcademy Producer School Alumna (2019), a Sundance Institute Grantee (2020) and an NBCU Academy and NBC News Studios Original Voices Fellow (2021). She is the co-founder of Women on Docs LA, a free documentary screening and discussion series.