Regional Mexican superstar Jenni Rivera's first film, "Filly Brown," is heading to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, organizers of the festival announced on Wednesday.
As part of the U.S. dramatic competition, the Edward James Olmos-executive produced film will be among 16 American narrative feature films that will premiere at the festival, which takes place Jan. 19-29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.
"Filly Brown," directed by Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos, is about a Mexican girl (Gina Rodriguez) who becomes an aspiring hip-hop artist coming to grips with the fact that her mother (Rivera) is in prison.
During a recent interview, Rivera spoke about the challenges of taking on her first feature. "I had to dig deep for the role," said Rivera, who was asked by Edward James Olmos to be part of the film. "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. If I can make Edward James Olmos cry, to me that means it was a success."
The film is being produced by Cima Productions, Olmos Productions and Silent Giant Entertainment's Lisa "Khool Aid" Rios and husband Edward E-Dub Rios, known for their pioneering work in the Latin hip-hop genre.
The "Filly Brown" soundtrack is being produced through Silent Giant Entertainment and will be distributed through Fontana, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group.
In a recent interview with Billboard, Edward James Olmos said that Rivera's feature film debut is impressive. "She performed from the heart," Olmos said. "Jenni and Gina eat up the screen, and when they're together-oh, my God. It's amazing. Jenni is a beautiful artist, singer and entertainer."
Robert Redford, founder/president of the Sundance Institute, said in a statement that the festival has always been about the filmmakers. "They are making statements about the changing world we are living in," Redord said. "Some are straight-forward, some novel and some offbeat but always interesting."
"Filly Brown" was written by Delara and also stars Lou Diamond Phillips and Edward James Olmos.
For a complete list of films participating at the Sundance Film Festival, go to sundance.org/festival.