SXSW Film & TV Festival – CHUCHI & ADALIZ, a 5-episode web series comedy, and Interview

CHUCHI & ADALIZ is a 5-episode web series comedy (release date TBD) that premiered at the SXSW Film & TV Festival on March 12 and both Ashley Soto Paniagua -Showrunner, creator and actor and Dani Adaliz -Creator, actor and director (Episodes 1, 2, 4 & 5) were in attendance.

Pilot Synopsis: Adaliz gets caught insider trading after a series of plane crashes that tank the stock market questionably align with the pending merger at VUELO Airlines. A connection to the Chairman helps Adaliz avoid jail time, but she does lose her job then find solace in her childhood bestie Chuchi.

Season Synopsis

Set in the Bay area, buddy comedy CHUCHI & ADALIZ is a five episode single-camera digital series that follows childhood besties who, despite having a shared racial and ethnic identity as AfroPuerto Ricans, couldn’t be more different than each other as adults. When Adaliz loses her high-powered corporate job in San Francisco and moves in with Chuchi in Oakland, the audience watches avatars of San Francisco (Adaliz) and Oakland (Chuchi) and how their socioeconomic differences shape behavior, as San Francisco is 54.4% more expensive to live in than Oakland. They’re in for a rude awakening when they realize that what brought them together as kids isn’t enough to keep them together as adults.

Created by: Ashley Soto Paniagua and Dani Adaliz

Showrunner: Ashley Soto Paniagua

Director: Dani Adaliz (Episodes 1, 2, 4 & 5)

Director: Lance Cameron Holloway (Episode 3)

Writers: Ashley Soto Paniagua and Dani Adaliz

Executive Producers: Ashley Soto Paniagua, Dani Adaliz

Producers: Jocelli Paniagua, Heidi Williamson

Line Producer: Jeremy Alan Pappas

Art Department: Andrea Bashe

Director of Photography: Ernesto Prieto

Editors: Guillermo Zouian, Fabyan German, Victoria Linares

Original Music By: Trackademicks

Sound Editor & Re-recording Mixer: Zenan Robinson

Colorist: José Durán

Pilot Cast: Ashley Soto Paniagua, Dani Adaliz, Andrea Bashe, Kathryn Peters, Jocelli Paniagua, Brendan Fitzgibbons, Auri Jackson

Series Principal Cast: Ashley Soto Paniagua, Dani Adaliz, Andrea Bashe, Kathryn Peters, Jocelli Paniagua, Selorm Kploanyi, Dariany Santana, Jeremy Habig, Jullian Farris

INTERVIEW [Edited]- Ashley Soto Paniagua and Dani Adaliz

TrueViewReviews/Liz Lopez – Is this the first time to attend SXSW?

ASP – As an invited guest, yes. Twelve years ago, I attended SXSW as a party animal (let’s leave it there!)

DA-It is my first time at a festival of this scale, period. First time being in Austin. I am excited and grateful.

TrueViewReviews/Liz Lopez – When you say excited, what do you mean? Expand please.  

ASP-Yes, we have been working on this for years, literally – when people say they like it, it is very validating.

DA -Yes, I am still in shock from the World Premiere on the 12th, and now with a “second World Premiere” as I call the second festival screening, I am less shocked than the first.

TrueViewReviews/Liz Lopez – What was the spark or idea for the series, if you can name just one?

ASP – There was a panel where we met (before pandemic), Afro Puerto Ricans were invited (we both are) and it became a very organic process. We followed each other on Instagram, etc. I saw that she is bilingual English/Spanish and talented. Told her “Let’s do something!”

DA-She pitched herself to me and I was excited. It has been hard to find my people. She is so smart and accomplished. When I heard her say on the panel “Closed mouths don’t get fed,” it stayed with me.  I really liked her. She offered to work with me. She said some incredible things to me – so kind. It has been great, even with the stress of production, the ups/downs. Production is stressful, but that is the way it is. We created something people enjoy and is most fulfilling as an artist.

ASP-When the first episode was liked, we told them there are four others ready. We are ready and able as they have already been produced.

ASP – Each person has their side of the story (and each embellished their story). They have broken up, but don’t really know what happened and they aren’t friends anymore. We also still have childhood friends, have ideas from then and embellish the situations.

DA – Yes, and we are also pulling from our past experiences.

Q- What else do you want to say about your show?

DA -We were discussing ideas for a 2nd season. — (not official) What if their dumb friends may be plotting against them? Life is open ended, is this thing done? Personally, I liked this as a director – it is definitely weird, but open ended.  

Ashley Soto Paniagua Bio

A Mexican and Afro-Puerto Rican native of El Paso, Texas and a former high school teacher in Mississippi, Ashley’s writing credits include Emmy-winning THE PROUD FAMILY: LOUDER AND PROUDER (Disney+), VIDA (Starz), and FAST AND FURIOUS: SPY RACERS (Netflix). Serving as Co-Executive Producer, Ashley most recently ran and directed Broadway Video/Audible Original podcast series MICHELLE ROJAS IS NOT OKAY starring Dascha Polanco (released February 9, 2023), and she’s sold and developed projects for Disney+. She was recognized with the CALI Catalyst Award by the Center for Cultural Innovation for her work co-founding #RaisethePercentage, a grassroots initiative that connected working TV writers with emerging Black/Afrolatinx writers in order to reduce barriers to access in the entertainment industry. A graduate of Amherst College, she is repped by Circle of Confusion.

Dani Adaliz Bio

Dani Adaliz is a bi-racial Afro-Latina actress, comedian, writer, and director and MOTH story slam winner. Dani works predominantly in web video and on stage as an actress, comedian, and writer. Dani’s credits include Buzzfeed (Pero Like, Bring me, & Tasty over 4 million views) Mitu, and Broadway Video as a punch-up jokes writer and VO artist. She is also a series regular in the “Jenny Lorenzo universe” (on YouTube) as Fidelia and has performed live storytelling (various podcasts, The Moth), and stand-up comedy and Improv (Groundlings, UCB, Second City). Dani has recently transitioned into directing and producing. She just wrapped a series of short films in which she wrote, produced, co-directed, and acted in. She also produced and directed her first music video with rappers Mick Jenkins and Relaye (“Waterslide”). Dani is commercially repped by APA.

Source: SXSW, ASP/DA

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