April 13, 2024


EXCLUSIVE: Participant is bringing The Forgotten Revolutionary, based on journalist Adolfo Guzman-Lopez’s LAist Studios podcast Imperfect Paradise: The Forgotten Revolutionary, to the small screen. The company is simultaneously developing both a scripted and documentary limited series based on the podcast with producer Juan Devis. Rodney Lucas will direct the unscripted series, and Devis’ Ninetythree Media will produce.

The podcast follows host and reporter Guzman-Lopez as he investigates the death of college student and radio host Oscar Gomez. One of California’s Chicano student rights movement’s most prominent voices, Gomez was mysteriously found dead on the Santa Barbara shore in 1994. As Guzman-Lopez looks further into what happened, he revisits his own past and ties to the Chicano movement.

“We are looking forward to partnering with Participant on the production and development of both series, based on Adolfo Guzman-Lopez’s incredible true-crime investigative podcast from LAist,” said Devis. “Cross fading times and eras, the investigation into the death of one of the most promising Chicano leaders of the ‘90s becomes an examination into one’s own political and ethnic identity, and a meditation on the role of journalism and activism in contemporary society. This is an incredibly poignant story and with Participant’s partnership we will be able to amplify its relevance and impact.”

Imperfect Paradise: The Forgotten Revolutionary won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award. It was also nominated for an IDA Documentary Award, named a finalist by the Online Journalism Awards, and received recognition from numerous other organizations that honor excellence in journalism and audio storytelling.

“Adolfo’s podcast is a riveting look at the heroism of Oscar Gomez’s activism and the tragedy of his death,” said Participant’s Miura Kite, Executive Vice President of Global Television; and Courtney Sexton, Executive Vice President, Documentary Film and Television, in a joint statement. “At Participant we champion untold stories that correct false narratives, and we’re excited to work with Juan, Adolfo and LAist Studios to tell Oscar’s important story.”

“In the second season of Imperfect Paradise, Adolfo brought listeners a thoughtful, introspective and deeply informed story about his personal connection to the Chicano movement in the 1990s and Oscar Gomez,” said Shana Naomi Krochmal, VP of Podcasting, LAist Studios. “It’s a crucial story for understanding California’s Chicano movement as well as the evolution of ‘objective reporting’ that many journalists, especially journalists from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, are often asked to bring to complex stories full of personal and political identities. Oscar’s activism made a lasting impact on so many people and we’re grateful to Participant for helping his story continue to reach new audiences on screen.”

The unscripted project will be produced by Ninetythree Media. Executive Producers are Jeff Skoll and Courtney Sexton for Participant; and Devis for Ninetythree Media.

Participant will produce the narrative series, Guzman-Lopez is Consulting Producer and Shana Naomi Krochmal is Co-Producer. Executive Producers are Jeff Skoll and Miura Kite for Participant; and Devis for Ninetythree Media.

Ninetythree Media founder and CEO Devis was a director and producer before becoming Chief Content Officer at KCET, the largest independent premium content studio for public television in Los Angeles. Under his leadership, the studio won over 30 Emmys, James Beard Awards, and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. Devis was an inaugural member of Participant’s Impact Advisory Council, which offers insights and recommendations concerning social impact strategy for Participant film and episodic titles.

Participant’s growing episodic slate includes Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, which held the #2 spot on Netflix for several weeks; and the upcoming Interior Chinatown (Hulu), based on the National Book Award winner by Charles Yu and executive produced by Taika Waititi, who directed the pilot.

Imperfect Paradise is a weekly podcast from LAist Studios showcasing California stories about messy realities with universal significance. It is available on all podcast platforms and airs on LAist 89.3 every Sunday at 7 PM PT. The Forgotten Revolutionary team included Guzman-Lopez, executive producer Antonia Cereijido, lead producer Natalie Chudnovsky, producer James Chow, and editor Audrey Quinn.



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