On July 21, 2020, Population Media Center (PMC) celebrated the U.S. premiere of Vencer el Miedo (“Overcome the Fear”) on Univision. This 47-episode social impact TV show was a co-production between PMC and Televisa, a Mexican based mass media company that is the largest in Latin America.
Vencer el Miedo is a story of grit and hope, and centers around four female protagonists who face issues such as teen pregnancy, domestic violence, parent-teen communication challenges, and gender inequality. It’s U.S. debut has been covered in publications like People en Español and L.A. Times.
The program originally aired in early 2020 in Mexico — drawing an unprecedented 3.8 million viewers nightly and ranking #1 in its time slot. In its first week of broadcast in the U.S. with Univision, 400,000 people tuned in nightly to Vencer el Miedo, and the ratings have continued to rise.
In celebration of the premiere, PMC produced a virtual event entitled “Latinas Unidas: Rising Together,” a panel discussion to address pressing issues affecting Latinx communities and the role of social impact entertainment. In addition to the issues covered in the television show, panel topics included racial justice, AfroLatin intersectionality, cultural norms, mental health, and women’s empowerment. Panelists representing healthcare, social impact organizations, content creation, and more were invited to speak to the broad range of issues on the panel, seen as one of many conversations needed to address the interests and needs of the Latinx community.
“This is such an exciting moment for television,” says Lisa Caruso, PMC’s Head of U.S. Content. “Vencer el Miedo was developed by our international programming arm, and it is finding fans in the U.S. marketplace – and, importantly, Hollywood is taking note of the importance of diverse stories. Our previous hit TV show in the U.S., East Los High, was one of the first dramatic series with an all-Latinx cast, a trend that we’ve been happy to see grow in today’s media market. With both Vencer el Miedo and East Los High, PMC has developed complex female characters that help spearhead conversations about gender equality and reproductive rights.”
The panel featured Jessie Medina (Founder, FEMX), Jorge Navarro (Founder, Reality Changers), Gladys Mendoza (Director of Special Initiatives, National Alliance for Hispanic Health), Carolina Rosas (Director, Corporate Social Responsibility & Social Impact Content & Production, Univision), Alejandra Cortez (LCSW, Founder, The Social Changer), and Population Media Center’s Kiren Bansal (Associate Vice President of Development) and Cecilia Orvañanos (Mexico Resident Representative). Joanna Velarde (Executive Producer and Founder of Escape Plan Media) served as moderator.
When asked what makes PMC unique as compared to other storytellers, PMC’s Bansal said, “It starts with representation – making sure those creating the stories and working on our content are from and reflecting the communities we aim to serve.” Representation is core to PMC’s business model and it was no different for the panel, where Bansal teamed up with Escape Plan Media, run by Latinx small business owner Velarde and her husband.
PMC is currently developing a number of exciting U.S. focused projects, including Harlem Code, set in the world of tech, that addresses issues affecting inner-city Black and Latinx youth, and another series set in Dallas which will highlight the area’s high teen pregnancy rates, particularly among Latinx adolescents.
“Our commitment to issues affecting Latinx communities, and particularly women,” says Caruso, “reaches across many of our projects as we seek to create content for social change. Our mission is to always uplift and inspire underserved communities and allow viewers to see themselves accurately depicted in new and entertaining ways.”
The Vencer el Miedo panel event marks one of the most successful online events for PMC, drawing hundreds of viewers from around the globe, including Brazil, El Salvador, England, France, Guana Island, Guatemala, Haiti, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and the U.S.
“PMC has a global following, so zoom meetings, webinars, and virtual panels have been an area of growth for several years, but the pandemic made it a necessity to stay engaged with our stakeholders,” stated Bansal.
Population Media Center is an international non-profit social impact entertainment organization aiming to create a sustainable planet with equal rights for all.
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