This project began when a filmmaker (Juan Freitez) heard a PhD student of linguistics (Emily Sabo) talking about language in a bar. Inspired to explore how language perceptions reveal deep, everyday truths about who we are, they partnered with fellow language enthusiast and filmmaker (Aliyah Mitchell) and an executive producer (Kimmie Kim) with a personal connection to linguistic discrimination. Together they will produce a docuseries that brings language to centerstage for a general audience.
Juan is a filmmaker who documents multicultural, social and political issues in underrepresented communities. His documentary shorts have been featured on NPR, PRI, and NBC. His first feature-length film Health Undocumented has screened at national and international film festivals and has been translated into many languages from Spanish to Malay. Freitez has been hosted by renowned universities, including Stanford, Berkeley, Georgetown, and UCSD to present his work and lead discussions about the communities and topics documented in his films.
producer, content expert
By day, Emily is a TEDx speaker and professional linguist (Ph.D.) who uses neuroscience technology and behavioral survey data to research the social and cognitive factors that influence how Spanish-English bilinguals produce and process language. By night she’s a story-telling standup comedian from Pittsburgh who discovered standup by accidentally attending a female comics workshop.
executive producer, production manager
Aliyah is an Ann Arbor, MI-based language enthusiast and filmmaker. Currently a project manager and video producer for University of Michigan’s Business & Finance organization, she often engages themes of communication, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her work has been recognized by institutions like Colorado State, the University of Minnesota, University Wisconsin, and the University of California, Berkeley. Mitchell’s favorite projects explore or feature language as central to the story and examines the intersections of identity and language. She has contributed to feature-length, short, and documentary film productions state-wide and nationally.
Kimmie Kim (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) has extensive experience producing live shows, special events, and films. Her acclaimed documentary “LIVE FROM NEW YORK!“, a film that chronicles the 40-year history of SNL, premiered on the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015. Kimmie also produced the Ed Sheeran documentary, ” SONGWRITER” which world premiered at 2018 Berlin International Film Festival and had its North American premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Kimmie is actively developing multiple projects across various genres, and she plans to continue her creative journey by telling stories that make the world laugh, think, and be inspired.