Onyx Collective announced today that it has picked up the docuseries “Gigante,” featuring interviews with Don Francisco (Mario Kreutzberger). From the team behind “Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado,” this four-part limited series is produced by Foton Pictures and Trojan Horse and will be streamed exclusively on Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in all other territories.
Spanning through four distinct eras in U.S. Latino history, “Gigante” tells the story of how immigrants from different Latin American countries created a tenuous alliance that would come to harness the social capital, economic prowess and political influence that forever changed the United States. With the unfettered participation of Don Francisco, access to 53 years of “Sabado Gigante” archives and a cavalcade of A-list celebrities, “Gigante” explores how the longest-running variety show in the history of television helped shape a new demographic and became a political force.
Mario Kreutzberger, also known as Don Francisco, was born in Talca, Chile. He is the creator and star of “Sabado Gigante,” which holds the Guinness World Record as the longest-running variety program. Kreutzberger is widely recognized for his extensive travels around the world and his use of humor and wit to unify cultures through his entertainment platform. Throughout his career, Kreutzberger has been honored with many awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Papal Benemerenti Medal given by Pope Juan Pablo II and an Emmy(R) Award. In 2011, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.
Kareem Tabsch serves as executive producer and director alongside Alex Fumero, who serves as executive producer and showrunner under their Trojan Horse banner. The series is a Foton.Pictures production with Ilan Numhauser, Ari Taboada and Carlos Enrique Cuscó serving as executive producers. Concept conceived by Fumero and Tabsch.
“To say we are enthusiastic about this project would be an understatement,” stated Jihan Robinson, vice president of Nonfiction, Onyx and Freeform. “Don Francisco and this series played such a huge role in the lives of the Latinx community and have left a lasting impact on this country. We are thrilled it has found a home with Onyx and to continue the ‘Sabado Gigante’ legacy.”
“I’m at a time in my life where it is more interesting looking backward,” says Mario Kreutzberger. “Where I have the full perspective of not only my 60 years as a professional but also where I’m able to fully analyze Don Francisco and ‘Sabado Gigante”s record-breaking run and what it meant to so many people. I’m beyond happy to have the opportunity to tell the story with this amazing team and thankful to Onyx for helping us bring our show to a brand new audience.”
“Hispanics. Latinos. Latinx. Whatever you may call us or whatever we may call ourselves, so few people understand who we are and where we came from – including us,” says Kareem Tabsch. “‘Gigante’ is the definitive Latino origin story told through the lens of ‘Sabado Gigante,’ one of the most beloved programs in the Spanish-speaking world and a staple in all our homes. The series will tell how a Chilean Jewish immigrant in Miami managed to shape the way that millions of other immigrants from dozens of nationalities across the Western Hemisphere identified themselves, bringing us all closer together and forever changing the face of the United States and Latin America in the process.”
“This is an extremely personal project for us and is very much part of our DNA as a company,” adds Carlos Enrique Cuscó, CEO of Foton.Pictures. “Bringing impactful and relevant stories to the foreground with such hugely talented creative partners like Kareem and Alex is the reason we got into this business. To now partner with Onyx Collective and get the opportunity to share our story as Latinos, with the participation of Don Francisco (Mario Kreutzberger), is a dream come true. We could not be more honored to be producing this ambitious project with Onyx Collective and Trojan Horse.”
Mario Kreutzberger’s headshot can be found HERE (photo credit: Gio Alma), and his full bio can be found HERE.
Alex Fumero is an Emmy-nominated producer, creative developer and writer. Recent credits include “Mucho Mucho Amor” (Netflix), which was an official selection of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, True/False, Miami Film Festival and more, and the critically acclaimed sketch show “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson” (Netflix/Irony Point). He previously served as vice president of Original Programming for HBO, where his projects included “2 Dope Queens,” “Random Acts of Flyness,” “The Untitled Jon Stewart Project,” “All Def Comedy,” “Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons,” “Felipe Esparza: Translate This” and “Chris Gethard: Career Suicide,” among others. Prior to joining HBO, Fumero was senior director of Programming and Development for Fusion. Fumero is a member of the Television Academy, the Latinx writer’s group G.O.A.L.S, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NYU Tisch.
Kareem Tabsch is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose work focuses on documenting that which exists on the fringes of mainstream society. His feature films include “Mucho Mucho Amor” (2020) and “The Last Resort” (2018), and the short film “Dolphin Lover” (2015). Tabsch’s work has been included at prestigious festivals like Sundance, SXSW and HotDocs and featured in outlets like The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and NPR, among others. In 2020, Tabsch’s film “Mucho Mucho Amor” was named one of The 20 Essential Latino Films by The New York Times. It was nominated for Emmy, GLADD and Imagen Awards and named Best Latinx Film by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. He was named a 40 under 40 Documentary filmmaker by DocNYC, America’s largest documentary film festival. Tabsch is a first-generation American of Latino and Middle Eastern descent. Rush Limbaugh once said his work was contributing to the decay of American Society.
ABOUT ONYX COLLECTIVE
Onyx Collective is a new content brand formed under Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE) designed to curate a slate of premium entertainment programming by creators of color and underrepresented voices. Onyx Collective ushers an exciting slate of content for a global audience, including critically acclaimed debut project Questlove’s Oscar(R)-winning documentary “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”; “The Hair Tales,” from executive producers Tracee Ellis Ross, Michaela Angela Davis and Oprah Winfrey; legal drama “Reasonable Doubt,” from executive producers Raamla Mohamed, Kerry Washington and Larry Wilmore; limited series “The Plot,” executive produced and starring two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali; and award-winning documentary, “Aftershock,” from directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee. The brand’s roster of prolific creators also includes writer and comedian Natasha Rothwell (“Insecure,” “SNL”), writer, producer and director Prentice Penny’s Penny for Your Thoughts, Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Black Panther”) and writer and director Destin Daniel Cretton (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”) and his production company Family Owned. Follow on Twitter and Instagram: @OnyxCollective
ABOUT TROJAN HORSE
Trojan Horse is a film, television and podcast production company based in Los Angeles and Miami. Founded in 2022 by Alex Fumero & Kareem Tabsch after the success of their Emmy-nominated Netflix Documentary, Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado, Trojan Horse tells larger than life stories that contain a deeper truth about culture, society, politics and the human condition. Inspired by their own experiences as bicultural, bilingual, first-generation Americans, through Trojan Horse, Tabsch and Fumero, plan to bring the multitude of amazing stories from the diverse landscape of the US and Latin America to a global audience.
Foton. is a content company founded in Miami in 2011 by filmmaker and media executive, Carlos Enrique Cuscó. As a story-driven motion picture studio, focused on telling stories with substance and meaning to today’s globally connected audiences, we strive to connect creative talent around the world and develop our craft at the juncture of art and technology. Since its creation the company has been developing and producing projects that include Foton Pictures’ THE LITTLE HOURS, a 2017 Sundance Film Festival Premiere starring Aubrey Plaza, Academy Award nominated John C. Reilly, Allison Brie and Dave Franco; Bill Waterson’s Slamdance Audience-Award Winning DAVE MADE A MAZE; Martha Stephens’ TO THE STARS which premiered in US Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival; Peabody Nominated and Outfest Audience-Award Winning documentary CHANGING THE GAME which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival; HERE ARE THE YOUNG MEN in collaboration with Screen Ireland and starring Dean Charles-Chapman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Finn Cole, Travis Fimmel and Noomi Rapace; Kelly Oxford’s PINK SKIES AHEAD starring Jessica Bardem, Rosa Salazar, Academy Award Winner Marcia Gay Harden, Academy Award Nominated Michael McKean, Academy Award Winner Mary J. Blige and Henry Winkler and Jimmy Giannopoulos’ directorial debut THE BIRTHDAY CAKE, a mob drama starring Shiloh Fernandez, Val Kilmer, Academy Award Nominated Lorraine Bracco, Penn Badgley, John Magaro, Jeremy Allen White, Clara McGregor, Jake Weary with Golden Globe winner Ewan McGregor, Luis Guzmán, and Paul Sorvino. Foton.Pictures is in active development of various feature films, high-end episodic, live-action and animated content as well as VR and Immersive content.
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