Born in Caracas, Venezuela Maria immigrated to the United States, born a citizen through her parents who had been naturalized before the time of her birth, at 6 years old to South Florida. Her family planted roots in the city of Plantation, FL after suffering the devastating loss of both her brothers. Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at just 3 weeks, her parents decided to keep that information a secret for fear that their daughter would be treated differently. At the time of her diagnosis, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) was a terminal illness as most children did not survive into adulthood. They feared their daughter would be forever deemed too delicate to enjoy much of what other normal children would be involved in.
Her childhood was filled with the influence of her mother Reina’s cultural origin, who hailed from the Central American country of Panama. Dancing, music, and the arts were predominant in Maria’s young life. With Miami’s influential South Beach only 45 minutes south of their home, she was exposed to many of the world’s best in dance, music, and film. Her sister is a prominent singer-songwriter and she learned so much about music and the entertainment industry through her sister’s successes and failures. From her mother and sister, she gets her appreciation of dance and music.
Maria’s father, Flavio, was a fan of the Star Wars films even in her country, Venezuela. But the first time Maria ever stepped into a movie theatre, it was with her father to see Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. The influence of those films has stayed strong with Maria and for her, it’s very much tied to her father. Flavio was a financial genius and brought his business prowess from great successes in the chemical manufacturing, dairy processing, and oil drilling industries to the United States. From her father, she takes her business acumen and love of films and storytelling.
Now, after years of being involved in the video game development and community industries, she endeavors to create films that are made by the fans for the fans and to start to develop her own intellectual properties and stories so that she can leave behind a legacy of great storytelling.
Maria serves as the primary Executive Producer, the director and screenwriter for all the films, and the showrunner for the planned TV series. In her role, she provides the primary financial backing that allows the cast and crew to bring this dream of her to life.
As a person with very limiting disabilities due to her Cystic Fibrosis, she is champion for the sick, the dying, and the forgotten. Cystic Fibrosis is an invisible illness that sees nearly 33,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Cystic Fibrosis, and many other illnesses like it, is what is known as an “orphaned” illness, meaning they receive no federal aid, support, or financial backing to research and develop any medications or possible cures. It has all been privately donated. With this project, she hopes to give those like her the inspiration to keep dreaming of a better tomorrow despite the many obstacles in front of them.
Having over thirty years in the business of video game storytelling, development, and innovation, she’s uniquely qualified to write, direct, and produce this project from start to finish. Thus, she’s taken her life savings and poured it into creating ALL original art, original voices, original sounds, and original music — as transformative work — to give us back the Star Wars we all know and love. Over the last nearly ten years, she has seen the division in the fandom and its really affected her. It is that separation of fans from each other that drives the passion she has to do this work.
In her own words:
I dream of a day where no one is afraid to be creative and inspirational to others around them despite all our many differences.
It is very important to Maria that the fans of this franchise start putting away their differences and strive to become inspirations to other fans, rather than combative and aggressive towards each other. By moving the story forward, she believes she can bridge the deep, wide chasm that seems to plague those that love Star Wars. And instead of just talking about what other people have created, she decided to put her own money where her mouth is and just do it. She also wants to honor the legacy that her father gave her and her brothers by introducing them to George Lucas’ masterpiece of filmmaking. In heaven, they are looking down at her and she hopes to continue to make them proud.