Paloma Valenzuela is a Dominican-American writer, director actress and educator originally from the city of Boston. She is the creative director of the production company La Palomita Productions, LLC.

She is the writer/producer/creator of the comedic web series "The Pineapple Diaries.” The show was featured in the Latina Magazine's "5 Web Series Every Latinx Needs to Watch Right Now". She is a 2018-2019 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Neighborhood Salon Luminary and between 2020-2021 directed an 8 episode video series for the museum called the "Luminary Lens Series". She is a 2019 City of Boston Artist Fellow.

In 2019 she won for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy at the Iris Dominicana Movie Awards for her role as Lolita in the Dominican film "Un 4to de Josué" which can be found on HBO. Her writing was recently published in the anthology book “Ni De Aquí Ni de Allá” a compilation of stories and works by Dominican-American writers created by Dominican Writers Association. She works as a teaching artist in Boston and teaches screenwriting at Brandeis University. She has recently joined the ICATeens film school faculty at the Institute of Contemporary Art as the teaching artist for their Fast Forward Film Program.

Work Samples:

Artist Statement:

What motivates my work is to push against the current gatekeeping on storytelling in film and television. I am interested in telling universal stories- everyday human experiences about characters navigating life and discovery and love and relationships- friendships, work and passion and navigating their own identities — I want to center women of color, people of color, Latinx people of color, Black Latinx- first, second, third generation - and share stories that do not attempt to appeal to a White gaze, but just tell honest stories - in my case, from my little corner of the world. I am inspired by my life experiences- with each year as I grow to learn more about myself now nearing my mid-thirties- love and “adulting” and all of the absurdities of everyday life. I am inspired by my family histories- as a mixed race woman of color, Jewish-American Dominican-American I am inspired to tell my story from an honest and vulnerable place- because that’s where the beauty of storytelling and story sharing lies. I am inspired by creatives such as Issa Rae and Donald Glover as well as Tony Morrison and Pedro Almodovar and Spike Lee. I love comedy and I love the tenderness that can be found in comedy. I want to tell stories based in Boston and I want to change the current narrative of the city of Boston that often attempts to erase the communities of Color that make this city what it is, make it great. All of this inspires my work and my writing. 

Project Description:

In 2020 just at the start of the pandemic, the final episodes of the Third Season of my Boston-based web series “The Pineapple Diaries” were just finishing airing on Youtube. I am so grateful to have had this project to lean into during a time that was confusing and overwhelming for so many. This project, my biggest passion project to date, has always meant so much to me. "The Pineapple Diaries" is a comedic web series that follows the life of Maite Lopez and her friends as they navigate their adult lives in the city of Boston- discovering themselves and each other and the absurdities of everyday life.

The show is entirely shot on location in Boston and predominantly the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, which is where I was raised. I had hoped to be able to screen the third season in person but not until now did I believe it might be possible again- to do it, and of course to do it safely. I would love to work with Boston Ujima Project to bring this dream to life- to screen the entire Season Three of “The Pineapple Diaries” (10 full episodes). It could be a day event or a weekend event, much like a film festival.

I hope to include Q&A discussions with the cast and crew of the show and also take the opportunity to screen short works from other up and coming filmmakers and artists in Boston and perhaps have a live musical performance or two from Boston-based artists that are included in the Season Three soundtrack. I think it would be a great way to share this season and give it another moment of celebration, as a Boston based show and a show and season that highlights many artists of color in Boston.

This show and third season was such a collaboration, not only with the cast and crew of the show that made this series come to life - but also with so many cameo appearances from local artists and a soundtrack that was entirely made-up of Boston-based artists of color. I would love to bring us all together in person (something we were unable to do in 2020) and celebrate all of the artists that helped make this season what it was- bring us all together to celebrate their work and their contribution to this web series that in essence was a love letter to our communities in Boston.