Ligiah Villalobos is a writer, producer, consultant, educator and lecturer. She is best known for writing the independent feature film Under the Same Moon, (La Misma Luna), which she also executive produced. The film was released by Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company in 2008 after it was acquired at the Sundance Film Festival, where it became the highest sale for a Spanish-language film in the history of Sundance. Made for under $2 million, the film earned more than $23 million worldwide.
More recently, Villalobos was a cultural consultant on the Academy Award-winning Disney/Pixar film Coco, which has become the highest-grossing movie of all time in Mexico, and the highest-grossing Pixar movie in China. She is also the recipient of the Humanitas Prize, for writing the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Firelight, produced by Alicia Keys and Mary Martin, which aired on ABC in 2013.
Villalobos has developed projects for HBO’s Sesame Street as well as multiple studios and networks, including ABC, NBC, ABC/Family (now Freeform), F/X, Showtime, BET and HBO, among others. Her latest is The Dirty Girls Social Club, a half-hour pilot for Starz, based on The New York Times bestselling book of the same name.
Villalobos co-wrote the 2016 Lifetime TV movie The Real MVP, based on the life of Golden State Warriors basketball player Kevin Durant’s mother, produced by Queen Latifah and Shelby Stone. She was also the head writer, for three seasons, of Nick Jr.’s hit children’s show Go, Diego! Go!
In addition to Coco, Villalobos has consulted on the Disneytoons movie Planes, the BET series Reed Between the Lines and Sprout’s Nina’s World.
Before becoming an independent writer/producer, Villalobos was a studio executive at The Walt Disney Company, where she oversaw television production in Latin America for five years, launching eight No. 1 children shows in seven countries before overseeing the Writing Fellowship Program and the Directors Training Program for the studio. She then worked as a current programming executive at The WB, where she oversaw six primetime shows, including the four highest rated shows on the network.
Villalobos recently sold the animated series Adelita y Señorita to Disney Channel and is developing a property for Sesame Street Workshop. She is currently writing for Netflix’s animated children’s series Super Monsters and StarBeam, and is a writer and associate producer on the animated feature Koati, currently in production.
In addition to UCLA TFT, Villalobos teaches at multiple universities, including USC, Cal State L.A. and Colorado College. She also lectures and leads writing workshops around the world, including those for the Sundance Film Institute, Film Independent, Taipei’s Film Commission, San Miguel de Allende’s Writers Conference and NALIP. She has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, The Black List Blog and Americana magazine. She is on the Writers Guild Foundation board and the Immigrant Defenders Law Center.
Villalobos received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University.