Marvin Lemus is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer with a passion for telling unapologetic and subversive stories. Lemus’ eclectic body of work ranges between the film festival circuit and the digital world. Most recently, Lemus co-wrote and directed GENTE-FIED, a bilingual digital series produced by America Ferrera and MACRO, (Fences, Mudbound). Gente-fied recently premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and is currently being developed for television and was selected for the 2017 Sony Diverse Director's Program.
Lemus' career started after directing his undergraduate thesis film. It was terrible and really not funny. Determined to learn how to “guarantee a laugh”, Lemus adopted the "Robert Rodriguez Method" of filmmaking and obsessively wrote, produced, directed, edited, and sometimes acted in close to 200 digital sketches, short films, web series, and even a few vlogs here and there. During that time, Lemus studied at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre which is where he met the other founding members of the award-winning sketch group, THE KIDS TABLE (TKT). Lemus was a lead performer and lone producer, director, and editor of TKT. Over the course of three years, TKT's social satire and topical parodies garnered over 1 million views and their work was frequently featured on Funny or Die, Huffington Post, Gizmodo, and Buzzfeed, to name a few. They even won a free trip to Switzerland once to receive an award for a video he shot in his living room for 50 bucks. Best ROI ever.
Lemus’ success with low-budget videos quickly led to making more low-budget videos, but for money. His rent-paying work in digital comedy led to working with some of the biggest YouTube Personalities and rising comedy stars including Lilly Singh, Lil Rel Howery, Harley Morenstein (Epic Meal Time), SuperEeego and many more. His ability to pay bills and eat food other than quesadillas and Top Ramen also came from directing successful viral videos for brands such as Anheuser-Busch, Nissan, MLB, Time, and the wildly successful digital campaign for the feature film, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, which received over 8 million views and was cited in exit polls as the #1 reason people saw the film in theaters. By the way, he accomplished all of this by age 26. Not bad, right?
Lemus is a Film Independent Project Involve Alumni, but only after applying six years in a row. It was as a Project Involve Fellow that he was able to direct the short film, VÁMONOS. Vámonos went on to screen internationally in over 40 film festivals and won awards at NBCUniversal Short Film Festival, Frameline40, and a prestigious Imagen Award. The awards have gone a long way towards validating that he can, in fact, guarantee a laugh. More importantly, it was with this short that Lemus found his passion for telling nuanced Latinx stories.
Lemus is a Mexican + Guatemalan-American anchor-baby born in the hot AF desert of Bakersfield, CA.
P.S. He is still eligible for any 30 under 30 lists (in case you’re looking).