Local Filmmaker Paul Plett is now working on a brand-new, made-in-Manitoba sitcom called Maria and the Mennos.
Paul Plett is originally from Landmark and is now based out of Winnipeg. He is creating and producing Maria and the Mennos alongside Tina Fehr Kehler from Winkler and Hazel Wallace from Winnipeg.
“It is a TV sitcom about a Filipino Canadian Woman who moves in with her Mennonite in-laws.”
Plett says he believes many Manitobans will be able to relate to this story.
“I think this is one that is going to resonate with a lot of folks. The show is set in Winkler so I think it is a story that is familiar to people from Winkler, probably folks here in Winnipeg and out in Steinbach. I think this is a really good, home-grown Manitoban story.”
Starting out, Maria and the Mennos will be a small 13-episode show, but Plett says it is still an incredible opportunity.
“Thinking back to when I was a little kid in Landmark, biking around the dirt roads around there, thinking that I would ever do something like this is kind of unbelievable. It means a lot to be able to share my perspective on what Manitoba is, who the Mennonites are and their relationship with other cultures, it is a dream come true.”
Not only will the show feature a very home-grown Manitoban story, but it will also reflect the province visually.
“It’ll be 100 percent filmed in Manitoba and 100 percent filmed with Manitobans. That is what we want this show to be, we want it to be authentic, we want it to be honest, we want to celebrate our province and what it has to offer.”
Maria and the Mennos will air on both Yes TV, a subscription TV station, and a streaming service called Castle, however, Plett notes when it is finished they will be looking for other broadcasters and streaming platforms that may be interested in carrying the show.
Plett says they are still in the early stages. He notes they are currently in the casting process and they are looking for Mennonite and Filipino actors.
“If there are actors out there who are interested, that is where we are at. We are looking for our cast, we are looking for our location. It is still a little way down the line. This show is going to be done in August of next year, which is when we want to release it, but we are going to be filming this thing this winter in January, February, and March of 2023.”