Romany Malco is serving up something bigger than laughs in his first-ever self-directed, written, and edited mockumentary film, Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison. 

The film, which follows his popular YouTube personality of Tijuana Jackson, centers on Jackson’s release from prison and his desire to become a world-renowned motivational speaker. Malco tells ABC Audio that the film offers “a much needed social commentary.”

“What you’re looking at is… an authentic depiction of what [I] know, of what [I’ve] lived,” Malco says. “[When] people ask me, ‘Why don’t you make movies about us being kings and queens?’ [I say,] ‘I don’t know no kings and queens…. No kings and queens kick it with me or my folk."”

“And so what I’m writing about is what I know,” he continues. “And what I know is… a lot of brothers that would get out of jail… the system wasn’t the only thing that ostracized them, but their families and friends ostracized them too.”

Because Malco says he “didn’t have the heart” to “ostracize” those men, he “ended up” helping them out.

“I [went] on a lot of double dates with these brothers… Dropping these brothers off… and hanging out in places… I had no place being,” he says. “But… I developed empathy and understanding.”

Malco says that “empathy and understanding” gave him his ultimate purpose for the film.

“I wanted to show that there’s more people like that… that we tend to write off and regard as deplorable,” he explains. “And those are the people that this film was made for in the first place. This film is probably one of the most honest depictions of what it’s like to be a disenfranchised member of the US.”

Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison, also starring Regina Hall, is now available for digital purchase.

By Candice Williams
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