Meet Paquita Hughes, Independent Producer and Locations Manager


Paquita Hughes’ journey into the film industry is a lesson in perseverance

The road to earning a college degree isn’t easy for anyone, but Paquita’s journey to The Los Angeles Film School is an inspiring tale of believing in yourself against all odds. As a child of the foster care system and college dropout, her path into the entertainment industry is a true success story.

“I grew up in Mississippi, but I was born in Puerto Rico and came to Mississippi by way of New Jersey,” explains Paquita. 

“I had a very rough childhood, so escapism is what drew me into the filmmaking industry. I was a heavy reader, and I still am a heavy reader. Reading used to give us (me) an escape. As a kid, during those harsh Mississippi summers, when we would come inside my mom would give us two options, ‘Either take a nap or read a book’—I always read. It was my way of escaping.”

Paquita was a prototypical ‘80s latchkey kid. As an independent kid, she connected with group activities such as Girl Scouts and extracurricular clubs after school. Her love of movies started with The Wizard of Oz on VHS. The film captivated a young Paquita and opened her eyes to a new world of moviemaking as a future path.

The Los Angeles Film School Connection

Hughes’ vivid imagination and love of reading and watching movies stayed with her into adulthood. After serving in the military as an air traffic controller, Paquita enrolled in The L.A. Film School using her GI Bill benefits to study film production.

“The major thing was transitioning from military to civilian lifestyle,” said Paquita. “I got out and I came right to Los Angeles. I was also diagnosed with an invisible wound, and it was a really interesting phase of my diagnosis. I was figuring out once again “who am I?”

Perseverance is a key theme in Paquita’s life and it carried her through while in film school. Many of her classmates chose other paths but Paquita stayed the course and eventually found a job as an executive assistant for the producer on a film called Chocolate City. The production put Paquita through the wringer but it allowed her to gain experience on set and figure out what she wanted to do.

What is Paquita Hughes up to Now?

Paquita landed bigger productions once she unionized as a location manager and found steady jobs. 

She discovered her talents for producing and landed on the sets of major productions including HBO’s Perry Mason, Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere and Peacock’s Bel-Air. Paquita is a location scout/manager and resides in Los Angeles with her daughter. In 2023, The L.A. Film School nominated Paquita for the Spotlight Academy where she will be inducted on June 29, 2023, in a live ceremony at Ivar Theatre.