Rising film director: Aurora Guerrero talks to us about her personal and heartfelt Sundance Official Selection feature film: Mosquita Y Mari. Aurora hopes that Hawaii’s Latin and Hispanic Community will come to support this screening.
Synopsis: In a fast-paced immigrant community, Huntington Park, a predominately Mexican neighborhood in Los Angeles, where dreams are often lost to economic survival, two young Chicanas, Yolanda and Mari contemplate life when they stir unexpected desires in each other.
What message(s) are you hoping is conveyed to MyM audience members?
AS A QUEER WOMAN I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO UNDERSTAND HOW MY LOVE FOR SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX IS UNNATURAL OR ALIEN. SO I SET OUT TO CAPTURE THE UNIVERSALITY OF LOVE AND HOW IT’S AS VALID AND REAL AND BEAUTIFUL AS ANY OTHER LOVE EXPERIENCED BY TWO PEOPLE. I ALSO SET THIS STORY WITHIN A WORKING CLASS IMMIGRANT SETTING WHERE CLASS AND CITIZENSHIP ARE THE ANTAGONISTS. I HOPE PEOPLE WALK AWAY DESIRING FOR A FUTURE THESE TWO GIRLS DESERVE TOGETHER AND/OR SEPERATE…I HOPE THAT DESIRE WILL SOME HOW TRANSLATE INTO ACTION.
Why should Hawaii’s Latin community gay AND straight come to see MyM?
AFTER MANY SCREENINGS SINCE GOING TO SUNDANCE I HAVE BEEN APPROACHED BY AN ARRAY OF PEOPLE – STRAIGHT/QUEER, WHITE/LATINO- WHO HAVE APPRECIATED HOW THE FILM IS ABLE TO SPEAK TO PEOPLE ACROSS ALL IDENTITIES. IT’S AN INSPIRING STORY ABOUT FRIENDSHIP AND FIRST LOVE AND HONESTLY WHO DOESN’T NEED A DOSE OF THAT IN THEIR LIVES RIGHT NOW??!!
How did BING become involved in your road to Sundance and what are some of the positives that came out of it?
BING IS A SPONSOR OF THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL AND HAD APPROACHED SUNDANCE ABOUT TARGETING A FILMMAKER THAT BEST REPRESENTED THEIR RE-BRANDING CAMPAIGN WHICH WAS ABOUT ATTRACTING PEOPLE THAT ARE “DOERS”- PEOPLE THAT ARE PROACTIVE IN THEIR CAREERS AND MAKING THINGS REALLY HAPPEN. SUNDANCE PITCHED ME AND BING WENT FOR IT SO I CAME ON BOARD RIGHT BEFORE THE FESTIVAL. WHEN WE WERE SHOOTING I WAS NEVER PROMISED THAT IT WOULD HAVE A BROADCAST. I ASSUMED IT WOULDN’T BUT TO OUR SURPRISE BING ENDED UP GOING PRIMETIME WITH IT FOR WEEKS. THE MARKETING HAS BEEN A DREAM COME TRUE. WE’VE GOTTEN CRAZY EXPOSURE OUT OF IT – AND NOT JUST THE FILM BUT ALSO MYSELF, THE COMMUNITY I SHOT IN, THE NON-PROFIT I PARTNERED WITH, THE XICANA COMMUNITY. IT’S BEEN TREMENDOUS, REALLY!
MOST DEFINITELY THE WRITING. I WASN’T A TRAINED WRITER WHEN I STARTED MOSQUITA Y MARI SO THIS FILM WAS MY 101 ON SCRIPT WRITING. I ALSO FELL INTO THAT FIRST- TIME WRITER HOLE OF TRYING TO INCLUDE EVERY ISSUE IMPORTANT TO ME INTO THIS SCRIPT. AS TIME WENT ON AND WITH THE GUIDANCE OF A COUPLE OF WONDERFUL MENTORS I FOUND THE STORY I ULTIMATELY WANTED TO TELL IN THIS FILM AND FROM THEN ON I THINK THE WRITING FLOWED BETTER.
Do you see reflections of yourself in any of the characters and which one(s)?
OH YEAH. GROWING UP I WAS VERY MUCH THE MOSQUITA CHARACTER. I WAS NAIVE, SHELTERED AND CARRYING THE WEIGHT OF A FUTURE MY PARENTS WERE SLAVING AWAY FOR. ALTHOUGH I HAD MY OWN IDEAS AND FEELINGS I OFTEN STRUGGLED TO OWN THEM WHEN I FELT PRESSURE FROM SOCIETY TO ACT AND FEEL A CERTAIN WAY. BUT THE WHOLE TIME I WAS OUTWARDLY MOSQUITA, INSIDE I WAS A MARI YEARNING TO BURST OUT OF MY SKIN.