Aurora Guerrero’s Mosquita y Mari, which will have a reprise screening at Outfest Fusion 2013, was one of last year’s most acclaimed debut features, but Guerrero is no overnight sensation. Her current success comes off of years of hard work, both in academia (she has a B.A. in Psychology and Chicano Studies from UC-Berkeley and an M.F.A. in Film Directing from Cal Arts) and on the set. In addition to her acclaimed short films Pura Lengua and Viernes Girl, Guerrero paid her dues working with the directors of such prominent Latino films as Real Women Have Curves and Outfest 2009 Opening Night Gala La Mission. It’s a thrill to have Guerrero back at Fusion with her latest film, which screened as the Fusion Centerpiece at Outfest 2012.
What film/s have you presented at Fusion in the past?
Pura Lengua and Viernes Girl
How has Fusion (and Outfest) helped you to get your stories to a wider audience?
They have always been a wonderful platform for bridging our work with predominately queer of color audiences. As a queer woman of color filmmaker this space is validating and empowering.
What challenges do POC filmmakers face in telling and sharing LGBT stories?
Challenges continue to be access to financing, largely because the industry doesn’t believe there is an audience for lgbt themed films.
Besides screening at Fusion, what advice do you have for other queer filmmakers of color in getting their work out to more viewers?
There are more digital platforms available to filmmakers. I think filmmakers have to stay up-to-date on what those opportunities are.
What are your strategies over the next few years to grow your audience?
Aside from continuing to work on my craft so as to tell stronger stories, I think my work continues to be about engaging communities throughout my filmmaking process. These grass-roots relationships ground my projects via a strong word of mouth which, in turn, results in a growing audience for my films.
Do you have a specific memory of attending a Fusion screening (either for your own film or someone else’s) that has stayed with you?
I can’t say I have a specific memory. More than anything I remember the immense pride I felt in being able to offer stories to Fusions’ audience that they could directly identify with.
– Alonso Duralde, Outfest Senior Programmer
Mosquita y Mari screens on Saturday, March 23 at 3:00 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre. Get your tickets.
More about Aurora Guerrero:
Aurora Guerrero is a queer-identified Chicana raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has over 10 years of filmmaking experience as a writer/director.
Guerrero wrote and directed Mosquita y Mari which is her debut narrative feature film. Mosquita y Mari premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in the NEXT category and was recently selected to compete in the 2012 San Francisco International Film Festival. Since premiering, Mosquita y Mari has already garnered festival awards including Best Narrative Feature at Cinefestival and the Queer Award at the 2012 Torino LGBT Film Festival. During its making, Mosquita y Mari was awarded the 2011 San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Post Production Grant, 2011 LG Cinema 3D Fellowship, 2010 Latino Public Broadcast Production Grant, 2006 ITVS Development Grant, 2005 Sundance/Ford Fellowship, 2005 Paul Robeson Development Grant, and was selected to participate in the 2005 Sundance Native Indigenous Filmmaker Lab, 2006 Tribeca All Access Filmmaker Program, and 2009 Film Independent Producer’s Lab.
Prior to making her feature, Guerrero directed short narrative films. In 2005, she directed Pura Lengua, an official selection of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Later in 2005, Guerrero won the HBO/NYLIFF short script competition for her script Viernes Girl, putting her in production that same year. Pura Lengua and Viernes Girl went on to play at numerous film festivals. Viernes Girl was later acquired by HBO Films. Guerrero’s achievements led to a slot in Filmmaker Magazine’s 2006 “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”
Guerrero is a 2012 Sundance Institute/Time Warner Storytelling Fellow and a 2005 Sundance Native Fellow.
Guerrero also assisted film directors Patricia Cardoso on Real Women Have Curves and Peter Bratt on La Mission.
Guerrero received her B.A. in Psychology and Chicano Studies from UC Berkeley and her M.F.A in Film Directing from Cal Arts in Los Angeles.