Jake Weinraub

Queer Latina Film Production in Full-Swing

Filed By Jake Weinraub | June 02, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Aurora Guerrero, huntington park, latina, latino, los angeles, Mosquita y Mari, Queer Film

A big congratulations goes out to writer/director Aurora Guerrero for successfully achieving the needed funding for her project, Mosquita y Mari:

From the site:

Mosquita y Mari is a coming of age story that focuses on a tender love between two young Chicanas that struggles to find its place in their lives and in today's world. Yolanda and Mari are growing up in Huntington Park, Los Angeles and have only known loyalty to one thing: family. Growing up in immigrant households, both girls are expected to prioritize the well-being of their families. Yolanda, an only child, delivers straight A's and the hope of the American Dream while Mari, the eldest, shares economic responsibilities with her undocumented mother who scrambles to make ends meet. When Mari moves in across the street from Yolanda, they maintain their usual life routine, until an incident at school thrusts them into a friendship and into unknown territory. As their friendship grows, a yearning to explore their strange yet beautiful connection surfaces.

Guerrero and her team were able to raise an incredible $82,468 in pledges on their Kickstarter page in addition to partial production funding from the Latino Public Broadcast. She was also awarded the 2005 Sundance Ford Fellowship, the 2006 Tribeca All Access Filmmaker Program, and the 2009 Film Independent Producer's Lab among other distinctions.

Guerrero draws from her own experiences with sexuality, and the pressure of living up to her parent's expectations to honor the sacrifices they've made. She shares with hispanicLA:

I want to talk about sexuality. I am attracted to the power of the [actual] violence within silence, a mixture so common in the reaction of parents...because in my house, we didn't talk.

And her parents' dreams got lost. "Life turned into work... which was not always humane." For 18 years, the Mexican restaurant they owned in Berkeley united the family. This is where each of the 3 siblings worked since the age of 8. "They were always thinking of us," she stated. "That's why they didn't go back to Guadalajara."

Now that Guerrero has reached her funding goals, she is in the full-swing of production, holding casting calls and engaging with local high schools in and around Huntington Park. She is also working with local youth interested in media-making, pairing them up with her creative team "as a form of hands-on-experience and mentorship."

Mosquita y Mari represents an exciting and powerful contribution to independent film, creating space for subjects not often addressed in queer and/or Latina/Latino cinema. For updates, follow Guerrero's progress on Facebook.

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Glad to hear she got the funding!

OH!! This looks AMAZING. I am so excited... Huntington Park! I was born there. Fabulous! Visibile Chicana stories!!

As my Abuelita would say... Trabajo muy bien hecho.

PS: Thank you Jake for posting this. Amazing. I look forward to seeing more of your posts.