Mosquita Y Mari (ISA: The Film Collaborative) by Aurora Guerrero, a San Fran raised xicana, is an absolutely lovely film about discoveries of oneself and each other. It’s full of moments that are sweet, tender and real. Sometimes they are fleeting and sometimes they linger. Aurora paints her community – immigrant, youth and queer – with such affection and passion that you feel that someone like Aurora will herald a new era in Latino filmmaking. Mosquita Y Mari opens in NYC at Cinema Village August 3rd.
LatinoBuzz: How important was making Mosquita y Mari to you?
Aurora:I spent over 7 years of my life working on this film. It meant alot! I think that ultimately I wanted to tell a love story but in my own way. I wanted to put out there a story that felt familiar to people across sexualities and communities but that also incorporated the layers that can be specific to class and gender and immigration status. It’s 2012 and we had yet to see this love story told within this world and between these two girls. I just felt very profoundly that it was a story I had to share with others. It was time to put out a story like this. And in the process I got to immortalize a time in my life that was special.
LatinoBuzz:With Mosquita Y Mari, Elliot Loves, Four, Joven Y Alocado making the festival circuit and finding success do you think it will give Latinos the courage to continue to represent the gay community in film?
Aurora:Most definitely. I find myself totally inspired by all these films and filmmakers. If you were to watch them back to back you’d realize how they all have something different to share with their audiences. I think this sends a strong message to other filmmakers to aspire to be their own filmmaker. To not only be bold in telling stories with queer storylines but to do it in bold ways. That’s why these films are getting recognized. At least that’s how I see it.
LatinoBuzz:Tell us a horror story making a film…
Aurora:No horror stories, thankfully!
LatinoBuzz:You’re primarily influenced by writers. What do you want your words to do?
Aurora:I hope my visual language inspires others to tell their stories and challenges people’s thinking.
LatinoBuzz:You brought out radiant performances from Fenessa Pineda & Venecia Troncoso. What was that process?
Aurora:It was a wonderful experience working with them. From the very beginning I was intent on studying them very closely. Making sure I had a handle on when they were telling me the truth as actors/people and when they were lying. I was very upfront with them about this. I told them that I was basically going to be their bullshit detector. And if I thought what they were giving me BS during a scene I would call them out on it. They, in turn, could also call me out on any BS with regards to the writing. If they felt it forced or wrong then they could talk to me about it and together we’d make changes to it. That was our pact! Looking back there were very, very few times I had to say “Bullshit.” They were extremely invested in their characters and the moments they shared between them. I was blown away by their chemistry. Basically, I just had to make sure I just didn’t get in the way of it.
LatinoBuzz:You end the film on an ambiguous yet perfect note. Who do Mosquita Y Mari grow up to be as realized individuals?
Aurora:Oh, this is a cheating question. That’s not for me to say. That’s for each audience member to imagine. I mean I have my own ideas of who they go on to be but obviously it wasn’t important for me to state that in the film. I think it was more important for me to leave the audience feeling that these girls have gone through a shift in their person, a change. They aren’t the same people they met at the beginning of the film when they first set eyes on each other across the street. Their journey together has definitely made an impact on them, opened them up to something different. I think it was enough to leave audience in that
place. The rest is up to ya’ll to imagine!
LatinoBuzz:Your Bing commercial was hella dope. It’s one of the first times I’ve seen a Latina in a commercial and she wasn’t dancing up a storm with fruit on her head to a conga beat with some suave guy in a ruffled shirt. When is the breakthrough going to come where we are looked at different in the mainstream?
Aurora:I don’t know if it’s going to come via one person “breaking through” or a current of artists staying true to themselves at all times in their career. I think we’re starting to really see that now. Maybe it’s because so many of us, and that includes non-people of color too, are really tired of seeing the Latino stereotypes. I know it has inspired me to be myself without a doubt in my mind. I call myself a queer Xicana at home, in the streets…why not call myself that when I’m being interviewed. It’s who I am and its definitely part of what informs the stories I tell. People have an issue with that then that’s on them. I’m just being
me in this whole process.
LatinoBuzz:You’re an activist – whose Biopic would you make and who is in it?
Aurora:Oh man! So many amazing people to choose from. I would have to say Chavela Vargas cuz she’s fierce, a wonderful vocalist, out queer, and from an era in Mexico that I’m fascinated by.
LatinoBuzz:What was the moment you made your parents the most proud?
Aurora:I wonder what they wouldsay if you asked them. If I had to choose for them I think it would probably be when they saw me on stage at Sundance introducing its world premiere. As I have been paving my career as a filmmaker my parents have been there for me every step of them way. They have believed in my dreams despite how steep the mountain has been. So when Sundance came around they totally got it. I think for them it was like I was finally being announced to the world as a filmmaker.
For more on MYM, Email MosquitayMari@Gmail.comor visit mosquitaymari.com