The first film is "Mosquita y Mari" - the debut directorial feature by Chicana filmmaker Aurora Guerrero who has previously worked in productions such as "Real Women Have Curves" (2002) and "La Mission" (2009).
From the film's description:
Sundance Native/Indigenous Lab film, Mosquita y Mari, tells a tender story of Yolanda Olveros and her new neighbor Mari Rodriguez. A sheltered, only‐child, Yolanda's sole concern is securing her collegebound future. With sudden changes in her family, street‐wise Mari, the eldest of the three, hustles to keep her siblings and her mother above water. Set in Huntington Park, one of the most vibrant immigrant Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Mosquita y Mari is a coming of age story of two 15‐year‐old Chicanas who discover their desire for one another.As for filmmaker Aurora Guerrero and her interest in bringing this particular story to the screen:
Mosquita y Mari comes at a critical time for both Latinos and LGBTQ youth. LGBTQ youth face unprecedented challenges that include increased violence and bullying while Latino communities have been fighting against anti‐immigrant bills that target families like those represented in Mosquita y Mari. This film provides a platform to elevate community stories.
My first inspirations were writers. Women of color feminist writers like Audre Lorde, Cherrie Moraga, Gloria Anzladúa, Chrystos, June Jordan and Angela Davis. When I discovered their brave works as a freshman in college, a fierce creative seed was planted in me. It was a calling I had the moment I was stripped naked by their words. I wanted to write with that same naked honesty. It was a critical juncture in my life and it spurred me to become the filmmaker I am now. All the work I set forth is my naked truth as a woman, a Xicana, an indigenous Mexican, a daughter of immigrants, a tough urban girl who never acquiesced to societal norms.And on the inspiration behind her script:
My own adolescence. I had a few same‐sex friendships throughout my youth that were very layered. How can you not have a whirlwind of feelings for your closest friends? You pick them because they’re cool, they’re nice, they’re different from the rest, they look out for you, they listen to you, and they take care of you. There’s bound to be chemistry there. Feelings of love and desire are bound to develop. It can be such a loaded relationship because we learn not to cross that line and so a lot of this tension goes unspoken.Yeah, yeah, you are telling yourself, it sounds GREAT but how does it look and how can I help? Well, lucky for you, the filmmaker has set up an impressive netroots campaign and is using a Kickstarter page to raise funds. You can check out the page and pledge as little as $1 dollar. The goal is to raise $80,000 before May 26th, 2011. I have included a video pitch below.
These relationships taught me a lot about myself because it’s such a vulnerable space. I learned to feel love for the first time. I also felt hurt too. But most importantly I think as young people we still have the power to forgive.
I also grew up a daughter to working‐class, immigrant parents. I think there’s an added pressure to live up to the expectations our parents have of us because we see at a young age how much they’ve sacrificed for our futures. They’ve given up their homelands, their extended families, a different way of life. They’re here working long hours in exploitative jobs where they’re targeted for being immigrant and Latino. This wears on the spirit. It changes you. So when I look at my parents I see their journey to the U.S. has come at a huge cost. How do I ignore that? Children of immigrants often feel like we have to deliver on the American Dream so our parents’ actions aren’t in vain.
So for me things like exploring love, seeing the world or simply “normal” teenage things became obstacles to my goal of going to college and “making it.” Mosquita y Mari is my reflection on these elements coming to a collision in the life of two 15‐year‐old Chicanas.
In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about the filmmaker or the film, please check these links out:
- "Mosquita y Mari" website here
- "Mosquita y Mari" Facebook page here
- "Mosquita y Mari" Twitter account here
- "Mosquita y Mari" YouTube account here
- "Mosquita y Mari" Flickr account here