AURORA GUERRERO - DIRECTOR & WRITER
I was originally born and raised in the San Francisco bay area. When I first moved to Los Angeles to attend film school I couldn’t wait to finish up and get back up north to my family and friends. I thought that would be my destiny, you know, the way things are suppose to work out. But I unexpectedly fell in love with this city, home to the second largest population of Mexicans outside of Mexico City. So much history, cultura. So much criss-crossing – language, music, generations, identities, stories. How could I leave when all I wanted to do is soak up all the beauty and inspiration with my pen and camera.
Since I teamed up with a talented group of LA Xicana (Chicana) filmmakers, WIM, to create short films like PURA LENGUA and VIERNES GIRL. These films traveled the world, opening a window into the current lives of young people living in Los Angeles. Along these lines, I’m working on my first feature length film, MOSQUITA Y MARI. A film bound to put Huntington Park, LA on the global map.
If I’m lucky, you know, destiny permitting, my life will continue to look like this: experience places, experience people, write, tell, live again. Y-que!
CHAD BURRIS – PRODUCER
Chad Burris belongs to the Chickasaw Nation and is a native of Oklahoma. He received the Sundance Institute's Mark Silverman Fellowship for New Producers in 2007, to produce Larry Blackhorse Lowe's THE LEFT-HANDED PATH. Producer of Sterlin Harjo's GOODNIGHT, IRENE, FOUR SHEETS TO THE WIND (winner 2007 Sundance Special Jury Award), and recently BARKING WATER (2009 Sundance Film Festival).
Burris is the president of the Oklahoma Territory Film Council and serves as the director of Yuwita, a non-profit organization supporting Native American media initiatives. He is the co-owner of Indion Entertainment Group, which produces Oklahoma film projects. Burris graduated from the University of Tulsa Law School in Indian Law.
CHARLENE AGABAO – CO-PRODUCER
Charlene Agabao graduated from Columbia College in 2005, with a degree in Film & Video Studies. She was the Associate Producer for Nice Threads (2006), which was featured in the 2007 Asian American Showcase at the Gene Siskel Center. Her short piece American Beauties (2007), which she produced, wrote, and directed was featured on the Dove website for their "Pure Beauty" campaign. In 2009, she was Associate Producer for 5 Stick Films, on Peter Bratt's La Mission, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Later that year, she was selected to participate in the FIND Producer's Lab with MOSQUITA Y MARI, where she pitched the project at the "Pitch Me" panel event to over 200 people at AFM.
Along with MOSQUITA Y MARI, she is currently producing Sydney Freeland's Drunktown's Finest, which was selected for the 2010 Sundance Screenwriter's Lab and was awarded the 2009 New Mexico "New Visions Filmmaker" Award.
As a first-generation Filipino- American, Charlene was intimately drawn to the immigrant parent-child dynamics of MOSQUITA Y MARI, and related to the story through her own personal experiences with "intense female friendships," and "awkward adolescent romance." As a woman of color in the film industry, Charlene hopes to continue to work on future projects that embrace unique and often unheard voices in cinematic storytelling.
JIM MCKAY – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Jim McKay is co-founder, along with Michael Stipe, of C-Hundred Film Corp. McKay’s debut film GIRLS TOWN (1996) received the Filmmakers Trophy and a Special Jury Prize for Collaboration at the Sundance Film Festival. His career as a director has since given birth to numerous awardwinning films including OUR SONG (2000 Sundance Film Festival, New Directors/New Films), EVERYDAY PEOPLE (2004 HBO) and ANGEL (2005 Toronto Film Festival 2005 and premiered on HBO 2006).
While as a producer McKay has an equally impressive slate of films to his credit, including AMERICAN MOVIE, (Chris Smith and Sarah Price), SPRING FORWARD (Tom Gilroy), STRANGER INSIDE (Cheryl Dunye), LA BODA and ESCUELA (Hannah Weyer), BROTHER TO BROTHER (Rodney Evans). He is currently in development on MOSQUITA Y MARI (Aurora Guerrero). McKay was a Rockefeller Fellow in 2003 and a Guggenheim Fellow in 2004.
DALILA MENDEZ - PRODUCTION DESIGNER
I grew up in Los Angeles, raised by my Central American grandmother, mother, and Armenian Arab stepfather. I graduated from USC in International Relations and not until later decided on a career in art. I have been happy ever since. I had to follow my passion and make a difference with my art! Art is change! My credits, so far, include set decorator and assistant to production designer Brigitte Broch on Real Women have Curves; swing crew on La Hija del Canibal/Lucia Lucia, and production designer for Pura Lengua, Mausi, Viernes Girl, and Lagrimas de Café.
ELAINE MONTALVO - COSTUME DESIGNER
In order to tell a convincing story, all characters must look convincing. Whether subtle or obvious, costumes reflect an understanding of each character and his or her world. Combining these elements with other arts is the thrill of filmmaking.
After growing up in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California, second to the youngest of a Mexican American family of ten children, I studied at U.C. Berkeley and double majored in Film and Psychology, where I learned to appreciate human behavior and its many manifestations. I continued my training at the California Institute of the Arts where I received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Costume Design and Creative Writing. Every film and television show I design challenges my assumptions and teaches me something new. No two projects will ever be the same.
My film credits include 27 feature films including the winner of the 2002 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award, REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES starring America Ferrera. I am currently designing a Nickelodeon comedy series called BIG TIME RUSH about a good-looking boy band from Minnesota.
CINEMATOGRAPHER/DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Magela Crosignani holds a BFA degree in Film from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She has also completed an MFA degree in Cinematography from the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles. The films that she made in school have garnered numerous awards including the Kodak Cinematography award at the 2005 Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Maurice Kanbar Achievement in Cinematography at the 2004 and 2005 Fusion Film Festival in New York City. Magela has worked with many prestigious names in the industry, some credits include: Second Unit Cinematographer and Camera Operator for Liev Schreiber´s directorial debut Everything is Illuminated, starring Elijah Wood and shot in Prague. On-set Colorist for Darren Aronofsky´s film The Fountain, produced by Warner Bros Pictures and shot in Montreal. Second Unit Cinematographer for French director Olivier Dahan (La Mome) on his first American film My Own Love Song produced by Legende Films and starring Renee Zellweger. She has also worked directly under cinematographer Matthew Libatique on both Spike Lee's and Joel Schumacher's sets. More recently, she was a Camera Operator for Spike Lee's documentary on Kobe Bryant.
Since graduating from AFI, Magela has already worked on four feature films as the Director of Photography, including The Imperialists are Still Alive, which was named an Official Selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, starring Cannes and Cesar award winning actress Elodie Bouchez.