Aurora Guerrero

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Aurora Guerrero
Born San Francisco, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
California Institute of the Arts
Occupation film director

Aurora Guerrero is a queer-identified, Chicana writer-director from California.[1] Described as activist first and filmmaker second, Guerrero focuses on collaborative work with her communities creating art forms that offer opportunities for dialogue and education.

Early life[edit]

Guerrero was born in the Mission District of San Francisco, California to Mexican immigrant parents, later growing up on the border of Richmond and El Cerritos cities, while working at her parents small Mexican restaurant in Berkeley. Guerrero studied both Psychology and Chicano studies at University of California, Berkeley completing a Bachelor of Arts. She later moved to Los Angeles to study directing at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, California earning a Master of Fine Arts.[2]


Early in her career, she co-founded Womyn Image Makers (WIM) along with Dalila Mendez, Maritza Alvarez and Claudia Mercado. As WIM, in 2005, she directed the short film Pura Lengua, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Her second short film, Viernes Girl, won the 2005 HBO/New York International Latino Film Festival short film competition.[3] Guerrero also went on to assist director Patricia Cardoso on her debut feature Real Women Have Curves, which won the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award in 2002. In 2005 Guerrero was selected as a Sundance Institute Ford Foundation film fellow. While there, she participated in the Native Indigenous Lab with her script for Mosquita y Mari.[4]

In 2012, Guerrero made her feature film debut at the Sundance Film Festival with Mosquita y Mari, becoming the first Chicana filmmaker to debut a feature-length film who was also previously a Sundance Institute and Ford Foundation Fellow.[5] The film tells the coming-of-age story of two teen Chicanas in Huntington Park, California who form a relationship ignited by sexual attraction.[6] Guerrero describes an attraction to speaking about “actual violence within silence,” taboo subjects that are not easily spoken about between parents and children.[7]

In 2014, Guerrero announced her next project, Los Valientes, about a young undocumented gay Latino man living in the U.S.[8]

In 2017, Guerrero directed the Ava DuVernay produced Queen Sugar episode "What Do I Care for Morning" which aired as episode three in season two.


In a blog post that she wrote on the Sundance Institute website on April 28, 2011[9] Guerrero writes, "My first inspirations were writers. Women of color feminist writers like Audre Lorde, Cherrie Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa, 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." Fittingly, her work showcases the experiences of Chicanas that often echo her own experiences.

In an interview with El Tecolote on April 26, 2012 Guerrero stressed the importance of “opening doors to Latinos, especially women and youth, behind the camera in order to help build a community of Latina/o artists,” something she didn’t have when she was a girl.[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Viernes Girl, HBO/New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) short script competition (2005)
Mosquita y Mari, John Cassavetes Spirit Award Nomination, (2013)
Mosquita y Mari, Best First Narrative Feature, Outfest (2012)
Mosquita y Mari, Best Narrative Feature, Festival Las Americas, Chicago (2012)
Mosquita y Mari, Best Narrative Feature, Cinefestival (2012)
Mosquita y Mari, Best Screenplay, Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (2012)
Mosquita y Mari, Queer Award, Torino International LGBT Film Festival (2012)
Mosquita y Mari, Audience Award, Pink Film Festival Zurich (2012)
Best Director, awarded to Aurora Guerrero, Long Beach QFilm Festival (2012)
Global Can Award, awarded to Aurora Guerrero, William & Mary Film Festival (2012)


Year Film Credited as
Director Writer
2005 Pura Lengua (short) Yes No
2005 Viernes Girl (short) Yes Yes
2008 Pandora’s (short) Yes Yes
2012 Mosquita y Mari Yes Yes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fuchs, Ellise. "Most of Us Don't Need to Put Labels on It: An Interview with Aurora Guerrero". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  2. ^ "25 New Faces of Independent Film 2006". Filmmaker Magazine. 2006. Archived from the original on 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  3. ^ "HBO and the New York International Latino Film Festival Announce Winner of Latino Filmmaker Competition". 2005. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  4. ^ "Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers #42: Aurora Guerrero, 'Mosquita y Mari'". Indie Wire. 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  5. ^ "Unprecedented Showing by CalArts Graduates at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival". CalArts. 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  6. ^ "Film Preview: "Mosquita y Mari" by Aurora Guerrero". xQsi Magazine. 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  7. ^ Lerner, Gabriel (2011). "'Mosquita y Mari' is about us". Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  8. ^ Lavallee, Eric (July 23, 2014). "2014 Independent Film Week Includes Latest From Barry Jenkins, Alistair Banks Griffin, Passon, Frammartino & Landes". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Kick It: Aurora Guerrero Finds Strength in Relationships". Sundance Institute Blog. 2011-08-28. Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  10. ^ "Local Latina filmmaker tells community stories". El 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 

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