In December of last year, Mosquita y Mari was awarded partial production funding from the Latino Public Broadcast. Awesome news! Yes, but it's not enough to get MyM through production. That's why I am turning to you! After watching our pre-teaser trailer, meeting me, and checking out our rewards, I hope you'll become a part of this exciting community we're building around Mosquita y Mari!
What's the story?
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. Lost in their private world of unspoken affection, lingering gazes, and heart-felt confessions of uncertain futures, Yolanda's grades begin to slip while Mari's focus drifts away from her duties at a new job. Mounting pressures at home collide with their new-found desires thus driving Yolanda and Mari's relationship to the edge, forcing them to choose between their obligations to others and staying true to each other.
What inspired Mosquita y Mari?
Mosquita y Mari is a full-length feature film inspired by my own background. 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.
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 exploitive 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 they have to deliver on the American Dream so their parents’ actions aren’t in vain.
So for me things like exploring love 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.
Where will the funds go?
The trailer you just watched was done with a few dollars and some local volunteers. Now imagine what the MyM team can do with a BUDGET!!! Your donations will go directly to production of the film. Currently, we have enough raised to get through 5 out of 20 days of production. Every cent of your donated money will make its way into every shot of the film, whether your $25 went to one of our drives that will hold our precious digital footage or your $50 fed our Cast lunch. Every bit that you give will go straight to the production of our story and every bit, large or small, will make a HUGE difference!
If we do not reach our fundraising goal by the Kickstarter deadline, all donations will be returned – with the Kickstarter fundraising program, we have to raise all of the money stated in our goal. If we do not, we keep nothing and the film production will be delayed, or worse never finished!
What are the plans for the film?
From the beginning, I've been building bridges between Mosquita y Mari and the communities of south LA to ensure our process and product is accessible and beneficial. During production in June/July 2011, local youth interested in media-making will be paired up with our excellent creative team as a form of hands-on-experience and mentorship. Once we wrap post production in August a couple of things will happen. First, we'll be submitting to both domestic and international film festivals for early 2012 screenings. Second, in partnership with local youth and parent organizers we'll be putting together a series of dialog-driven community-based screenings.
A passion project from the very beginning, our team consists of diverse and talented storytellers, who all strongly believe in the story...
Cinematographer, Bradford Young. Mosquita y Mari is honored and excited to be working with the talented Bradford Young, winner of the 2011 Sundance Festival Excellence in Cinematography Award for his work in the critically acclaimed Pariah. Other feature credits Restless City, Mississippi Damned, and Entre Nos.
Producer, Chad Burris (Indion Productions, LLC). Chad is an accomplished film producer and winner of the 2007 Sundance Institute Mark Silverman Award for production. His producer credits include features Ass Backwards, Yellow, Bringing Up Bobby, Heaven’s Rain, The Killer Inside Me, Barking Water, Four Sheets to the Wind; and shorts Shimasani and Goodnight, Irene. Chad, Indion’s founder, is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.
Executive Producer, Jim McKay. Jim has helped creatively nurture Mosquita y Mari in its early stages. McKay’s debut film Girls Town in 1996 received the Filmmakers Trophy and Special Jury Prize for Collaboration at the Sundance Film Festival. His career as a director has since given birth to numerous award-winning films including Our Song, Everyday People and Angel. His producing credits include American Movie, Spring Forward, Stanger Inside, La Boda and Escuela, and Brother to Brother.
Co-Producer, Charlene Agabao. Charlene was Associate Producer on Peter Bratt's La Mission (2009), and is a 2009 Film Independent Producing Fellow. Charlene was also a 2010 Sundance Creative Producing Summit Fellow.
Production Designer, Dalila Paola Mendez worked as set decorator on the film Real Women Have Curves and is mentored by Academy Award Winner Brigitte Broch. She has been Production Designer for the collective Womyn Image Makers and a variety of short films.
Our Mosquita y Mari original poster designed by Favianna Rodriguez
Our Mosquita y Mari Cussing Cozy
Would you like to learn more?
To learn more and check out our progress, please visit our website www.mosquitaymari.com.
Got that song from our video stuck in your head?
Many thanks y muchas gracias for your generous support!
- (30 days)