We are an official 2012 Sundance Selection!

December 1, 2011

Team MyM is proud to announce that Mosquita y Mari will be making it’s world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in the NEXT <=> category!

Read all about it here:


To everyone who has spread the word about our project, to our KIckstarter supporters, and to our families who have maintained their faith in our project, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

More exciting news and updates to come!



Team MyM


Production Diary, Day 15

July 21, 2011

Hola, MyM familia!

At the monitor.

We’re coming to you live from the set of Mosquita y Mari! We are 3 days away from finally bringing this project to life.

We’ve endured long hours, shower-less days, sticky heat, and we are happy to report that regardless of the pain and waning personal hygiene, this project is shaping up into something very special.

And we have even more good news! We are finalists for a much-needed post-production grant from the SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant! Read about it here: http://sffs.org/content.aspx?catid=22,37&pageid=2275

Though we’ve managed to raise over $80,000 via our Kickstarter campaign, we still need money to finish our movie! This grant could really help us out, so let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

Keep checking back in for more updates, and thanks for all of the support!


Team MyM


Day 1, Kickstarter Diary

April 27, 2011


When people use the expression, “Your film is your baby,” they’re not joking. Filmmakers cater to their project’s needs with the patience and endurance of a mother with a newborn. We nurse our films 24-7, and share the workload when possible.

Today we launched our Kickstarter Campaign to fundraise the remaining amount we need to cast, shoot, edit, and finish our movie. Fundraising takes a lot of effort and a lot of love, and today, we had heaps of both! In a mere 7 hours, we managed to raise $5,000, and right before midnight, we were able to finish the day with $5,591!

So how did we do it? Well, Team MyM is a strickler for schedules, so we divided up our team to take on certain days of the week, managing our social networks, blogging, emailing, and basically doing what we can to get the word out.

Today was our FIRST day of launch, and I was left in charge. Below is a play-by-play diary of how the day went.

12:00 am – Emailing with Aurora back and forth, deciding on which thumbnail to use. The poster or the girls holding hands?

12:17 am – Why can’t I embed a picture of the poster on our Kickstarter page? Ugh, I should have learned HTML!

12:32 am – Why won’t this poster post?!

1:38 am – Last looks before we launch!

9:20 am – Last minute tweaks, image embedding still being funky, prepping Facebook for onslaught of status updates.

9:52 am – We’ve launched, we’re LIVE and we’re READY!

10:01 am – Our first Backer just pledged $50! Thanks, Sofia Quintero! Expect a crazy hug if ever we meet!

10:30 am – Still figuring out the image embedding problem. Need coffee.

10:43 am – A $250 pledge! Yes!

11:00 am – I’m blowing up our Facebook and Twitter. And my gchat is blowing up with friends and colleagues asking about the project.

11:03 am – $725 so far! Wow!

11:40 am – Working on a publicity blog to help get the word out in the film community. Still in my PJs, feeling very classy!

2:00 pm – It took a while, but finally had lunch. You think you’ve mastered eating and email? Try it with chopsticks. $2,085 and over 13 Backers!

3:00 pm – We get a Facebook shout-out and donation from my friend, Writer and Director, T.J. Peters. I’m so stoked!

3:38 pm – 29 Backers, $3,860. Maybe we can get $5k by 5pm. Its a catchy slogan, so I post like mad.

4:00 pm – I manage to tear myself away from my laptop for a shower.

5:12 pm – $5,021! We’re overwhelmed and inspired by all the feedback people are giving us!

7:00 pm – Pizza break. Feeling nervous about being out of the house and only having my iPhone on me.

10:00 pm – Team MyM pow-wow via phone. We are pumped and gush over the amazing feedback.

11:00 pm – Posted a note on Facebook, thanking all 50 of our Backers. Too excited to sleep!

1:04 am – Just peeked at our Kickstarter page… $5,893! We’re off to a good start on our 2nd day already!

Now that I’ve peeked one last time, I can finally go to bed.

Thanks to all of you who made our first day AMAZING and please keep up with us! Your support keeps us going!


With Gratitude,

Charlene Agabao

Adventures in Guerilla Filmmaking

April 12, 2011

Adventures in Guerilla Filmmaking

From our Kickstarter Video Shoot

Filmmakers are a very unique breed of people. We tend to survive on little sleep, and thrive on a lot of repetitive hard work. And these are qualities that apply to all filmmakers, whether or not they’re working with a huge budget or have no money and are forced to call in every favor they have left. We practically kill ourselves to simply share a story.

So, it is with great masochistic pleasure to share some very good news. Though we had little money, and even less sleep, we were able to successfully shoot our Kickstarter video, which will premiere and launch our fundraising campaign on April 19th!

Though we were sunburnt, barely equipped and improvising a lot of our work, we managed to create some amazing images.

Aurora and I even got some killer shots of Alameda and Slauson on a BMX bike with an HD GoPro camera strapped to our heads. No equipment, directors or producers were harmed in the making of our video!

We had a wonderful time doing it and we cannot wait to shoot the feature. Please share our pictures with your friends and familia, and spread the word. MOSQUITA Y MARI is coming!

Be sure to check out our Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace for behind the scenes pictures of our Kickstarter shoot, details and information.


With deep respect and gratitude,

Charlene Agabao



April 3, 2011

On April 15th Mosquita y Mari will launch its Kickstarter campaign. A few of you may already know about Kickstarter and understand how vital it is to the life of a film project, while most of you are probably asking yourselves, “What’s this Kickstarter thing all about?” Because there is so much riding on this campaign for MyM, I thought it would be extremely helpful to break it down to all our supporters so when April 15th hits, Mosquita y Mari will get the boost it needs to make its goal!

Okay, first I’ll breakdown how it works and then I’ll share the game-changing impact its having on independent film.

1) Kickstarter is a crowd funding source that allows inventors and artists of all genres (music, fine arts, visual arts) to post their ideas online and invite their family, friends, fans of the project, and complete strangers to donate $ to help realize the dream. Every project on Kickstarter sets a fundraising goal (that depends on what the artist is trying to accomplish) and a timeframe for when they hope to meet that goal.

2) Every Kickstarter campaign has its own web page that includes a video to learn more about the project, written information, explaining what the campaign is trying to achieve with raising X amount, and reward incentives…this is where it gets fun! Each project on Kickstarter comes up with its own unique list of rewards for every level of donation. In other words, the reward incentives connect the donors in very direct and exciting ways to the project. Examples of rewards: filmmaker will go to your community and conduct a special screening of the film; learn what it takes to make a low budget film by visiting the set and hanging out with the crew; own a unique element of the filmmaking process like an autographed copy of the script.

3) Kickstarter is all or nothing which means that if the goal is met then the artist will access the funds. Otherwise none of the pledges are cashed…so meeting the goal is a must!! In no way does Kickstarter own the rights to any of the projects/ideas on their site! They are simply providing the space and the online traffic for each project to have a chance at making their passion project come true! Kickstarter, however, does take 5% of the project’s fundraising goal but that’s funneled back into Kickstarter to keep it going (we’re cool with that)

So that’s Kickstarter in a nutshell. Now, how is this going to impact MyM?

Kickstarter has many success stories since its inception in 2009. According to Kickstarter, on a daily basis about 80 new projects are launched a day and $1 million pledges are made in a week. That’s what our MyM team straight up calls HOPE! With small projects like Mosquita y Mari that isn’t looking to cast big names or tell an empty Hollywood story finding the funding is TOUGH! We’ve been working on funding for a few years now and unless we can guarantee a profit no one wants to take the “risk.” In other words, our passion project is forced into a business model that ultimately deems Mosquita y Mari meaningless because it can’t promise a profit. That’s the world we’ve been subjected to. In turn, Kickstarter is about the public; the consumer saying, “Hey, this is something I want to see. This is something I want my kids to experience. This is a story I believe should be told, manifested, birthed and released into the world.” You, the audience, now get to determine the future of these projects that struggle to see the light of day. And, Kickstarter takes out all the middle men, the agents and hollywood film companies, that not only want to profit from the art, but also want a say in how it’s made. Through Kickstarter, the support is no-strings attached. Your donations support the vision of the artist with the hope that you’ll be able to enjoy the end product in your local theaters, Netflix, etc.

Ultimately, through Kickstarter, you, the donor, walk away knowing that whatever amount you gave you helped an artist tell their story and share their talents with the world. You get to say, ”I helped make that happen!” Kickstater is changing the way independent films are made!

I hope all of this information helps paint a vivid picture of what is at stake when Mosquita y Mari launches its campaign on April 15th. On our end, we’re doing everything we can to make MyM happen, including creating an exciting Kickstarter campaign video and designing the coolest rewards. How about you? What are you willing to do on your end? Donate? Spread the word when the campaign launches? We hope so cuz all I know is that me and my crew of artists are ready to get down-n-dirty and deliver an exciting film to you!  Check out some of the projects that have found success on Kickstarter:


https://www.Kickstarter.com/projects/2128223578/save-blue-like-jazz-the-movie- 0?ref=live


Peace, Aurora Guerrero

MyM Awarded 2011 LPB Production Grant

November 9, 2010


Awards Go to 20 Different Projects for Broadcast, New Media and Community Engagement

Los Angeles, CA (November 8, 2010) – Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), a non-profit organization funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, announces 20 newly funded programs as part of its twelfth annual Public Media Content Fund, formerly Open Call. The funding initiative invites independent producers to submit proposals for funding on Latino-themed programs or series.

“For the first time, LPB is supporting digital media projects as well as broadcast content that will appeal to diverse, younger viewers on the big screen as well as the small screen, with stories that unearth our past and point the way to our country’s future,” said Edward James Olmos, LPB Chairman. “Now more than ever, these stories are crucial to helping us understand each other, across generations and geographies, beyond culture and class.”

“We are proud to support such a wide range of important topics, from gay teens in Los Angeles, to the struggles over the curriculum and immigrant rights in Arizona, the historical significance of Cesar Chavez and the cultural legacy of Puerto Ricans and Cubans. These stories will touch viewers’ hearts.” said Patricia Boero, LPB Executive Director.

Every year LPB invites independent filmmakers to submit proposals in various stages, from research and development, to production, post-production, new media and community engagement. All proposals are reviewed by a selected group of public television professionals, local stations programmers, independent filmmakers, academics, and executives from other funding organizations.

This year, twenty (20) proposals were selected for funding. Emerging filmmakers comprise 35% of total funded producers; mid-level producers make up 45%; veteran filmmakers constitute 20%. Over half of the awarded programs have never been funded by Latino Public Broadcasting before – a direct result of an extensive outreach program for independent filmmakers throughout the nation. As far as funded producers, 52% are women.

The funding category breakdown is as follows: Research and Development – 15%; Production – 40%; Post-production – 25%; New Media – 15%; Community Engagement – 5%. The final slate of programs represents filmmakers from different regions within the U.S. including California, New York, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona.

The 2010 awarded projects (alphabetically) are as follows:


Above the Fold
Producer: Roberto Gudiño
Category: Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

A one hour documentary about a group of young Latino journalists who respond to negative portrayals of Latinos in the Los Angeles Times by writing their own stories. They were vindicated in 1984 when they became the first Latinos to win the Pulitzer Prize.

The Arizona Project
Producers: Carlos Sandoval/Catherine Tambini
Category: Research & Development; 1 Episode/90 Minutes

A feature-length verité documentary that will chronicle the emotionally charged battle over SB1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

El Béisbol: The Story of Latinos in Baseball
Producers: A.P. Gonzalez/Nancy Oey
Category: Production; 2 Episodes/60 Minutes

A two-hour documentary that takes an in-depth look at Latinos and Baseball, emphasizing the rich history, social struggles, phenomenal growth and eventual triumph of Latino players of Latin American and Caribbean heritage.

El Bús
Producer: Maria Hinojosa
Category: Research & Development; 4 Episodes/60 Minutes

A mosaic of the stories found along the way as Maria Hinojosa journeys through America; providing a snapshot of communities that are increasingly diverse and coping in creative ways to survive in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Cesar’s Last Fast
Producer: Richard Ray Perez
Category: Production; 1 Episode/90 Minutes

A multi-platform, cross-media documentary film about the private sacrifice behind Cesar E. Chavez’s struggle for the humane treatment of farm workers and the impact Chavez’s legacy has on a new generation of organizers fighting today.

Producers: Bienvenida Matias/Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez/Tami Gold
Category: Research & Development; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

More than bragging rights, the Coquito Master contest gives Puerto Ricans a platform to put their imprint on their culture through the making of this traditional Christmas drink.

Farewell, Ferris Wheel
Producers: Miguel Martinez/Jamie Sisley
Category: Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

An examination of the endangered American carnival and the small Mexican town of Tlapacoyan, which provides one third of America’s carnival labor.

El Jardin
Producer: Natalia Almada
Category: Production; 1 Episode/90 Minutes

Through the night-watchman’s vigilant eyes we enter into the world of El Jardín, a cemetery in the drug heartland of Mexico where the lives of guilty and innocent intersect in the shadow of this bloody conflict that has claimed nearly 30,000 lives.

Making Viva Max
Producer: Jim Mendiola
Category: Post-Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

In 1969, a Hollywood movie crew making a comedy about Mexicans retaking the Alamo, fights the Daughters of the Republic of Texas for permission to shoot their film on the historic grounds of the “sacred shrine.”

¿Más Bebes?
Producers: Virginia Espino/Renee Tajima-Peña
Category: Post-Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

A one-hour documentary that reveals the disturbing history of hundreds of Mexican-origin women who were coercively sterilized at Los Angeles County Medical Center – USC during the late 1960s and 1970s, often based on little more than the question “More babies?”

Mosquita y Mari
Producer: Aurora Guerrero
Category: Production; 1 Episode/90 Minutes

In a fast-paced immigrant community where dreams are lost to economic survival, two young Chicanas contemplate life when they stir sexual desires in each other.

Now en Español
Producer: Andrea Meller
Category: Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

In a feature documentary that chronicles the ups and downs of being a Latina actress in Hollywood, Now en Español addresses issues of Latino identity and representation through the lives of five dynamic women who dub “Desperate Housewives” into Spanish.

Precious Knowledge
Producer/ Director: Eren Isabel McGinnis/Ari Luis Palos
Category: Post-Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

Tucson High School students engage in a historic civil rights battle to save Mexican American Studies at their school as state lawmakers fight back.

Rainbow Coalition
Producer: Ray Santisteban
Category: Post-Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

The exploration of the rise and fall of a multi-ethnic political movement in Chicago comprised of African Americans, Latinos, and poor southern Whites.

Ruben Salazar: The Man in the Middle
Producer: Phillip Rodriguez
Category: Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

The story of the life and mysterious death of one of the most prominent Mexican American journalists of the 20th century.

Unfinished Spaces
Producer: Alysa Nahmias
Category: Post- Production; 1Episode/60 Minutes

Fifty years after the Cuban Revolution, three architects resume their first project – Cuba’s National Art Schools – left unfinished in 1965 when their creative visions came head to head with the political realities of the Revolution.

New Media

Producer: Juan Carlos Zaldivar

A web-action project that takes a pro-active approach to citizen journalism and the immigration reform, allowing web visitors to create their own media and enabling them to forward short media content to their representatives in congress.

Clara como el Agua – Clear like Water
Producer: Fernanda Rossi

A ten-minute film about the origins of Clara, a light-skinned black girl with kinky, blond hair and gray eyes, who is teased by her dark-skinned peers; until she ventures into the magical waters of a bay to change her skin color, and possibly herself.

New American Girls
Producer: Mitchell Teplitsky

A new media project that follows a year in the life of a group of smart teen Latinas in Denver aiming for careers in medicine, science, engineering – if they don’t get deported first.

Community Engagement

Cruz Reynoso: A Man for all Seasons
Producer: Abby Ginzberg
1 Episode/60 Minutes

A one hour documentary that chronicles the life and work of Cruz Reynoso, including his commitment and struggle for equality and justice, working in the fields as a youth and presiding on the California Supreme Court.

About Latino Public Broadcasting
Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) supports the development, production, acquisition and distribution of public media content that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of interest to Latino Americans.  These programs, including the series ‘VOCES’, are produced for dissemination to the public broadcasting stations.  Edward James Olmos is founder and Chairman of the LPB Board of Directors.

For more information please visit www.lpbp.org and www.voces.tv.

Luis Ortiz, Managing Director
Latino Public Broadcasting

MYM Fundraiser – AUGUST 28, 2010 OAKLAND CA

August 13, 2010

The wonderful folks at Butterfly Productions who have had success with club Butta in Oakland are expanding their efforts to provide another fun and positive space for bay area folks!  On August 28th they are launching MANTEQUIILLA, the Latina version of Butta with an impressive line-up of Latina djs spinning cumbia, salsa, reggaeton, hip-hop and whatever makes the spirit groove! And the best part about this?? A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the making of Mosquita y Mari.  Writer/Director Aurora Guerrero will be present screening a couple of her films and giving away a few free DVDs of her short films.  We hope you can squeeze this event into your summer schedule and show your support – it promises to be a great party!!!

Adventures in Activism – SB1070

August 12, 2010

Protestors in San Francisco's Mission District

On July 29, 2010, people all across the United States gathered in cities to voice their concern about Arizona’s infamous law SB 1070.  I proudly spent that chilly, windy Thursday evening in San Francisco’s Mission District, with people of all ethnicities, young and old, protesting against this ridiculous and vicious law.

SB 1070 is an Arizona law that would require all immigrants to carry alien registration documents and enable police officers to question and perform checks on anyone they believe to be in the United States illegally, based on “reasonable suspicion.” If someone, stopped by an Arizona police officer, did not have the proper ID and papers to prove his or her immigration status, SB 1070 would also allow the police officer to arrest that person for not having the proper ID. Being caught without the required ID, under this law, is a misdemeanor crime. If the person without the proper papers is arrested, they would remain detained until they are proved, with the proper identification, that their status is legal.

The controversial law poses many concerns and questions; what is “reasonable suspicion?” Is it having an accent? Is it a type of behavior? Without this being clearly defined, it is easy to conclude  that this kind of legislation not only enforces, but encourages racial profiling. With 7, count ’em, folks, 7 lawsuits challenging SB 1070, a partial injunction was set to block certain provisions of the law, by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton. So although the law is on hold for now, the injunction was promptly appealed (less then 48 hrs, after the injunction was announced) by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. The fight is clearly not over.

So why care about a law in a state that I don’t even live in? For one, MOSQUITA Y MARI, deals with these issues. Mari and her mother struggle to provide a better life for themselves, sometimes by any means necessary. When I first read the script, I was touched by how much their struggle reminded me of my parents and how difficult it must have been for them. It is important to share these stories, to give a voice and face to the people behind them, to connect one another in solidarity, and to support one another beyond race and class.

Its simple, really. We are all immigrants. None of us, except my Native brothers and sisters, are originally from the United States. In fact, I’m only here as a by-product of good old-fashioned American Imperialism. But my parents decided to live here so that I could have better opportunities than they had, a decision most immigrants have made, in order to provide a better life and future for their families.

This decision has come with decades of sacrifices, struggle, and worst of all shame for many immigrants and their families. It is tough, very tough, to legally immigrate here and it is also very tough to illegally come here, and risk your life everyday in order to provide a better life for your family. I’m not advocating for lawlessness with immigration, what I am advocating for is fairness. I just don’t think it fair to continually marginalize immigrants (legal or illegal) through legislation. I think there are far better solutions than building a wall, and it starts with the simple realization that “immigrants” are humans.  I’m not just for “immigrant rights,” I’m for human rights.

Alex Hernandez of LA MISSION, joins the protest

For more information on SB 1070, visit:


And for information on how you can get involved:


This Adventure in Activism was brought to you by:

Charlene Agabao

Viernes Girl by Aurora Guerrero: WIM/HBO Film

May 11, 2010

Viernes Girl,Super 16mm, 6 min, 2005

Writer/Director: Aurora Guerrero

Producer: Faith Radle

Winner 2005 HBO short script competition. Acquired by HBO and aired on their network for two years.

Chila is a young Salvadorean girl who enjoys school and music. Her older brother Hugo enjoys the ladies and has no regard for the fact that a thin bedroom wall separates his activities from his sister’s. As the week progresses along with Hugo’s romances, Chila gets creative with her ways of interfering. The battle between siblings takes a turn when Friday rolls around and Chila and Hugo discover that blood might be thicker than any wall.

Be sure to also check out her upcoming project, Mosquita y Mari, at www.mosquitaymari.com.

Filmmaking as a community

April 13, 2010

Filmmaking is a community; its a collaboration of so many people and their hard work and efforts. In this community, you don’t just join a production to grunt through long days, and leave when its all over – your presence remains in the details of the bigger picture, literally the picture on the big screen.

For me, filmmaking is about building a new family, filled with artists, and people who love the process as much as the product. Often, these are people who I not only continue to work with, they are trusted friends.

In the spirit of community, I would like to make a shout-out to Peter and Benjamin Bratt, who just released La Mission. Its a project that Aurora and I worked on, a project that brought us together. And as we embark on our own path, creating our first feature, we cannot forget our big brothers and how they taught us the importance of respecting the process and all of the people involved in it.

Independent films, with stories like La Mission, rely on this idea of community. The more people who watch it right now, the better chance it has to come to cities all over this country. People sometimes complain that their community doesn’t get enough exposure, but we sometimes forget that we have the power to change things. Sometimes change can be as simple as buying a movie ticket.

So if you are in Southern California, the Bay Area, Dallas, or New York, please support our work, support our brothers and watch La Mission.

For more information, please go to:


This shout-out was brought to you by:

Char Agabao