Mini MUFF Profile: Gigi Saul Guerrero
Mini MUFF Profile: Gigi Saul Guerrero
Film: Madre De Dios
This month MUFF is doing something a little different with mini MUFF. Not only do we have SIX short films to show you, but we’ve also expanded our usual local fare to include selections from every corner of Canada! Teaming up with Etheria Film Night for this event, we used our combined programming expertise to find the darkest, creepiest, and bloodiest in Canadian women-directed horror.
Last up: In Madre De Dios, a woman wakes up bound to an altar, helpless as she is transformed into a flesh and blood statue of Santa Muerte by two elderly Brujos whose sole purpose is to conjure the anti-Christ into our plane of existence.
Madre De Dios is currently making the rounds at film festivals, and has already screened at Morbido Film Fest and Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, to name a few!
Vancouver-based filmmaker Gigi Saul Guerrero has previously written, directed, and edited several short films that have screened at dozens of film festivals around the world and won numerous awards.
Get to know more about Gigi Saul Guerrero and her short film Madre De Dios!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH FILMMAKING.
Gigi Saul Guerrero: I was born and raised in Mexico City. Haha, I guess a lot of people commonly know my work for the gritty Tex-Mex feel to it, and of course all the crazy GORE!! Although I live in Canada, I never forget where I came from. My family and I have always embraced our Mexican culture and traditions, and I never want to lose that important part of me. It's what's made me who I am today. So... why not always add a little Mexican flavour to your art?
When I was a kid, I was not allowed to watch horror movies! But my curiosity just kept growing and growing, until I finally convinced my mother to take me to the remastered release of The Exorcist at 8 years old. Yup... completely traumatized after that. But it was my reaction to a film that most intrigued me. I knew I wanted to be a storyteller, because the most rewarding feeling is making your listeners/audience react and feel something. Making them laugh, cry, scream or squirm is the best feeling I could ask for.
TELL US SOMETHING FUN OR INTERESTING ABOUT MADRE DE DIOS.
GSG: A really fun fact about Madre De Dios is that it was a project I made immediately after meeting in person with one of my horror heroes, Eli Roth. He was so awesome for having me over at his house. He took the time to give me advice on improvement and broke down my previous work that he enjoyed!! One of the things that stuck with me from our meeting was that I had to explore more of my filmmaker voice.
I have wanted to do something more supernatural and more of a slow burner to creep out an audience, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity! My Mexican culture is always a huge influence in my filmmaking, and I wanted to create a new version of the Virgin Mary—a different god-like entity with Mexican Witchcraft, which has always fascinated me since childhood!
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME/ALL OF THE OTHER AMAZING WOMEN IN FILM WHO WORKED ON THIS SHORT?
GSG: I am blessed for the Luchagore team! There are so many talented individuals in all the departments of our crew. Huge shoutout to the ladies in the Makeup FX team: Carolyn Williams, Andrea Dulmage, and Amy-Leigh Poitras. Costume Designer Jessie Churchill. Art Department's Jocelan Jansen and Courtney Karg. Those incredible women inspire me everyday and make me love even more the career I have chosen. They are so talented and motivated, and the things they have created with our limited budgets are absolutely mind blowing.
TELL US ABOUT WHY YOU ARE A FEMINIST AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO YOUR FILMMAKING.
GSG: As a female filmmaker I strongly believe in equality. Although this industry is dominated by men, I don't consider that as a disadvantage, but instead as an advantage, as it pushed me to work harder. My goal is to be recognized NOT as a great female filmmaker but as a GREAT filmmaker. I apply this mentality to my filmmaking because it is important to me to have my work be looked at for its story and originality, not to prove a point of my gender.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WOMEN WORKING IN THE FILM INDUSTRY?
GSG: There are so many incredible women working in the industry today, it’s hard to mention only one. However, I have to give a huge thank you to my good friends Jen and Sylvia Soska, The Twisted Twins. Those girls have guided me and helped me so much in my film journey. Without them and their beautiful friendship I wouldn't be where I am today. They continue to inspire and motivate me to dream big and work hard.
PUT TOGETHER YOUR DREAM TEAM (WITH YOU IN ONE OF THE ROLES, OBVS!)
GSG: I am lucky enough to have the perfect dream team! Luchagore Productions is so unique because we are an entire team that has grown together since three years ago when we started. We have become a family. My dream is to all grow together and continue to create bigger and bigger stories as we gain more knowledge on our individual crafts!
P.S. I want to work for Quentin Tarantino before he stops making films (at least once) ;)
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE ABOUT FILMMAKING YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN THINKING ABOUT PURSUING CAREERS IN FILM?
GSG: Never be afraid of failure. The best way to learn from your mistakes is to always finish what you have started even if you don't feel confident about it. Finish it and then break it down to improve the next project!
IF A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE WAS CAST/CREATED, WHO WOULD STAR AS YOU AND WHAT GENRE WOULD IT BE?
GSG: If I was 15 or so years older I would have nobody else but Jennifer Lopez or Salma Hayek star as me. They are my favourite Latinas out there. So strong, fierce, and absolutely stunning!! Not sure the genre yet... but as long as either of those two ladies play me I’M HAPPY!
IF YOU COULD HOLD ANY GUINNESS WORLD RECORD IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
GSG: Ohhhhh I always challenge myself with spicy food!! I really want to break the record of who can handle the spiciest pepper!!
WHO IS THE BEST/SUPERIOR BATMAN?
GSG: Easy... Christian Bale wins.
WHAT MALE MOVIE/TV CHARACTER ARE YOU DREAMING WOULD GET A GENDER-SWAP?
GSG: I would love to see Christian Bale's character in American Psycho as a female instead! That could be an interesting switch.
WHAT'S YOUR GO-TO JAM?
GSG: Hahaha I will forever listen to the Legend, the King of Pop, the one and only: Michael Jackson. I have been listening to his incredible music since I was a little kid and it always brightens up my day and puts me in a good mood!! He wins everything.
Keep up to date with Gigi and her production company on the official Luchagore Productions website. You can like Luchagore Productions on their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter and Instagram. You can also follow Gigi on Twitter and Instagram. Remember to use the hashtags #Luchagore4Life and #LaMuñecaDelTerror!