We are pleased to introduce and welcome Mary Guzmán as Filmmaker In Residence at Her Film Project. As a virtual program, we are able to work with Mary from her home base in California (or wherever she might be in the world), and we look forward to sharing her work, engaging with readers here and on social media, as well as discussing topics of interest to Mary and Her Film Project through an upcoming roundtable with other women in the film industry.
Writer/Director Mary Guzmán was honored by San Francisco International Women's Film Festival for achievement in Film and Media. She was chosen as Filmmaker in Residence by Her Film Project, a global initiative to advance equality in film. Guzmán wrote and directed the first Latina lesbian feature film, Desi’s Looking for a New Girl, which was selected for the Rough Cut Series at the Independent Feature Film Market, won the Outfest’s Outstanding Emerging Talent Award and was re-released in 2015 on-line by Wolfe Video. An alumna of San Francisco State University’s film animation program, Guzmán has created films which have won awards and screened internationally and across the U.S. Six of her films are in distribution. In 2013, her TV pilot Starting Five was the winner of the TV Pilot Writing Program hosted by TV Writer Chat. Guzmán’s second feature-film-script Lost Dog, was selected for the Ninth Street IFC Media Arts Incubator Program. For more about her work, visit her website at oneof9films.com.
Mary Guzman: Currently, I’m applying for writing grants so I can rewrite my second feature. I also have a TV pilot that needs a rewrite. My TV pilot made it to the second round of two Sundance TV labs. Unfortunately I cannot submit the same pilot again this year, so I turned my focus to my feature script.
KM: Are there specific issues or relationships that you like to focus on in your writing?
MG: I always have lesbians in my work, also Latinx. I keep thinking of that phrase “you can’t be what you can’t see.” So many times when traveling with my work, a young audience member tells me how nice it is to “see people like me.”
KM: How do you engage with the audiences for your work?
MG: I am fortunately known enough that my work gets seen at Frameline, the largest LGBT film festival in the nation. From there other LGBT festivals pick it up. With the Latino Film Festivals, I have a relationship with San Diego Latino and with San Francisco Latino and they are big supporters of my work.
KM: What do you hope to learn or offer through your virtual Filmmaker In Residence program?
MG: I have many projects and sometimes I don’t know on which to focus. I seem to chase after grants and not get them. The hardship of all filmmaking; is the money. But talking with other filmmakers and examining my work, I hope to answer the question: "What should I be working on now?"