Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2015 has come to an end, but people around the world can re-live one of our best moments in this podcast! We got Mexican filmmakers Gigi Saul Guerrero, Aaron Soto, and Mauricio Chernovetzky to join me on the stage to talk about the unique place that horror and fear have in Mexican life, our personal ghost stories, and more. It was a lot of fun, and I’m very glad that we can share it with you!
Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, Gigi Saul Guerrero moved to Vancouver B.C., where she graduated with honors her B.A. in Motion Picture Production at Capilano University’s “Bosa Centre for Film and Animation”. Now in her early 20’s, her recent successes include the short film Dia De Los Muertos, which has received awards internationally, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Canada. Now her short film is being part of something much bigger “México Bárbaro”, a Mexican horror anthology. She also directed M is for Matator, which is officially a part of the ABC’s of Death 2.5, and has been screened in festivals from USA to Mexico to Japan! Now Guerrero is working with horror novelist Shane McKenzie on a new Mexican Horror film “El Gigante”. Guerrero made a stamp in the horror community by recreating the original Evil Dead into 60 Seconds for a local contest, and was featured on sites such as Bloody Disgusting, Buzzfeed, and JoBlo.com. Gigi also had a hand at redefining the horror genre by co-creating the audience-interactive Web Series Choose Your Victim. The past year has been a busy one for Gigi, as she co-founded the production company Luchagore Productions with fellow filmmakers Luke Bramley and Raynor Shima. Along with their many projects, they also received some air-time on television by shooting a commercial spot for Fright Nights, a local horror attraction in partnership with Playland/PNE.
Aaron Soto is a very talented filmmaker from right across the border in Tijuana. He is a connoisseur of all things cult genre, and has a special knowledge of rare Mexican exploitation films. His impressive short Omega Shell, screened at the 2011 Horrible Imaginings, and is a special example of what can be done with a little ingenuity. Amazingly, that futuristic steampunk scifi-horror short was completely for an astounding 200 dollars! He is the Coordinator of Rue Morgue magazine, Mexican section and has programmed the FERATUM FILM FEST and the San Diego Latino Film Festival Un Mundo Extrano Showcase. His films have been praised by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Romance and have won more than 30 awards including The Morelia International Film Festival. Aaron is the only Mexican director to had a retrospective at Fantasia International Film Festival in Canada and a very well known producer and supporter of new directors from both sides of the border. He directed the “Drena” segment of the anthology film “México Bárbaro,” which screened Friday after the panel.
Mauricio Chernovetzky is a multi-cultural and multi-lingual film director who has worked with internationally recognized talent, such as Academy Award Nominated Stephen Rea and up-and-coming British ingénue Eleanor Tomlinson (The Illusionist, Alice in Wonderland). His supernatural feature, Styria, shot on location in Hungary, received the Industry Choice Award at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. It was also selected to be the opening film at both, The Macabro Film Festival in Mexico City and The Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin. After screening in international festivals all over the world, Styria was picked up for North American distribution by Revolver Entertainment in 2015 and has been playing regularly on Showtime under the title Angels of Darkness. Mauricio was recently honored by Mexico’s Lower House of Congress, where he was asked to present his work. His thesis film, Cassandra was nominated for a National Student Academy Award. He is a graduate of Reed College, where he focused on Spanish Literature and the History of Religion and he studied directing at Roman Polanski’s alma mater, the National Polish Film School in Lodz. Mauricio directed the short film DOS GATOS, which screened just before the panel.
In the panel we discuss:
1. our personal Mexico-centric scary stories
2. the role of Catholic iconography in Mexican horror
3. older Mexican folklore as influences
4. Gigi’s mixing of Lucha Libre and horror
5. Mexican cinema in the 80s and 90s
Also listen to Beth Accomando’s CINEMA JUNKIE PODCAST for our Edgar G. Ulmer Panel!
When you listen, the last person who gets to ask a question is a local 19-year-old filmmaker named Alfredo Morales, whose film SLEEP WALKER played on Sunday. He has made the film available to the public on YouTube. It is an impressive effort with some naturalistic dialogue and an interesting story. Check it out here: