Fifteen year old Yolanda (Fenessa Pineda) is a straight A student. The only child of two hard-working parents, Yolanda is set on a path to college and success. Mari (Venecia Troncoso), also fifteen, is the girl everyone expects to fail—including herself. A tough, street-wise older sister, Mari looks for ways to help her single mother support the family. They couldn’t be more different.
Yolanda first notices Mari as her new neighbor and is intrigued. After an initial troubling incident in the school bathroom, her desire to know Mari is fulfilled when they are paired up in math class and Yolanda takes the opportunity to offer tutoring assistance. Despite their seeming opposite natures, a friendship blossoms, but along with that comes feelings new to Yolanda. As their friendship deepens and these feelings become stronger, Yolanda and Mari face challenges to their relationship from friends and their parents.
Set in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood of Huntington Park, MOSQUITA Y MARI takes a realistic look at teenage pressures from parents and peers. The backdrop of school, home, and various hangout spots, and the choices made in those places, highlight the impending but not yet fully realized adulthood of the two young women.
Writer-director Aurora Guerrero’s debut feature is a remarkable film full of the tenderness and awkwardness of first love. Spurred on by two exquisite performances from Pineda and Troncoso, MOSQUITA Y MARI burns with the agony and delight of burgeoning desire. After a well-received premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and several notable festivals thereafter, the 10th Annual Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is proud to showcase this sweet and honest story.