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Gigi Saul Guerrero
Guerrero at Comic-Con 2019
|Education||Earl Marriott Secondary School|
|Alma mater||Capilano University|
Gigi Saul Guerrero (born February 27, 1990) is a Mexican-Canadian filmmaker and actress. She gained recognition for creating and directing the 2017 horror web series La Quinceañera. In 2019, she directed episodes of the anthology horror series Into the Dark and The Purge.
Guerrero has been praised as one of the top, emerging directors in the horror genre by Empire, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting and Creators.co. Variety described her as part of the new wave of Latinx talent.
Guerrero was born on February 27, 1990 in Mexico City, Mexico. She immigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the age of 13. She grew up in White Rock, BC and graduated with Honors with a B.A. in Motion Picture Production from Capilano University. As a child, she stole a VHS of Child's Play from Blockbuster but was too scared to finish watching it.
2011–2018: Career beginnings
Guerrero met two of her early collaborators, Cinematographer Luke Bramley and Producer Gordon Cheng, while studying film at Capilano University in 2009. Guerrero and Bramley were in the same class and bonded over a shared love of horror while Cheng was in the year below them. In 2011, they collaborated on her directorial debut, the short film Dead Crossing, about zombie border guards eating Mexicans crossing into the United States. Guerrero stated she loved the overall experience of film school because it taught her how to be a professional. She co-founded the production company Luchagore Productions along with Bramley, Cheng and Producer Raynor Shima in 2013.
In 2014, she participated in the anthology series México Bárbaro. It was the first short production made under Luchagore Productions, and Guerrero's final film school project. Her segment Dia de los Muertos premiered at the 2014 Etheria Film Night. After viewing Dia de los Muertos, author Shane McKenzie approached Luchagore with adapting his novel, Muerte Con Carne. Later that year, Guerrero directed the adaptation of McKenzie's work, El Gigante, and distributed it in partnership with Raven Banner Entertainment. The success of El Gigante led to it being adapted into a graphic comic in English and Japanese.
A development executive at Warner Bros. contacted Guerrero upon viewing El Gigante, which led to Luchagore pitching several ideas, one of which became La Quinceañera. Two of her shorts, Slam and Testament, created as entries in film competitions Dead on Film and Phrike Film Fest respectively, picked up awards for Best Death (Testament) and Best Picture (Slam).
Her music video, Paloma, was the opening video for 2015 Morbido Fest. El Gigante featured at Melbourne's 2015 Monster Fest and Sydney's 2015 A Night of Horror International Film Festival, and won the Jury Award at the 2016 Macabre Faire Film Festival. Her next short, Madre de Dios, starring Tristan Risk, received praise for its design and screened at the 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival.
In 2016, she won the Artistic Innovation Award from Women in Film and Television Vancouver. Also in 2016, she directed a segment, M is for Matador, for the horror anthology film ABCs of Death 2.5. In 2017, her short film Bestia, was praised for its style and psychological horror. It won Best Short Film at the Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival.
Guerrero's next production was announced as "Project Lucha". The story emerged from talks between McKenzie and Guerrero, centred around a girl becoming a strong woman. In October 2017, the project was revealed as La Quinceañera, a launch title for Stage 13, the digital content division for Warner Bros. Digital Networks. It features Mia Xitlali and Bertila Damas and held its world premiere at the Morbido Film Festival on October 28. It won the Golden Skull Award for Audience Favourite at the festival. In 2018, La Quinceañera debuted on the Studio+ app for Canal+ territories. In June 2018, it screened at Grauman's Chinese Theatre for the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. Dread Central praised La Quinceañera for its characters, noting its depiction of strong women as leaders.
Guerrero wrote a video game for Capcom, which was to be announced in 2018. In January 2018, she hosted the Vancouver Short Film Festival, which closed with a screening of Bestia. She teaches directing at Vancouver Film School.
In 2019, Variety selected her as one of the 10 Latinxs to Watch. She directed an episode of the horror anthology series Into the Dark for Blumhouse, and voiced Vida in Super Monsters. Guerrero received the job for the latter from Blumhouse after criticizing the original script for not being authentically Mexican. Guerrero insisted upon casting actors who were of Mexican descent and would switch between directing in English and Spanish while on set. To create a greater intensity for the finale, most of the episode was shot in chronological order. Guerrero's episode for Into the Dark, titled Culture Shock, premiered at the 2019 Etheria Film Night. In reflecting the current migrant situation in American, Guerrero stated it was "everybody’s horror story." Culture Shock, was critically acclaimed, garnering 100% approval on RottenTomatoes, with some critics calling it the best in the series.
In October 2019, Screen Gems signed her to direct an untitled studio feature film based on the mythology of Santa Muerte, with a script by her frequent collaborator McKenzie. In January 2020, it was announced Guerrero was hired by Orion Pictures to direct the horror thriller 10-31, to be produced by Eli Roth, however Orion decided not to move forward shortly after.
Guerrero is inspired by horror that is new and unique and believes that story is the most important element to a movie. She uses humour to ease tension. Her self-described style is, "gritty, gory" with a, "Tex-Mex" feel. She cites seeing a rerelease of the director’s cut of The Exorcist in theatres when she was nine as having an influence on her. Guerrero counts among her inspirations "The Three Amigos of Cinema" (Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro G. Iñárritu) in addition to Robert Rodriguez, Rob Zombie and Quentin Tarantino.
|2014||Barbarous Mexico||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Segment: "Día de los Muertos"|
|2016||ABCs of Death 2.5||Yes||No||No||Yes||Segment: "M is for Matador"|
|2018||Bloody Bits: Shorts Compilation Vol. 2||No||Yes||No||No||Segment: "Madre De Dios"|
|2014||Shooting: The Musical||Mia|
|2018||The Perfect Pickup||Biker Girl|
|2011||Choose Your Victim||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Boom Op||8 episodes|
|2017||La Quinceañera||Yes||Yes||No||No||Stripper #1||7 episodes|
|2019||Into the Dark||Yes||Yes||No||No||Paola||Episode: "Culture Shock"|
|2019||The Purge||Yes||No||No||No||N/A||Episode: "Hail Mary"|
|2015||Untold Stories of the E.R.||Bree||Episode: "Cop Shocker"|
|2015||Average Dicks||Party Girl||Episode: "Rap Culture"|
|2015||Diagnose Me||Young Mother||Episode: "Covered in Bugs"|
|2015–2018||Nina's World||Rosita / Senorita Arana / Rosie (voices)||8 episodes|
|2016||The Switch||Isabelle||2 episodes|
|2016||The Wilding||Spanish Teacher||Television film|
|2019||Siren||Petty Officer Nina Lopez||2 episodes|
|2018||Take Two||Carlina Del Rio||Episode: "Smoking Gun"|
|2018–2019||Marvel Super Hero Adventures||Spider-Girl (voice)||2 episodes|
|2018–2019||Super Monsters||Vida (voice)||7 episodes|
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