GUARDIAN

Written & Directed by Nicolas Jara

Produced & Co-written by Ksenia Firsova

Synopsis

Manuel (Carlos Flores, Jr) is a gay Latino teen who lacks guidance and support. Even though his mother, Anna (Virginia Blanco) deeply cares for him, she is only able to prove and instill her love through videotapes made from afar. Keeping his sexuality and boyfriend (Connery Morano) a secret from his homophobic father (Roy Manzanares), Manuel must decide the life he wants to live or end.

Logline

A remorseful mother counsels her suicidal son through video diaries as he struggles to embrace his sexuality.

Awards & Nominations

The SFSU Queer Cinema Project - Barbara Hammer Grant and Award

Best Directing at Films to the People Film Festival

Best LGBT Film at Voiceless International Film Festival

Best Drama Nomination at Official Latino Film Festival

Third Place Finalist in Narrative Film at CSU Media Arts Festival

Director Statement

Guardian was made to honor my mother who died of cancer when I was five years old. During her battle with the terminal illness, my mother purchased a camera and intended to create tapes for me to watch throughout my life. However, she believed that if those tapes were made then she would be ultimately accepting the fact that she wouldn’t see me grow. Therefore, she tucked the camera away. After she passed, I was raised by my dad who tried to mold me into his own image, but my mom’s presence never left me. This film is an exploration of my memories of her and what I think she would have told me if she was still alive.

 

Manuel’s story is about choosing between prescriptive masculinity and unconditional love and acceptance. Within the Latinx community, the patriarchal system influences interpersonal relationships. As a result, many members of the LGBT community, experience abuse, and internalized oppression. Within the story, Manuel is forced deeper in the closet by his own father’s machismo, but his mother’s love reaches him. Creating a realistic story world with inevitable tragedy, I wanted Anna and Manuel to be strong, relatable, and imperfect characters who find peace in a time of distress.

Guardian has screened at over a dozen festivals, received several awards including Best LGBT Film, Best Directing, and a Barbara Hammer grant that allowed us to continue the festival circuit. As a first-time filmmaker, I am proud of what the short has accomplished and how it has impacted audiences. 

Press

October 13th, 2018 / Tulsa, OK

Tulsa American Film Festival

 

October 16th, 2018 / Los Angeles, CA

CSU Media Arts Festival

 

November 10th, 2018 / Oakland, CA

Films to the People Festival

December 9th, 2018 / Oakland, CA

Voiceless International Film Festival

January 20th, 2019 / El Paso, TX

El Paso Media Fest

June 2nd, 2019 / Redwood City, CA

Bravemaker Film Festival

Official Selections

May 17th, 2018 / Los Angeles, CA

Independent Filmmakers Showcase

 

June 23rd, 2018 / McAllen, TX

La Frontera Queer Film Fest

 

June 23rd, 2018 / Kansas City, MO

Out Here Now

 

August 20th, 2018 / Durham, NC

North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 

 

September 28th, 2018 / Atlanta, GA

Out On Film Atlanta's LGBT Film Festival

 

October 6th, 2018 / Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz Film Festival

October 13th, 2018 / Coachella, CA

Official Latino Short Film Festival

Additional Screenings

May 9th, 2018 / San Francisco, CA

SFSU Undergraduate Research Showcase

 

July 5th, 2018 / San Francisco, CA

SFSU Associated Students’ Cinema Social 

 

July 22nd, 2018 / Rodeo, CA

BASH Bay Area Short Films Festival

 

February 22nd, 2019 / Redwood City, CA

Bravemaker Podcast & Panel Discussion

April 4th, 2019 / Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa Community College