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An Interview with Sergio Guerrero Garzafox, Director of Intolerance No More

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2020

Films directed by Sergio Guerrero Garzafox on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Intolerance No More - in a few words what is it about?


A modern tale on racism, social prejudice and hope through the social media lens.


What were your sources of inspiration when writing Intolerance No More?


Two facts that called my attention:

1. Network news that spends millions of Dollars covering police pursuits and emphasizing social prejudice. 

2. During the story research, I found out that in 2017, 174 people were killed in police brutality cases, just in California – 50% were African Americans and 50% Latinos.


Intolerance No More touches upon some very valid social issues and makes some very strong points - was this your intention from the get-go, or did this only develop during scripting?


Police brutality was always the core issue ,but when we started developing other characters such as the vloggers, we explored other subplots like racism and prejudice that reinforce the main issue.


You've shot Intolerance No More the found footage way -  so why did you take that approach, and what was your approach to that approach?


Two main reasons. The first one, I wanted to explore a realistic cinematic language approach, to make the audience feel as if it's happening now. The second one, the budget. I knew that I was going to finance the movie myself, so from the script we established the "big brother" style, no matter where you go, you are always being watched by some device.


Filming found footage style, what are the advantages but also challenges making a movie that way?


It was a new film language for all of us. Thanks that DP Xavier Grobet understood the challenges, we were able to do several scenes in one take. For instance, on the scene where the police officer is lying on the ground, it was a 360 degree set, where 20 cameras and 10 mics were rolling at the same time.


Parts of Intolerance No More, including a police chase, were shot at public places, including a very busy highways - so how did you even get those shots?


The police highway chase is a stock footage intertwined with our own footage. Movie magic!


What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


I wanted to explore a raw approach to my filmmaking process. Working with a very talented cast, we made sure that the characters felt human, with contradictions and goals that motivate a particular behavior, so that the audience could care about them. Once on set, I gave them the freedom of improvisation as long as we achieved the scene's objectives and most importantly, embraced the rawness of life.


Do talk about Intolerance No More's key cast, and why exactly these people?


"Giving voice to the voiceless" was from the beginning the film's philosophy. With that in mind, we cast non-Union actors to give them the opportunity to shine on the screen and the result was amazing! The four female lead protagonists, the fearless and talented Paulette Patterson who carried the film on her shoulders, Lizza Monet Morales, a real artivist, influencer and journalist looking for the "truth", the police officer antagonist played by Christina Morales with mixed emotions about the case, and Helen Kennedy as the greedy TV anchor – all of them brought that raw talent needed to pull this story off.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


We shot the movie in 10 days with Thanksgiving weekend and a one-day commercial shoot in between. The on-set atmosphere was like "Let's try this new thing."


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie?


The audience reception and feedback has been very positive, especially on festivals and community screenings. A story that sadly is very timely. With every screening we hope to spark the conversation and create awareness on police brutality and racism.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


We are shooting a new film in the middle of the pandemic titled Stay-At-Home, that hopefully will help us understand that we are all in this together.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


My older brother, a director as well, influenced me to get into filmmaking in Mexico City. Later, I came to LA where I graduated from USC film school. Since then I became a bilingual, bicultural, dual-citizen, director, producer and writer... in that order.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Intolerance No More?


After graduation I was involved in commercials, TV series, documentaries and films. Some of my favorites projects are A Day Without A Mexican, a film about immigration, Dos Lunas, a TV series about mental health, and Gracias Maestros, a PSA Emmy award winner.


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How would you describe yourself as a director? comment.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


The Three Amigos, Mexican directors.


Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD