As a right-wing militia prepares to launch a coup, a Chicano veteran and his wife attempt to leave the group.

  • Anson Petrick
  • Anson Petrick
  • Anson Petrick
  • Tyler Michael James
    Low Life, Just Right
  • Juliet Janklow
  • Olga Putiakina
  • John Aguirre
    Executive Producer
    The Utopian Society
  • Michael Aguilar
    Key Cast
  • Brisa Ramirez
    Key Cast
  • Diogo Hausen
    Key Cast
    The Sex Lives of College Girls
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Crime, Thriller, Satire
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 40 seconds
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Anson Petrick

Anson Petrick is a Tejano filmmaker based in Los Angeles. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience, Anson decided to pursue his true passion, film. He began working as a PA on low-budget features, but soon made the leap to major motion pictures and television series, including AD ASTRA, THE MANDALORIAN, and ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. He took writing classes at the prestigious Writers’ Boot Camp and is a street photographer. In 2018, he served as head writer on the short-form web series [WURDS]. Currently, he is working in the post department for the second season of Apple TV’s INVASION.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The idea for GUERRILLAS originated from a series of disturbing incidents. A work colleague posted QAnon-inflected rants in the office chat and kept doing so even as the rest of us asked them to stop. Soon after, a cousin in Texas told me, “The Second Amendment protects me from being squeezed by the socialist government.” My strongest inspiration came when an old boss confided in me that his friend had joined a militia. Unsettled but amused, I felt had discovered, through these encounters, a new cinematic archetype: The Suburban Guerrilla Fighter.

Equal parts menacing and eccentric, the Suburban Guerrilla looks and acts like a heavy in a neo-noir thriller. They hide in plain sight, using the veneer of middle-class respectability to paper over their rebel flags and uniforms and violent fantasies of revolution. Despite living comfortably, they see themselves as downtrodden freedom fighters. For that reason, I modeled the Birb Dawgs, the militia to which the characters belong, on Nada, the homeless drifter anti-hero of THEY LIVE portrayed by pro-wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. In reality, the Suburban Guerrilla behaves more like Jimmy Conway (Robert DeNiro) in GOODFELLAS or Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) in FARGO. They are entitled, duplicitous, and cruel.

I have known, and dreaded, men and women who could fit this archetype. Growing up in suburban Houston, my school days were haunted by these figures: teachers who led students to protest against Planned Parenthood, alumni-turned-veterans who praised the War on Terror in school assemblies, and white students who joked about lynching black students to their faces. I would encounter even more of them during the summer with my mother’s family in Tampico, Mexico. Cousins bragged about their friends in the local drug cartels, while aunts and uncles gossiped about which classmates deserved to be disappeared during the Dirty War. I drew heavily upon my memories of these individuals and their stories as I created the characters of Bobby, María, and Jack.

To bring them to the screen, I crafted GUERRILLAS into a surrealist crime thriller that emphasized the terror of being part of a fascist militia. Every element of the film, from the sinewy camerawork that stalks the characters to the cast’s anxious performances, contributes to a sense of being trapped inside a nightmare. This tone allows audiences to empathize with individuals they might otherwise loathe. Seeing through the Suburban Guerrilla’s eyes will allow them to see the ways that fascism has seeped out of historical memory and nightmares to poison the minds of so many Americans.

In spite of this disturbing subject matter, writing and directing GUERRILLAS has been the most humbling and joyful experience of my entire career. My talented cast and crew brought their absolute best to this project. They, at once, made my direction their own and vastly improved upon it. Watching them breathe so much life and humor into such a terrifying scenario was a true thrill. I hope that as you embark on this dark, twisted journey, that our work can thrill you, too.