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A space to encourage writing of Filipino American literature and the arts



Philippine American Writers and Artists blog for lit/arts events, reviews, news, and opportunities.

Kickstarter: Vampariah (feature length action horror film)


Vampariah at Kickstarter [youtube=]

About this project

I propose to make a feature length action horror film based on my 2003 short film titled “Bampinay”, a reference to a mythological creature in the Philippines. The short film version gained critical attention and was an official selection to recognized film festivals such as San Francisco and LA International Asian American Film Festivals as well as the Hawaii International Film Festival. With the technology and budget available to the production, our resources to expand this short project to a feature proved difficult. With recent innovations in digital filmmaking and visual effects technology, I believe the time has arrived to make the feature length version.

The film follows a similar premise as the original short, but is developed exploring the characters and the world they inhabit. Mahal, a rebellious twenty something cryptid hunter, sets out on a quest to destroy a dangerous female creature known as an aswang. When she catches up with this known killer, Mahal realizes that she has more in common with the aswang then her employers who seeks her destruction. The feature film picks up from the original premise where they join forces as the world turns against them. I am taking cues from the horror director George Romero, drawing parallels between being an “Aswang” with being a minority. Though the film is targeted to the Filipino/Asian American community, 'Bampinay' has universal appeal, and has the potential to garner a wider audience. The film has particular relevance to those who consider themselves underrepresented in American society, for example people who identify with social, ethnic, sexual, religious, and immigrant minorities that have been historically demonized.

The film will be principally shot in the San Francisco Bay Area within a 2 month period. Pick-up shots, secondary footage, special effects, and B Roll shots will be created throughout the course of a year. The advancement in digital cinema technology has made many conventions only accessible to industry insiders available to us. This will put most of the production budget into the production itself. Finding good locations will be the key into bringing to life the world in which our characters will inhabit. We seek to have a good working studio space where small sets can be constructed or dressed to meet the needs of the scene. More complex set locations will be made possible with green screen technology and background replacement.

'Bampinay' will best be suited for film festivals that cater towards comic/manga and horror/sci-fi fans, however it has the potential to find an audience in festivals that cater towards Asian Americans and Gay/Lesbian issues. Following the films festival run, we seek to have the film screen in selected movie theaters before releasing it on DVD. Distribution options are open.

With a modest budget and a team that will see this project to the end, there is much to be gained financially and culturally from this project as investors may seek to gain.

More information on the project and the original short film can be found on the website

Thank you!

Project By Matthew Abaya

An award winning filmmaker, Matthew Abaya's talents include writing, as well as a visual effects animation in touch with the latest technological innovation. He incorporates elements of horror and science fiction in his films as a means to communicate relevant social issues to the masses. Matthew focuses on themes relating to ethnic, social and immigrant minority groups, often borrowing archetypes from Asian folklore. His short films have been screened at the San Francisco and LA Asian American Film Festivals as well as the Hawaiian International Film Festival. He earned an Independant Vision Award from FA/Cine and UFAAFRA, a DIY Music video award at the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival and a Nomination for an aMedia AMMY for best short film. He currently teaches a digital multimedia and filmmaking class for youth in the East Palo Alto area while working on the feature length version of his short film “Bampinay” titled “Vampariah”.