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P.O. Box 31928
San Francisco, CA, 94131-0928

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.

Filtering by Category: Film and Video

10/12 - 10/27: FACINE (Filipino American Cine Festival)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media contact: Mauro Tumbocon, Jr., Artistic Director Phone: (415) 509-3581; Email:


The longest-running festival of films from the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora showcases a total of 34 feature-length films and short works

San Francisco, September 28 - FACINE/19, the 19th annual filipino american cine festival reels off with the world premiere of Archie del Mundo's political thriller, The Corruption of Melba [Ang Misis ni Meyor] as its opening film on October 12, Friday, 6 p.m. at the Manilatown Center, 868 Kearny Street, San Francisco.

The festival will close with the Bay Area premiere of Sari Lluch Dalena's martial law drama, Ka Oryang, a Cinema One Originals production, on October 27, Saturday, 4 p.m. at the War Memorial Community Center, 6655 Mission Street, Daly City.

A special gala screening of Bay Area-based filmmaker Ron Santiano's sci-fi adventure films, Chronicles of the Order and Code Name: Dragonfly will be held at War Memorial Center on October 26, 6 p.m. This will be preceded by Aaron Woolfolk's short feature, Nico's Sampaguita, produced, co-written and acted in by Filipina American actor, Marissa Catubig.

The yearly festival, the longest-running event in the US, is organized by FACINE or filipino arts & cinema, international, a not-for-profit media arts organization based in San Francisco. FACINE aims to promote and develop Filipino American as well as Philippine national cinema.

A total of 34 full-length films and short works will be shown for three weekends in three venues: October 12-13 at the Manilatown Center (868 Kearney Street, San Francisco); October 20-21 at the Bayanihan Center (1010 Mission Street, San Francisco); and on October 26-27 at the War Memorial Community Center, 6655 Mission Street, Daly City.

A wide array of new works by filmmakers from the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora on varying subjects and genre will be presented in different programs.

San Francisco screenings, $5 suggested donation; Daly City screenings, free to the public

For full program, please refer to: or!/mftworks4ever

The festival is co-presented with the Filipino American Development Foundation, Manilatown Heritage Foundation and the City of Daly City in celebration of Filipino American History Month. For information, please contact, Mauro Tumbocon, Director, FACINE at(415) 756-7331 or 415-509-3581 or email:

Find below the full schedule of the festival.


MANILATOWN CENTER, 868 Kearney Street, San Francisco, October 12-13

6:00 p.m., Friday, October 12 Patron ng Laging Saklolo/Patronage politics (Seymour Barros Sanchez, Phil, 2012) A surreal look at Philippine politics The Corruption of Melba (Archie del Mundo, Philippines, 2012) Widowed wife's ascent to positions of power springs from her intent to avenge the murder of her farmer/organizer husband

2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 13 Shorts Program: Brown Buddies, Engaged Sista (Evan Burris Trout, Philippines/US, 2012) A sweet ode to the fabled guitarmaker of Cebu, Southern Philippines Comrades (Paolo Bitanga, US, 2012) A short documentary on breakdancing among Filipino youth Brothers of Kappa Pi (Roberto Reyes Ang, US, 2012) Young Filipino Americans in New York find strength learning about their roots, their culture and community The Bladed Hand (Jay Ignacio, US/Philippines, 2012) The filmmaker traces the beginnings, the masters and current practice of Filipino Martial arts both in the Philippines and in the US

4:00 p.m. Saturday, October 13 Senorita (Vincent Sandoval, US/Philippines, 2012) A Filipina transgender, very much self-aware, gets involved in the tumult of the political times

6:00 p.m., Saturday, October 13 Special Program: Home and Away, Mother's Lament Nanay/Mother (Clarissa de los Reyes, US, 2012) A Filipina nanny in New York feels strange sense of alienation Mother and Child (Jocelyn Saddi-Lenhardt, US, 2012) A mother, now living with her son in Los Angeles, is unsettled by the arrival of her long-estranged husband Wan Chai Baby (Craig Addison, Hong Kong, 2011) A Filipina domestic worker tries to make ends meet in HongKong and makes an uneasy decision

BAYANIHAN CENTER, 1010 Mission Street, San Francisco, October 20-21

12 noon, Saturday, October 20 Documentary Program Kalluman Ma Tahik/At home at sea (Fruto Corre, Philippines/US, 2008) - The Bajau people of Southern Mindanao, often called "sea nomads" eke out their modest lives as they learn to wage a peaceful co-existence with other groups like the Tausugs Ati-Atihan Lives (Patrick Alcedo, Phil/Canada, 2012) - Not only a popular festival, but the Ati-Atihan of Aklan is a way of life even for someone living in the US who returns to the homeland to be with her people, even for a moment

2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 20 Special Program: The Unknowing, Thoughts on death and the Dying Pamatid-Gutom/Hunger pangs (Richard Soriano Legaspi, Philippines, 2012) - Amidst the frenzy of an election, a mother painfully gives up her child to escape hunhuger Manenaya/Waiting (Richard Soriano Legaspi, Phil, 2011) - A woman grieves for a husband, still waiting for him to re-surface Death of a Cemetery (Jeanie Duque Dizon, US, 2012) - They who choose the live their daily lives, among the dead, yes literally!

4:00 p.m., Saturday, October 20 Lugar Lang (Evan Burris Trout, Philippines/US, 2012) - A driver and his sidekick, on this last trip for the day, find a dead body in his jeepney; and hilarity ensues Darkest Night (Noel Tan & Russ Williams, Philippines/Malaysia, 2012) - A well-heeled family in the Philippines takes a vacation in serene Sagada Mountains, finds unwanted guests in their scariest night

6:00 p.m., Saturday, October 20 Pikit-Mata/Blind submission (Ronaldo C. Carballo, Philippines, 2012) - Two brothers are forced into prostitution due to poverty in this sexually-charged drama that represents the now-extremely popular pink film from the Philippines

12 n, Sunday, October 21 Shorts Program: Love, if possible Ang Obrang Hindi Tapos/The unfinished masterpiece (Rembrandt Vocalan, Philippines, 2005) - The life of National Artist Botong Francisco before his first-ever win in a painting competition The Date (Cara Mia, US, 2012) - Yes, it's a date! Kasunduan/The arrangement (Joshell Montanano,Philippines, 2012) - A newly-married couple, forced into marriage by family edict, contemplate on their lives Johnny Loves Dolores (Clarissa de los Reyes, US, 2012) - He is a remittance worker in New York, she is a housecleaner and undocumented – in their tenuous immigrant existence, they must have found love.

2:00 p.m., Sunday, October 21 Quezon Kong Mahal/Quezon, my beloved (Julianito Villasanta, Philippines, 2012) - The director pays homage to his beloved hometown, Lopez, Queszon In Bangka Ha Ut Sin Duwa Sapah/The boat between two rivers (Sigfried Barros Sanchez, Philippines, 2012) - A mother takes her 2 sons from one end of the river in a makeshift boat of banana stalks to the other end to go to school; it happens that these opposite ends of the river are where government military and Muslim extremists are holed up.

WAR MEMORIAL COMMUNITY CENTER, 6655 Mission Street, Daly City, October 26-27 6:00 p.m., Friday, October 26 Nico's Sampaguita (Aaron Woolfolk, US, 2012) - A Filipina American widow deals with grief and unsteady relationship with his son Chronicles of the Order & Code Name: Dragonfly (Ron C. Santiano, US, 2012) - The Filipina warrior kicks ass!

12 n, Saturday, October 27 Dognapper (Victoria Donato, US) Ganap na Babae/Garden of Eve (Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, Sarah Roxas, Philippines, 2010) - Three stories about women by three women directors. A prostitute, two sisters with one thinking of working abroad, a middle-aged woman finds herself attracted to a much younger man

2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 27 Triptych (Adrian Alarilla, Philippines/US) - Film poems – thoughts of moving, of finding love? Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa/The dance of two left feet (Alvin Yapan, Philippines, 2011) - The Urian-winning film speaks of repressed desire in a work that successfully incorporates poetry, dance, epic literature and music.

4:00 p.m. Saturday, October 27 Convoy (Lawrence Sibug, Philippines, 2012) - Journalists as victims of political repression in a dramatization of the Ampatuan massacre Ka Oryang/Comrade Oryang (Sari Lluch Dalena, Philippines, 2011) - A woman political detainee makes a supreme sacrifice in a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the declaration of the Marcoses martial law in the Philippines. A CinemaOne Originals award-winning film.

Tandaan. Kalayaan. Alagaan. Animated Video #1: Sunken Garden


Via Geekmatic: 09.21.2012 – Today is the anniversary of the Philippine Martial Law and in some ways we try to remember what really happened during those times of hardship and what we have learned from it so the next generation would learn from the past mistakes our country has endured.

Arnold Arre is a fantasy artist known for his graphic novels like Mythology Class, After Eden, Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat (The World of Andong’s Amulet), and Martial Law Babies.

His recent work on re-imagining Darna collaboration with Gerry Alanguilan for the modern times was the most anticipated that we haven’t heard any news recently.

Arnold delved into short films and now animation which caught his attention in making an animated video for the Philippine National anthem for the Independence Day last June 12,2012.

This time he collaborates with Dang Badoy of Rock Ed Philippines to remind the future generation about Martial Law in this short animation…


Read more.

10/02/2011: Cinema from the Filipino Diaspora: "Ritual," "Super Flip" & "Serbis"


Sunday October 2 / 6:00 - 9:00pm / MCCLA Theatre$5 Donation requested

MCCLA and Colectivo Cinema Errante, in conjunction with the Carlos Villa Exhibition "Manongs, Some Doors and a Bouquet of Crates," present: “Serbis” (Philippines, 2008, 90 mins). Director Brillante Mendoza, captures the sordid atmosphere of the theater, while enveloping the viewer in a maelstrom of sound, noise and continuous motion (Tagalog w/ English subtitles). Also: “Ritual” (Carlos Villa, USA, 1980, 14mins), and "Super Flip" (Celine Parreñas, USA, 1997 30 mins).

MCCLA is located in the heart of the Mission district in San Francisco, California Address: 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94110 (map)


Forgotten Slaves: The Comfort Women of the Philippines

bjanepr Our Story

For more than 50 years the mass rape of over 200,000 women by members of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II had been silenced - not the least by the victims themselves. In the Nineties, women from Asia (namely Korea and the Philippines) tore down the wall of shameful silence by telling the world about their victimization.

As young girls, they were kidnapped, imprisoned in camps and forced to provide sexual services to officers and soldiers. Often they were beaten and some did not survive the camps. In documents of that time, these women were referred to as "ianfu", which can be translated as comfort women.

In 1995, the Asian Women's Fund was created by the Japanese government to pay atonement money to former comfort women and historically research the issue of "comfort women". In 2007 the fund closed its work. However, former victims in the Philippines feel that justice was not done. They are still waiting for an official apology, for an acknowledgement of their victimization and financial aid. To state their case, the so called "Lolas" (meaning "grandmothers") voice their protest.

"Our misfortune was, that we were beautiful", as one of the survivors puts it.

The Impact & Who We Are

The establishing of rape camps by the Japanese Imperial Army in Asia during World War II is still an unknown topic for many in the Western world. We were told that even in Japan, this topic is hardly taught in schools anymore. With our documentary, we want to give the victims a voice and let their stories be heard. Our mission is to raise awareness for the miseries they had to endure.

The money we raise here on IndieGoGo will go into the production of the rest of the film. The crew will travel to the Philippines again and shoot the film.

We are two production companies co-producing this film: bce films & more GmbH and Ginger Foot Films.

bce films & more GmbH is a production company run by Bettina Ehrhardt. She is a journalist, television producer and director. All of her films have received numerous international awards. Bettina will act as producer and director on "Forgotten Slaves".

Ginger Foot Films is a production company run by Björn Jensen. He is a producer, consultant for film production companies, author, distributor and lecturer at several film academies. He has worked on more than 80 documentaries and feature films. Björn will act as producer and co-director on "Forgotten Slaves".

What We Need & What You Get

We have already travelled to the Philippines once and have conducted primary interviews with some of the former comfort women. This helped us to secure 60% of the funding already. We hope to gather the missing 40% here on IndieGoGo. With the complete funding, we want to return to the Philippines with a professional film team in order to shoot the actual film and finish it.

Other Ways You Can Help

We understand that not everybody has money to spare. But there are other ways you can help the former comfort women in raising their voice: share this page and the story of the comfort women with your friends and family (through word of mouth, Twitter, Facebook or our website) and raise awareness for this largely unknown topic. Help the Lolas to tell us their stories.

09/29 + 10/02/2011: LOLA at YBCA (SF)


LolaSep 29 & Oct 2, 2011 • Screening Room

After almost two years of effort, we finally got the OK to screen this staggering film by Filipino master Brillante Mendoza. In it, two elderly women bear the consequences of a crime involving their grandsons — one is the victim, the other is the suspect. Both frail and poor, the grandmothers desperately need money — one for the victim's burial, the other for the suspect's bail. Lola tracks their brutal quest to find it. (2009, 100 min, 35mm)

AMIGO: List of USA Theaters for August Premiere


About the film:

AMIGO, the 17th feature film from Academy Award-nominated writer-director John Sayles, stars legendary Filipino actor Joel Torre as Rafael, a village mayor caught in the murderous crossfire of the Philippine-American War.

When U.S. troops occupy his village, Rafael comes under pressure from a tough-as-nails officer (Chris Cooper) to help the Americans in their hunt for Filipino guerilla fighters. But Rafael’s brother (Ronnie Lazaro) is the head of the local guerillas, and considers anyone who cooperates with the Americans to be a traitor. Rafael quickly finds himself forced to make the impossible, potentially deadly decisions faced by ordinary civilians in an occupied country.

A powerful drama of friendship, betrayal, romance and heartbreaking violence, AMIGO is a page torn from the untold history of the Philippines, and a mirror of today’s unresolvable conflicts.

List of USA theaters and release dates is here.

Facebook page is here.

Call for Entries: San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival


The SFIAAFF is the largest film festival in North America dedicated to showcasing films by or about Asian Americans and Asians around the world. If accepted, your film will be seen by an audience that is widely regarded as one of the most sophisticated, enthusiastic and appreciative in the nation, as well as by many festival programmers, including delegates from nearly every Asian American film festival in North America who attend the SFIAAFF looking for the best in new Asian American cinema.

The SFIAAFF has helped launch the careers of many successful Asian American filmmakers including Wayne Wang, Ang Lee, Mira Nair, and Justin Lin. It also provides an opportunity for filmmakers to participate in the most exciting gathering for the Asian American film community and to develop relationships that may well turn into fruitful collaborations.


Presented by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)

Early deadline – Sept 2, 2011 $25 entry fee (Withoutabox upgraded projects save $5)

Late deadline – Sept 30, 2011 $35 entry fee (Withoutabox upgraded projects save $5)

Withoutabox extended deadline (available only through Withoutabox) – Oct 7, 2011

CAAM members at the senior / student level submit for free! Limit one waiver per member. Find out more about the CAAM membership here.

Click here for submissions guidelines and more info.

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”.

Trailer: AMIGO (John Sayles, 2010)


Via Twitch Film: AMIGO is the latest film from award-winning writer-director John Sayles, and is set during the Philippine-American War in 1900. It stars Chris Cooper, DJ Qualls, Garret Dillahunt, Joel Torre, Yul Vazquez, Ronnie Lazaro.

When U.S. troops garrison his village, Rafael comes under pressure to collaborate from the blood-and-guts Colonel Hardacre (Chris Cooper) as he tries not to betray his people, especially his brother Simón (Ronnie Lazaro), head of the local Filipino guerrillas. A sympathetic American lieutenant (Garret Dillahunt) learns that 'hearts and minds' cannot be won at gunpoint. A devious Spanish friar (Yul Vazquez) thwarts communications with his spiteful intrigues. Rafael is forced to make the near impossible, potentially deadly decisions faced by civilians in an occupied country. Friendship and betrayal, romance and heart-breaking violence, AMIGO is a page torn from the forgotten history of imperialism and a mirror of today's unresolvable conflicts.

Have a look at the beautiful trailer below.


-- List of USA theaters is here: