October 2nd: Basurero Film – European Screening
Nuit du court (aka Night of Short Films), Fribourg, Switzerland (an homage to FIFF 2020)
La Nuit du Court métrage de Fribourg a lieu au cinéma cinemotion – Les Rex. Une nuit composée de 4 programmes et d’une première locale à découvrir dans une ambiance festive! Bar et snacks sur place.
Thank you Thierry Jobin for screening our film at this “live” and most magical gathering.
Wish we could be there
Our next #AAIFF43spotlight is on Filipino-American filmmaker Eileen Cabiling. Her short film “Basurero” is her directorial debut (but you definitely wouldn’t think that from first watching it!).
She’s been described by mentor Anna Thomas as “an artist whose stories magically come to life like in a painting.”
First in her immigrant family to be born in the United States, Eileen grew up as the only Asian in her class in Richmond, Virginia–the historical capital of the Confederacy. Her vision is to tell stories about the global Filipino diaspora and history, the many layers of the Filipino face along with the deeply complex nuances of colonial psychology and Filipino identity.
Now she’s in development with Jericho Rosales on a feature film titled: “Manhid” (which means numb in Tagalog).
Read our full interview with Eileen here:
Q) How has 2020 treated you? How has this pandemic affected your work as a filmmaker?
A) It has been a tremendous pause for me and although challenging and scary, I feel it has given me the space to reset and to dig deeper into my visions for where I would like my stories to go as a filmmaker. It has given me space to also understand what is important to me in life and to achieve some healthy balance after making my directorial debut which is Basurero.
Q) What does this film mean to you?
A) “Basurero” is inspired by an actual Filipino fisherman, who in an Al Jazeera interview reveals that he has been dumping bodies of drug war victims for the police into Manila Bay. This infamous drug war was instigated under current President Rodrigo Duterte, when he took office in June 2016. With the official death count in 2020–now above 5,000. Whereas, human rights groups are quoting over 27,000.
What attracts me to Bong’s story is not only the inhumane killings and the vilification of drug-users, sellers, and the poor in the Philippines but how this character’s circumstance is a window into the complex Filipino psyche’s search for value. I have been exploring this within myself, as a Filipina, firstborn in the United States–growing up with parents who immigrated to the superpower that colonized them.
My own cathartic trajectory has been deciphering this identity, finding meaning in self-value, and owning a voice as a storyteller of color.
In filming “Basurero,” we kept an observational stance, thus creating space for contemplation as we move with our main character through his day.
I strongly feel that the wounded psyche of the colonized needs to be explored, the stigma is broken and the pain healed. How can we be vulnerable, heal the past, feel deeply–own, and fight for our self-worth? How do we claim and embrace this value and take up space in this world?
Q) Who is a totally underrated API person that we should all know about?
A) Although he is well-known in the Philippines, I believe my lead actor, Jericho Rosales, is quite a talent and his excellent performances will be noticed more globally.
Q) Who would play you in a film or show about your life?
A) Maggie Cheung or Anais Nin
Q) What is an API-specific story that you want to see on the big screen?
A) About the thousands of Filipinos placed on display at the 1904’s St. Louis World’s Fair.
Q) What is the most iconic film moment or scene that you can think of right now?
A) The dance scene on “Lovers on the Bridge” directed by Leos Carax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH80fIW-mrc
Q) What is one of your biggest pet peeves about a show or film?
A) Asian stereotypes and melodramatic lines.
Q) What is a current issue you are passionate about?
A) How to make human rights and value virtue in the Philippines
Q) #AnAsianCasting… if you could pick any #API person for any role for any film/series, who would it be, and for what?
A) Jericho Rosales for a Marvel superhero film! Or a Star Wars Jedi.
Make sure to follow Eileen on social media!
IG: @eileencabiling and @basurerofilm
FB: Basurero Film
Basurero Film – EAST COAST PREMIERE at the NYC – 43rd ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – proudly known as “The First Home to Asian American Cinema.”
In The Moment
October 1 — October 11
Thank you AAIFF and Cinevision for East Coast Premiering our film! Super honored to be part of all the amazing selections this year!
Kudos to our BRILLIANT TEAM, our Philippine Production Company – Autodidact Darlene Catly Malimas, AWESOME DP Jae Hyuk Lee (Korea), Globe Studios Jericho Rosales Official and Cast!
And — a GIANT SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to our NY/EAST COAST TEAM-MATES – Co Producers Melissa Tolentino Bruijneel and Christine Cabiling Leese and Associate Producers Angelica Locsin and Leandro Lachica, Consulting Producer Yasmine Gomez and our big-hearted Producing Mentors Robert Chang (Advantageous) and Kevin Chinoy (Florida Project) at Freestyle Picture Company and Director-Writer mentor Isabel Sandoval (Lingua Franca).
Forever grateful to every single one of you for all the love and support! It truly takes a village!
Organized by Asian CineVision, it’s the first and longest-running festival dedicated to showcasing the moving image work by media artists of Asian descent for and about the Asian diaspora experience. There are some brilliant compelling Filipino Feature Films and Documentaries showcased this year to watch too — Arumpac’s Aswang, Ramona Diaz’s A Thousand Cuts and Raya Martin’s Death of Nintendo! Plus many more! Grateful to all of you!
Join us as we intimately experience fire breathing on the hawker-lined streets of Saigon, the waters of Manilla amidst the Philippine’s drug war, and Filipino karaoke in a beloved restaurant in National City, California. These films illuminate the quietness in each moment to create portraits of family, places, and connection.
BUY TICKETS NOW HERE: https://www.aaiff.org/aaiff43/in-the-moment
Basurero is part of the 36th Los Angeles Pacific Film Festival (online).
Basurero will be available online on 10/1-31.
Counting down! It’s a dream come true to be premiering at LAPFF. I have been attending this prolific festival produced by Visual Communications in Hollywood for years. VC has been one of the great supporters in the US for Asian American and Pacific Islander Filmmakers. Their perseverance and vision are fierce! The largest festival of its kind in Southern California.
LAAPFF is also a proud Academy Award®-qualifying film festival for the Short Film Awards.
Thank you VC and LAAPFF for always shining the light!
Super Congrats to our BRILLIANT TEAM, our Philippine Production Company – Autodidact (Darlene Catly Malimas), AWESOME DP Jae Hyuk Lee (Korea), Globe Studios, Jericho Rosales Official, and Cast!
And — a BIG SPECIAL MENTION and BRAVO to our magnificent LOS ANGELES TEAM. Thank you for believing in our story and vision, for all your soulful collaborations and input! Forever grateful to each one of you
It truly takes a village!
Sascha Rice – Producer
Jose Carlos Mangual – Producer
Yasmine Gomez – Consulting Producer
Afshin Shahidi – Associate Producers
Susan Yoon – VFX, TITLES, and POSTER DESIGN
Robert Curreri – COLORIST
Pi Jacobs – Musician (Club Scene) and my LA LA BESTIE!
Cienna Cortez-Ong Ante – Crowd Funding Campaign Manager
Topher – Crowd Funding Campaign Graphics
Harry Yoon – Post Production Mentor
This online fest is geo-blocked for Southern California.
TICKETS HERE: https://bit.ly/laapff2020-windows