It’s been one week since the 33rd annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and two weeks since our FilAm Creations: A Filmmaker Movement premiere at ArtShare LA, the euphoria may have subsided, but the drive has not.
Twenty-four hours after the Opening Night Gala of Justin Lin’s rare 35mm print of Better Luck Tomorrow (first picture), FAC members Danice Cabanela and Craig Wilson (second picture) co-presented the I Got You, Fam short films program at the Downtown Independent in Downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 28th. And, fellow FAC members Sheila Tejada and Maurus Dumalaog co-presented the U.S. Premiere of Saving Sally at the CGV Cinemas in Koreatown Los Angeles on Monday, May 1st. The live action animated feature film won the Audience Award for International Narrative Feature and the Special Jury Award in the International Narrative Competition.
“This is not my first time at this film festival. I first volunteered as a videographer in 2013. I had one film (Predetermined) screen in 2015 and two films (Dirty Sock & Friends) screen in 2016. But this year is by far the best experience I have ever had at this festival. I think because this time I got to enjoy it with an extended family through Film Creations.” says filmmaker Rommel Andaya (What You Don’t Say and Uncle Eddy).
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, co-producer and lead actress of Uncle Eddy, Danice Cabanela says, “I knew of no other Filipino actors or creators like myself so coming to Los Angeles, California, a mecca for artists (as well as Filipinos!) was a mindblowing and heartbreaking experience in the best way possible. It was like my heart cracked open after all of these years about what it means to be Asian American in the U.S (which meant something different to me in Texas than in LA), and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival was a playground to befriend new playmates and explore what that means — together, and moving forward.”
In an effort to inspire, motivate and mobilize the Filipino American and Filipino filmmaking community, the Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Visual Communications Francis Cullado, challenged FilAm Creative to create short films to premiere at the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. As a result, FAC filmmakers of various levels of experience stepped up to share their artistic voice and storytelling.
After three to four months of meetings, networking, assembling, development, casting, pre-production, filming, post-production, legal clearances and outside logistics, the filmmaker challenge and finally, the 21st century movement, FilAm Creations made its premiere on Wednesday, May 3rd at ArtShare LA in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles.
Twelve new short films from amateurs to auteurs shared the celebratory spotlight among their family, friends and peers in one of the most unforgettable nights of their careers.
Cabanela adds, “This was my first time at LAAPFF and I attended not only as an actor, but a filmmaker –and a joyously grateful one at that. Thanks to Francis Cullado, VC, FilAm Creative and of course my co-EP and creator of ‘Uncle Eddy’, Jack Hernandez, I got to co-produce and star in a film that screened with 11 other filmmaker teams who created original, diverse content. Ours was more ‘Judd Apatow meets Filipino millennials’ and there were other films that leaned family friendly, romantic comedy, even thriller. It was both eye opening and motivating in regards to learning about the AAPI media landscape, specifically within the Filipino community.”
Introductions by FAC Networks’ Behind-The-Scenes hosts Angel Qinan and Maurus Dumalaog, FilAm Creations curator Craig Obligacion Wilson and FilAm Creative Executive Director Meriden Villanueva were made, all twelve short films screened for the first time to an attentive audience then the closing remarks, the networking hour and the after party at Angel City Brewery nearby, everyone celebrated the works they have done.
“Feel lucky to get involved in a community that is positive, full of energy and supportive. The event was well done and well presented. Enjoyed it overall.” says actress Anna Pan.
Others who have worked in the industry for a while now were impressed and happy what the future will bring.
Actress Aina Dumlao who recurs as ‘Andie Lee’ on CBS’ MacGyver and guest starred on HBO’s Ballers says, “I grew up in the Philippines at a time when billboards, TV and film were dominated by mestizos and mestizas…which is neither good nor bad. Its just that, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me. Which is why, ever being an actress never once entered my mind.
Compiled and written by:
~ Edwin Santos
Director of Content Production / Producer of FAC Networks / Actor from Lolo Pepe, What You Don’t Say and Uncle Eddy
May 18, 2017
FilAm Creative (FAC) is an all volunteer community organization dedicated to the advancement of Filipino-Americans in entertainment and media.
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