#FACinfocus News: Filipino American Talent in Films with Premieres, Releases, Special Screenings and Festival Tours 2018 – Part I

2nd Edwin Picture for InterviewsAnnouncement by Edwin A. Santos

Thursday, February 8, 2018

twitter-logo-618 : @Edwin_A_Santos     |     imgres : Edwin A. Santos

The slow months leading towards the two back-to-back film awards presentations:  the Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy Awards are spent with audiences catching their nominated films.  These months are also spent with audiences watching other films that may not receive such grand attention and accolade compared to the higher tiered films.  However, as what we learned from participating in 2017’s FilAm Creations Filmmaker Challenges, they are much applauded, embraced and appreciated nevertheless.


Director:  Suzi Yoonessi
Executive Producer:  Mark Duplass & Jay Duplass
Producer:  Jen Roskind
Screenwriter(s): Charlene deGuzman, Sarah Adina Smith & Mark Duplass
Music: John Hawkes

Cast: Charlene deGuzman, John Hawkes, Melissa Leo, Paul James, Ellen Geer

Charlene deGuzman and John Hawkes in UNLOVABLE

A bit of backstory in relation to UNLOVABLE.  In July, 2015, the film’s lead actress and screenwriter Charlene deGuzman contacted me thru my official site to refer her to Filipino talent who are good in acting and improv to play her parents. However, I could not tell anyone about the film.  After a few names I sent her, Abe Pagtama (Lolo Pepe, Kamera obskura, The Flip Side, The Debut) was selected to play her father.

UNLOVABLE is about a sex and love addicted woman who learns what real intimacy is when she starts making music with a reclusive man.  The film will make its World Premiere at South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas on the weeks of March 9-18. https://schedule.sxsw.com/2018/films/119424 


Director:  Paul Sapiano
Executive Producer:  Patrick DiCesare
Producer:  Djay Brawner
Screenwriter(s): Dominique Purdy and Paul Sapiano
Cast: Dominique Purdy, Sheila Tejada, John Mead

DRIVING WHILE BLACK is a dark comedy, rooted deeply in reality… but not a reality that everybody is familiar with.  The film has played across the U.S. and you can also host your own screening.  Details here:  http://drivingwhileblackmovie.com/host-a-screening/


Director:  Dan Mirvish
Executive Producer(s): Dana Altman, Mike S. Ryan, Elisabeth Jereski, John Feitelson and Jeffry Powell
Producer(s):  Dan Mirvish and Bernie Stern
Screenwriter: Jules Feiffer
Cast: Jim Rash, David Koechner, Mae Whitman, Sasha Alexander, Nancy Travis, Richard Kind and Melanie Anne Padernal
Melanie Anne Padernal in BERNARD AND HUEY

Based on a screenplay by legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jules Feiffer, BERNARD AND HUEY is a comedy about two old friends who reconnect after 30 years apart, and the women who complicate their lives.  Freestyle Digital Media has acquired the North American rights to the film which premiered at Slamdance this year and it is being scheduled to debut in May, 2018.

At this year’s Seattle Asian American Film Festival, a handful of Filipino American films – a few include our own FilAm Creative members – are as follows:

(4)  ASWANG NEXT DOOR – screening Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 11:30 am at Northwest Film Forum Screen 1 – http://seattleaaff.org/2018/films/aswang-next-door/

Director:  Bernard Badion
Executive Producer(s): Bernard Badion and Eugene Cordero
Producer:  Terrence Grant
Screenwriter(s): Bernard Badion and Eugene Cordero
Cast: Eugene Cordero, Brynn O’Malley

A friendly neighbor has unwelcome news for an expectant mother.

(5)  BICULTURAL – screening Sunday, February 25, 2018 at 11:00 am at Northwest Film Forum Screen 2 – http://seattleaaff.org/2018/films/bicultural/

Director:  Rachel Leyco
Producer: Rachel Leyco, Angela Paviera, Tc Smith
Screenwriter: Rachel Leyco
Cast: Christopher Aguilar, Angela T. Baesa, Jaime Barcelon, Rachel Leyco

Torn between the ‘perfect’ daughter that her strict traditional family believes her to be and the open-minded free spirit that she is, a second-generation Filipino-American must make a move to declare her identity.

(6)  FLIP THE RECORD – screening Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 11:30 am at Northwest Film Forum Screen 1 – http://seattleaaff.org/2018/films/flip-the-record/

Director:  Marie Jamora
Producer(s): Marie Jamora, Jason McLagan, Matthew Keene Smith
Screenwriter: Marie Jamora
Cast: Courtney Bandeko, Michael Rosete, Jon Viktor Corpuz

In this coming-of-age story set in the 1980s, the film follows 14-year-old Filipina American Vanessa who is sick of the constraints of her conservative family and the boring piano lessons she takes. On the sly Vanessa teaches herself how to scratch on her older brother’s turntables, and discovers her talents and place in the local music scene.

(7)  THE SECOND PROVINCE – screening Friday, February 23, 2018 at 5:30 am at Northwest Film Forum Screen 2 – http://seattleaaff.org/2018/films/second-province/

Director: Zorinah Juan
Producer(s): Cynthia Chou, Shawn Greene
Screenwriter:  Zorinah Juan
Cast: Maureen Sebastian, Jon Norman Schneider, Pat Labez

Two estranged Filipino-American siblings are forced to reunite when their offbeat mother chooses death with dignity.

And, created solely for Film Creative’s FilAm Creations Filmmakers Movement, Rommel Andaya’s WHAT YOU DON’T SAY premiered in its entirety on YouTube on January 31, 2018.


Director:  Rommel Andaya
Producer:  Rommel Andaya, Jason Hwang
Screenwriter(s): Rommel Andaya, Bernard Badion
Music: AJ Rafael, Michelle Martinez
Cast: Carlin James, Mari Lauren, Michael Kuya, Erica Juliet, Junot Lee, Dante Basco, Joy Regullano, Dante Swain, Melanie Anne Padernal, Edwin A. Santos, Jack Hernandez, Lianne Lin, Sheila Tejada, Jay Lee

Ted attempts to overcome the obstacles that prevent him from expressing his love to the birthday girl.

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