Tribute to Filipino frontline workers who have died of Covid

Teodoro Alcuitas, Editor, Philippine Canadian News.Com

Poet Shirley Camia’s poetry animation Novena is among four Filipino films featured in the years’ Reel Asian Film Festival All films are screening digitally across Canada from November 12 to 19. Created in June to commemorate Filipino Heritage Month, Novena “focuses on grief, and provides a meditation on this specific time in the world that is challenging to us all,” Camia told Winnipeg’s Turnstone Press in an interview. “For many Filipinos in Canada who are frontline workers, they are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and at higher risk of exposure and infection. Some have died. So, this is a tribute to them, and those who are grieving and searching for forms of healing.” She told Turnstone that she choose ‘Novena’ (which is also the name for a ritual of nine consecutive days of prayer, that begins the night of a person’s death) “because it describes a scene with so many elements, and therefore, offered numerous possibilities to collaborate with others – from my aunts, to musicians, to a film editor and motion designer – in ways I hadn’t explored before with my work.” ‘Novena’ is from Camia’s latest collection ‘Mercy’, her second book of poems. She wrote ‘Novena’ after her mother died in 2016. Camia will participate in a Question & Answer panel on November 16 at 8pm Toronto time.

Buy tickets here 

Director: Shirley Camia
Poem and vocal: Shirley Camia
Prayer vocals: Estelita Calitis, Gloria Camia and Lucy Carlos
Music composer: Kat Estacio
Motion design: Rosie Holtom
Audio mixing engineer: April Aliermo
Film editor: Viktor Pesenti

 

Shirley Camia is a Filipina-Canadian poet. She is the author of four books of poetry, including The Significance of Moths and Mercy. She is a founding member of Pluma, a collective of Filipinx-Canadian writers whose work spans genres and generations. Born in Winnipeg, Shirley has lived across Canada, the Philippines, Japan, and Kenya. She currently divides her time between Toronto, Canada and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Full interview: Turnstone

Reelworld is the oldest and largest national platform dedicated to changing the face of the media landscape by empowering and showcasing Canadians identifying as Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Latinx in the Canadian screen based productions industries. Here are the four short films:

Dancing On My Own
A love letter to the queer Asian community, director Allie Cuerdo finds the strength to come out and rebuild a relationship with her mom with a little help and inspiration from New York’s radical dance party Bubble_T.

Allie Cuerdo (Facebook)

An award-winning Filipino-American director, writer and producer recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women In the World by the Filipina Women’s Network. She is the filmmaker and director of
ULAM : Main Dish.
Margo
A newcomer to the film industry, Margo’s careful and cautious actions make clear the insidious traces of misogyny that permeate through.

 

A first-generation Filipino-Canadian writer, director and producer with three dramatic short films under her belt.

A Lonely Afternoon

Meticulously detailed and choreographed, director Kyle Credo delivers an authentic snapshot into Justin, a timid Filipino boy, and his afternoon.

Kyle Credo (Facebook)

A Filipino-Canadian director born and raised in Ontario. He has been practicing his craft since 2012 when he made his first short film, Scum at Centennial College.
Lola’s Wake

Joelle is determined to uphold a Filipino tradition even if it means spending the night in a funeral home. Loosely based on the director’s own experiences.
Drama | English, Tagalog with English Subtitles | Canada

Tricia Hagoriles Tricia Hagoriles is an award-winning Toronto-based filmmaker. Her first short film, Beat, garnered her the RBC Emerging Canadian Artist Award at the 2015 Inside Out Toronto LGBTQ Film Festival and her second short, The Morning After, has played in festivals internationally. Hagoriles received the inaugural Inside Out + OUTtv Outspoken Documentary Fund for her upcoming project, The Archivist.An award-winning, Toronto-based filmmaker. Hagoriles was a resident of the 2019 Director’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre and recipient of Inside Out + OUTtv Outspoken Documentary Fund for her upcoming work, The Archivist.
Margo
A newcomer to the film industry, Margo’s careful and cautious actions make clear the insidious traces of misogyny that permeate through.

Drama | English | Canada

Steffi TupeDirector Steffi Tupe is a first-generation Filipino-Canadian writer, director and producer with three dramatic short films under her belt.

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by East, South and Southeast Asian artists in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

 

Shirley Camia releases fourth book, ‘Mercy’