After officially announcing it both in my guest appearance on the ShoPowSho podcast as well as on my Instagram, I’m proud to go public with the news here that my one-act play, “Interview with an Aswang,” has been made into a short film and is currently being submitted into the film festival circuit. For those who didn’t catch it when it was featured in Rainy Day Artistic Collective’s Winter Showcase three months ago, it tells the story of a college student who interviews her friend about what her life is like as an aswang for a school assignment. Of course, that’s just the very surface level synopsis of it.
I previously wrote about how the play itself came together. What I left out is that a few weeks prior to the performances, I came up with the idea of turning it into a short film. I was already planning to record it for my personal records. However, then the idea came of how if I slapped on opening and closing credits to it, it can easily become a short film. That’s one of the benefits of performing on a platform like Zoom or StreamYard; the boundaries between theatre and film suddenly become that much more blurry. Also, with my hefty background experience of putting on film festivals and helping to select films to be featured in them, I already had a general idea of how to approach getting it out to them. So I ran the idea by with Laura and the cast, and they all agreed that we should go for it. The film was shot four days prior to the first performance of the showcase.
As of this writing, “Interview with an Aswang” has been submitted to 13 film festivals, one film competition, and one multidisciplinary arts festival. While we’ve been turned down from one place so far, the rest we won’t hear about until later this summer and fall. Updates will be made available as they come forward.
So why then did we choose to announce it this week? Aside from wanting to accommodate my discussion about it on ShoPowSho, I also felt that it only seemed right to make it known publicly during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month that this is happening. To then see the trailer for Netflix’s anime adaptation of the comic book series, “Trese” – which also meddles in the world of Filipino mythology – be announced and dropped the same week just made for really good timing.
This play-turned-film was written, performed, and shot during the COVID-19 pandemic. While there’s very little I’m going to remember fondly when I look back on this time period, making “Interview with an Aswang” with my co-director and cast will be a highlight to the fullest extent. I’m looking forward to sharing this project with all of you soon – whether that be virtually or in-person.
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