By Mauro Feria Tumbocon, Jr., Director, FACINE

With a sold-out one-time screening of the documentary – it tells of the lives of transgender Filipinas in Cebu, their struggle to cope with discrimination and hostility and their dreams – SHUNNED was easily the festival’s most popular entry this year.

SHUNNED is a stunning eye-opener of a documentary, the filmmaker handles with grace the telling of various stories, sad and happy, of transgender Filipinas, the challenges they face in their daily lives

Villarosa, a FACINE regular – she was producer of a number of short films, as well as actor and director in a few, submitted to the festival in the past 3-4 years – revealed it was a challenge for her to make the film, coming from a conservative background, but she kept an open mind about the stories told her by her subjects. She adds, she hopes the Filipino community will be as open minded to watch the film to be able to understand better the transgender community.

Villarosa who traces her lineage to General Gregorio del Pilar, has been steadfastly researching that part of her family, interviewing family members as well, to direct a documentary on the revered Filipino general of the Philippine Revolution.

SHUNNED was preceded by a short film, Angelo Santos’s PAMANHIKAN [asking one’s hand for marriage], a warm-hearted funny well-made film about a Filipino father, played by John Arcilla, trying to deal with the prospect of his son marrying another man, through the prism of interracial same-sex marriage.

The film screening was co-presented with the San Francisco LGBT Center (with FACINE 22 festival committee member Celi Tamayo-Lee making it possible).

Thank you, Janice, thank you, Angelo, for gracing the festival. (Photos byTony Remington.)