Filipinas footballer Reina Gabriela Bonta’s semi-autobiographical film, “Lahi”, is screening at the Oscars-qualifying Hawai’i International Film Festival scheduled for November 2022.
Bonta played for the Yale Bulldogs while studying Film and Media Studies at Yale University where she created her short film, “Lahi”, which is currently making the festival rounds.
The budding Filipino American filmmaker joined last month’s tryouts for the “Filipinas” Philippine Women’s National Football Team and is currently training for the team’s historic first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in 2023.
Bonta’s directorial debut, “Lahi (Race)”, is about Mimi, a young Filipino American girl who is disconnected from her culture. Mimi returns to her hometown O’ahu to sell her late grandmother’s house and eventually learns about her Filipina grandmother’s culture and heritage.
The short film is largely inspired by Bonta’s own experiences as a third-generation Filipina and her grandmother who was born and raised in the Philippines before migrating to the United States.
“Lahi” conveys community and social justice sensibilities. Reina’s film “Points a finger to each of our own fears and insecurities about our unique connections to our culture” as it “centers the process of connecting back to one’s ancestors as both a healing force and a form of activism which combats the forces of setter colonialism that attempt to erase our histories”.
The short film has been accepted in the Oscars-qualifying Hawai’ian International Film Festival (HIFF) 2022 to be held on November 3-27 and will be screened both online and in Neighbor Island Theatres. It will also hold a free program for students who aspire to be filmmakers.
Fiipina Footballer Reina Bonta semi-auto bio film screens at Oscar’s-Qualifying @HIFF 2022.
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— Danica Guban (@danicamae_g) September 30, 2022
Stories about the experience of Filipino Americans have been gaining audiences with the release of films such as the Eva Noblezada and Lea Salonga musical drama film “Yellow Rose” and the first all-Filipino Hollywood film “Easter Sunday” starring comedian Jo Koy.
SEND MABUHAY CHEERS in the comments below to Reina Bonta for having her film “Lahi” screening at the Oscars-qualifying Hawaii International Film Festival!
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