Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Interview with filmmaker Mona Lisa Yuchengco

1. Can you give us a brief summary of your film? Where was it shot? Who are some of the actors?

This is a documentary entitles, “Marilou Diaz-Abaya: Filmmaker on a Voyage.” It is about the famous film director – her life and movies, the school she founded, and her battle with cancer. Some of the people I interviewed for the film were: National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, screenwriter Ricky Lee, social practitioner Randy David, actor Cesar Montano, former teacher Chinggay Lagdameo, directors Enrico Santos and Jeffrey Jeturian.

2. When did the entire process of filming, casting, screen writing, and production start? How long was the process?

It started in January 2011 and final edits completed in July 2013.

3. Is this the first film you have created? If not, what other films have you completed?
This is my second film. The first short documentary I made was entitled, “66 years, 2 months, 21 days…and still counting.”

4. What was the inspiration for you to create the film you submitted?
Marilou Diaz-Abaya was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in January 2011. I thought it was important to document and chronicle her life as a filmmaker, teacher, mother and activist so that others can be inspired and empowered.

5. Why did you submit it to TWIFF?
Filipino Americans make up a big part of the Asian community in the bay Area, and I thought this would be a movie they would want to see since Director Abaya’s films won so many awards.

6. What message do you want the audience to take away from your documentary/film?
What is more important than receiving the awards is how your film has affected hearts and minds of the audience.

7. What upcoming projects are you working on?
It is all in the preliminary stages, so I am not comfortable talking about it yet.

***Interviewed by Alexandra Drechsler

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