Sari Raissa Lluch Dalena

Sari Dalena

Sari Dalena is a Fulbright scholar and independent filmmaker from the Philippines. She obtained her Master’s degree in Film Production at the prestigious New York University graduate film program through a Fulbright Scholarship.

She is an Associate Professor and Director at the University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) where she was recently appointed as UP Artist for her cinematic achievements.

Ms. Dalena’s first feature-length documentary Memories of a Forgotten War (a documentary on the Philippine-American War of 1899), had the honor of being the closing film at the Documentary Fortnight in New York City’s MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). Memories of a Forgotten War was screened at the Rotterdam Int’l Film Festival (IFFR) in 2010. The documentary film was invited to screen in a Women’s Film Festival in New Delhi, India.

Her first feature film, co-directed with Keith Sicat, “Rigodon”, won in Greece (at the Int’l Panorama of Independent Filmmakers) and was nominated for “Best Feature” and “Emerging Director” Awards at the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York Asian American Film Festivals.

She won twice at the URIAN Film Awards (The Philippines’ Academy Awards) for two short films: Church Dogs and Little Crosses. Those two films, along with her third short, White Funeral, have screened internationally (Indonesia, Singapore) and in the US (Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center). Her experimental documentary films, Memories of a Forgotten War and From Asia With Love are being distributed by Third World Newsreel. Her short film Kamikaze was selected at the Clermont Ferrand Short Film Market.

Ms. Dalena’s notable documentary films are “Jamming on an Old Saya”, “Guerrera” “Himala Ngayon” and “Ishma”.
In 2011, Dalena won the “Best Picture” and “Best Director” prize from Cinema One Originals on her feature film, Ka Oryang.

In 2013, Dalena co-directed “The Guerrilla is a Poet” for Cine Filipino which won four awards. Her most recent film was the musical-documentary drama “Ang Kababaihan ng Malolos” which premiered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on February 2014.
In 2015, Dalena directed the 3 hour experimental documentary drama film on the life and works of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, titled “Dahling Nick”. The groundbreaking documentary earned rave reviews and was listed among the Best of 2015 Films.
Dalena is currently working on a documentary project, “History of the Underground (1968-1986)”.

Featured Short Films

ASONG SIMBAHAN (1994)

Film type: SHORT FILM

16mm; Color

Producers

NCCA-Mowelfund Film Institute

Phil. Information Agency (PIA)

Cinematography

Robert Quebral

Additional Photography

Neil Daza

Music

Neil Legazpi

Narration

Marjorie Evasco and Danny Reyes

Synopsis

“A painter’s art comes to life as he draws images of his hometown-of its old women, of its church and of dogs on its streets. His young daughter witnesses his creation as she walks her way to faith.”

Cast

Danilo Dalena

Kiri Dalena

 

Role

Director | Writer | Editor

Accolades

First Prize, Experimental Film, 8th GAWAD CCP para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, 1994

Best Short Film, 18th GAWAD URIAN, 1994

Special Mention, 2nd Filipino American Film & Video Festival, Oct. 9-14, 1995, San Francisco CA

Premiered at “Six Short Films by Six Young Filmmakers,” Tanghalang Manuel Conde, CCP, April 20, 1995

Screening at “Parangal II: Tribute to Young Films and Their Artists” in celebration of 100 years of Cinema, Film Center of the University of the Philippines and the Cultural Committee of the UNESCO, National Commission of the Phils., July 24, 1995

Screened at “World Cinema Centennial Celebration” Sept. 23-Oct. 1, 1995, SM Megamall, MFI, NCCA-Dept. of Tourism

Screened at “Cinemanos Collective’s University Tour,” DLSU, Miriam College, St. Scholastica’s College, FEU, PUP, UST, UP Los Banos, UP Diliman, 1995

Screened at “Wake Up Call” TV Documentary, RPN Channel 9, Nov. 10, 1995

Screened at “For Art’s Sake” TV Documentary (“Sari-Saring Pelikula”, PTV Channel 4, April 1996

NY Asian-American Int’l FF, (US Premiere),  NYC, Maryland, Washington DC, July-Aug 1996

Screened at “LuneSining” with Ishmael Bernal, KASALO café, Diliman, Nov. 20, 1996

Screened as collaborative presentation at the ASEAN Artists’ Creative Interaction at Yogyakarta, Indonesia, April 1997.

9th International Women’s Film Festival, UP Film Center, March 6 & 12, 1998

NY Filipino Film Festival, Lincoln Center, July 2000

WHITE FUNERAL (1998)

Film type: SHORT FILM

16mm; Color

Producers

NCCA

Mowelfund

Sine Tres Marias

Casa San Miguel

Cinematography

Regiben Romana

Production Design

Sari Dalena

Costumes Design

Kiri Dalena

Music

Joey Ayala, Pinikpikan, Grace Nono

Synopsis

A bride walks on the desert. She takes off her bridal ornaments and turns into a harlot. A multitude of people crawl on their bellies, become sick and soon die. A volcano erupts. White ashes of lahar cover the earth. The bride remembers her betrothal and repents–symbolically paving the way for the resurrection of her people. A final bridal march into a new heaven and earth takes place.

Cast

Myra Beltran

Hayuma Habulan

Role

Director | Writer | Editor

Film Festivals

Singapore Film Festival

Thailand Film Festival

Kuala Lumpur Film Festival

Indonesia Film Festival

1st Kamarikutan Art Festival, Palawan, 1997

World Premiere, 2nd Pundaquit Festival of the Earth, CASA San Miguel, Zambales 1997

9th International Women’s Film Festival, UP Film Center, July 1997, March 3 & 11, 1998

BULLET DAYS (2001)

Film type: SHORT FILM

16mm; Black & White

Cinematography

Juan Carlos Castaneda

Synopsis

The Veiled One flees to the desert with her stubborn goat.  Caught in an encounter with a bandit, she sends a  weighty message.

Cast

Amparo Grisales and Masayuki Okawa

Role

Director | Writer

Accolades and Film Festivals

New York Asian-American Int’l Film Festival, NYC USA 2002

Grand Jury Prize for Experimental Film, Eksperimento, Manila 2000

Special Jury Prize for Editing, Eksperimento, Manila 2000

Full Length

Dahling Nick (2015)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

Producer:

Rica D. Abad
Ronald Arguelles
Endi Balbuena
Keith Sicat

Kino Arts

Plot:

Dahling Nick is a docu-drama exploring the life and works of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, who only accepted the National Artist Award on the condition that the Marcos administration release a well-known writer who was being unjustly detained during Martial Law.

Cast:

Raymond Bagatsing
Alessandra de Rossi
Maria Isabel Lopez
Ping Medina
Che Ramos
Karl Medina
Bernardo Bernardo
Bong Cabrera
Banaue Miclat
Mailes Kanapi
Gabby Padilla
Kiko Matos
Dindi Gallardo
Lance Raymundo
Nick Lizaso
Hazel Faith De La Cruz
Thea Yrastorza
Ross Pesigan
Roli Inocencio
Opaline Santos
Adrian Cabido
Johnny Regana

Role

Director

Film Festival:

2015 Cinema One Originals Film Festival
Nominated for Audience Award
Nominated for Festival Prize, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Production Design

2016 Gawad Urian Awards
Nominated for Best Documentary

Screenings

US Premiere Screening, Honolulu Museum of Art, Doris Duke Theater, Hawaii, USA, 2016
Official Selection, FACINE Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, 2016 

 

Ang Kababaihan ng Malolos (2014)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

Production House:

Kino Arts Production

Screenplay:

Nicanor Tiongson

Producer:

Nicanor Tiongson

Women of Malolos Foundation

Plot:

A film about the young women of Malolos fghting for the right for knowledge and our national hero Jose Rizal supporting the cause.

Cast:

Jervis Adriano

Albert Aguilar

Zee Capacete

Carlos Celdran

Hazel Faith Dela Cruz

Bong Enriquez

Karl Medina

Genevieve Reyes

Bem Sabanal

Samantha Nicole Santiago

Jane Valderama

Role

Co-Director

The Guerilla is a Poet (2013)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

Production House:

Kino Arts Production

Screenplay:

Ericson Acosta

Producer

CineFilipino

Plot:

The tale of an activist’s journey during the turbulent years of Martial Law, until his capture in the mountains and the dark, nine years of imprisonment that followed, leading to his birth as a poet

Cast

Anthony Falcon

Bong Cabrera
RK Bagatsing
Chanel Latorre
Lehner Mendoza
Lui Manansala
Marcus Madrigal
Jess Evardone
Chrome Prince Cosio
Bernard Laxa
Willie Nepomuceno
Jao Mapa
Raymond Bagatsing
Angeli Bayani
Karl Medina

Role

Co-Director

Awards

2013 Cinefilipino Film Festival

  • Best Actor Award (Karl Medina),  1st CineFilipino FF 2013
  • Best Supporting Actor Award (Bong Cabrera),  1st CineFilipino FF 2013
  • Best Editing Award (Keith Sicat and Kiri Dalena),  1st CineFilipino FF 2013
  • Best Musical Score (Datu Arellano),  1st CineFilipino FF 2013
  • Nomination, Best Achievement in Cinematorgraphy (Kiri Dalena) Young Critics Circle, 2014
  • Nomination, Best Achievement in Visual Design (Sari Dalena), Young Critics Circle, 2014

Screenings

Official Selection “The Guerrilla is a Poet” (Bayside Premiere) at the 22nd FACINE FF, San Francisco USA, Oct. 2015
Official Selection “The Guerrilla is a Poet” 15th Pyongyang Int’l Film Festival, North Korea DPRK, September 2016

Ka Oryang (2011)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

Producer:

Cinema One Originals

Kino Arts

Screenplay:

Sari Raissa Lluch Dalena & Keith Sicat

Cast

Alessandra de Rossi

Joem Bascon

Angeli Bayani

Marife Necesito

Emilio Garcia

Synopsis

“Ka Oryang” coincides with the 40th year anniversary of Martial Law in 2012, when countless emboldened Filipino women, inspired by Katipuneras such as Ka Oriang de Jesus fought for their rights and the rights of their countrymen. “Ka Oryang” is a tribute to women political detainees during martial law in the Philippines, who have sacrificed their lives for the principles of freedom and justice. It dramatizes the plight of political prisoners, particularly women who are ruthlessly humiliated, raped and brutalized.

Role:

Director | Writer

Awards:

2011 Cinema One Originals Film Festival

  • Winner, Best Director (Sari Dalena)
  • Best Picture (Kino Arts)
  • Best Cinematography (Kiri Dalena and Neil Daza)
  • Best Music (Teresa Barrozo)

Rigodon (2005; USA-Philippines)

Film type: Experimental Feature

16 mm; 80 mins.

Production House:

First Quarter Storm Productions

Producer:

Sari Raissa Lluch Dalena
Ramon Mappala
Keith Sicat

Screenplay:

Sari Raissa Lluch Dalena & Keith Sicat

Plot:

“An Immigrant’s Dream is the American Nightmare.”

RIGODON follows the spiritual journey’s of three Filipino immigrants in New York City whose lives intertwine in the age of racial profiling and government crackdowns.

Cast

Joel Torre
Arthur Acuña
Chin Chin Gutierrez
Stéphanie Ruaux
Keith Barber
Randy Rand
Andrew Eisenman
Ching Valdes-Aran
Olga Natividad
Banaue Miclat

Role

Co-Writer | Co-Director

Awards

Winner, “Best Feature” Int’l Panorama of Independent Filmmakers, Greece

Winner, “Best Foreign Film”, Southern Appalachian Int’l Film Festival, USA

Winner, “Independent Film of the Year”, FanClubX, New York City

“Excellence in Filmmaking” Faculty Commendation, 2007 NYU Film Festival

Official Selection: Int’l Human Rights Film Festival, Nuremberg, Oct. 2007

Official Selection: 2007 Independent Features FF, July 2007

Official Selection: Sofia Int’l Film Festival, March 2007

Official Selection: Berlin Asia-Pacific Film Festival, Oct. 2006

In-Competition: NY Asian American FF, July 2006

In-Competition: LA Asian Pacific-VC FilmFest, May 2006

In-Competition: San Francisco Int’l Asian American FF, March 2006

Official Selection: DC Asian American Film Festival, 2006

Official Selection: Boston Asian American Film Festival 2006

Official Selection: Chicago Filipino-American Film Festival 2006

Official Selection: Austin Asian Int’l Film Festival 2006

Official Selection: Cinema Indio Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 2006

Official Selection: NY Filipino Film Festival, 2006

Official Selection: Indie Sine Film Festival, Manila 2007

Official Selection: New Filmmakers Program, Anthology Film Archives

Official Selection: Fribourg Int’l Film Festival (March 2006)

Official Selection: (Asian Premiere): Cinemanila Int’l  Film Festival, 2005

Official Selection: (World Premiere): Montreal World FF , July 2005

Special Screenings: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Smithsonian Institute

and the Anthology Film Archives

Memories of a Forgotten War (2001; USA-Philippines)

Role:

Co-Director

Film type: FULL LENGTH

16 mm color; 60 minutes

Producer

Mowelfund Film Institute (co-production)

National Commission for Culture and the Arts (co-production)

Screenplay

Kiri Dalena

Camilla Griggers

Lilia Quindoza Santiago

Synopsis:

In the decade following the Spanish-American War, more Filipinos were killed by US troops than by the Spanish during the 300 years of colonial rule. More than 1 million Filipinos died between 1899 and 1913. This experimental documentary about the Philippine American War of 1899 combines archival photographs and turn of the century film, digital video and 16mm footage to create memories of a forgotten history. A contemporary Filipina-American narrator weaves this complex history through historiography, experimental documentary and intercultural cinema. Shot on location in the Philippines and edited in the US, the film was produced by an international team of Filipino and American media artists.

Screenings and Citations

Official Selection, Memories of a Forgotten War at the Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Australia, April 2016  Viewer’s Choice Award,  4th Pandayang Lino Brocka Political Film and New Media Festival, Aug. 2012

Barcelona International Women’s Film Festival, May 2012, Spain

Official Selection, 7th IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival, New Delhi, India, March 2011

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2010, February 2010

Pacific Asian Museum, Pasadena, USA January 2010

“Object D’Art: Deleted Scenes, Zero-In Periphery”, Lopez Museum, Nov. 2009-Jan. 2010

Human Rights Int’l Film Festival, Film & Society, Manila

FAWN Conference 2005, Tisch School of the Arts (NYU), NY

MoMA Documentary Fortnight Exhibition, 2003

25th NY Asian American Int’l Film Festival,

Hawaii Louis Vuitton Int’l FF,

Los Angeles Asian Pacific IFF

Filipino-American National Historical Society Convention-LA

Singapore Int’l  Film Festival

Buenos Aires Documentary Film Festival, Argentina

Chicago Asian American Film Showcase,

Washington DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, October 2003

Anthology Film Archives, NewAsianFilmmakers, New York City

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