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)”.

Watch her short films Bullet Days, White Funeral, and Asong Simbahan below!

Dahling Nick (2015)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

Synopsis
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
Co-Director

Production House
Kino Productions

Ang Kababaihan ng Malolos (2014)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

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

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

Production House
Kino Productions

The Guerilla is a Poet (2013)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

Synopsis
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

Production House
Kino Productions

Awards
2013 Cinefilipino Film Festival: Best Actor Award, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, Best Musical Score

Ka Oryang (2011)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

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.

Cast
Alessandra de Rossi
Joem Bascon
Angeli Bayani
Marife Necesito
Emilio Garcia

Role
Director | Writer

Awards
2011 Cinema One Originals Film Festival Best Director, Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Music

Rigodon (2005)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

Synopsis

“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-Director | Co-Writer

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. 2007Official 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)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

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.

Role
Co-Director | Writer

Awards

Official Selection, Memories of a Forgotten War at the Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Australia, April 2016 | Viewer’s Choice Award,  4thPandayang 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

Bullet Days (2001)

Film type: SHORT FILM

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
Masayuki Okawa

Role
Writer | Director

Awards

New York Asian-American Int’l Film Festival, NYC USA 2002
Eksperimento Manila 2000 Grand Jury Prize for Experimental Film, Special Jury Prize for Editing

White Funeral (1998)

Film type: SHORT FILM

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
Writer | Director | Editor

Awards
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

Asong Simbahan (1994)

Film type: SHORT FILM

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
Writer | Director | Editor

Awards
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

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