Beauty QueenDirected by Myra Aquino
1940, Pampanga, Philippines– Remedios Gomez is a classic woman through-and-through, and she has the town’s beauty pageant crown to prove it. But when the Empire of Japan invades the Philippines, plunging the country into unmitigated chaos and violence, her quiet provincial life is completely overturned. After her father is tortured and killed by the Japanese for his refusal to obey them, she runs to the mountains with her brother Oscar to join the Hukbalahap resistance, and find renewed purpose in the war. Once she arrives in the thick jungle encampment, however, she discovers that not only does being a woman limit her options in the resistance, but her suppressed grief over her father’s death continues to haunt her. She must grapple with both as she tries to find the strength to be who she needs to be for her country– while still unapologetically being herself.
Myra Aquino is a writer-director who grew up in Guam and the Philippines. She is a 2020 graduate from the UCLA MFA Directing program and her work has been supported by the Delia Salvi Memorial Award, the UCLA Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, the Sony Streisand Fellowship, and the Norris Fellowship.
Most recently, she was selected to participate in the 2021 Women in Film x Black List Feature Residency for her coming-of-age feature screenplay LAMB, and her thesis film BEAUTY QUEEN won the 2020 First Place Gold Circle Award from the Caucus Foundation and Best Short Film from the 2021 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Myra has also received an MD and Masters in Public Health from the University of Miami.
With her eclectic background, Myra is passionate about exploring the impacts of multiculturalism and globalization on Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, and other underrepresented communities.
SDFFF opens this year by showing five exceptional short films, giving tribute to the art form of short…