For the first time since she was young, 18-year-old Mimi DeLa Cruz returns to O’ahu for her grandmother’s memorial service. On the island, can’t seem to find her footing, acting like an ignorant tourist and unmoved by the Filipino culture and community that surrounds her. When preparing her grandmother’s house to be sold, she finds a cardboard box full of ornate plates addressed to her grandmother’s friend, Gabriela. Reluctantly, Mimi embarks on a journey across the island to deliver the box, racing against the clock to make her return flight to California. Throughout, she is visited by the eerie apparition of her grandmother. She meets Filipino elders who bring the memory of her grandmother to life and whose stories about Filipino identity turn Mimi’s worldview upside down, opening her eyes to the cultural history she had once rejected.
Reina Gabriela Bonta graduated in 2022 from Yale University, where she earned a B.A. with distinction in Film & Media Studies. Originally from California, she is currently based in Brooklyn. Her semi-autobiographical short film and directorial debut, “LAHI”, has been accepted into several film festivals and has secured streaming distribution. She is currently producing another AAPI-focused project which is in pre-production. Reina has spent time interning at HBO, worked in Kenya as a B-camera operator on a documentary project about endangered black rhinos, and was hired as an archival producer for an upcoming Imagine Pictures documentary. Reina comes from a family of Filipino and Puerto Rican activists, who deeply inform all of her pursuits as a storyteller.
With utmost pride, we present to you the audience favorites from the festival. Congratulations to all the 2nd…