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Author of YA novel "Enlightenment" available March 2019!

Fil-Am perspectives in Hollywood?

The presence of Filipino Americans in Hollywood is an issue close to my being.

On May 31st, there was a panel hosted by Fil-Am Creative regarding this very subject. Fil-Am Creative is a collective of actors, writers and producers who strive for their voice to be heard in the Hollywood minefields. How do we navigate in this minefield? This is a daunting task for anyone who attempts to make it in Hollywood.

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But imagine Filipino Americans trying to make it?  We are background players in the big budget movie entitled “Hollywood” functioning as gaffers, writers and producers, but fuh-get-about being on-screen!

There have been tangible strides made in TV with actors like Angela Relucio on CBS’s “Code Black”, Manny Jacinto on NBC’s “The Good Place,” and Aina Dumlao on CBS’s “MacGyver”. They are working in Hollywood, and I know just having a regular acting gig deserves a round of applause!

But…they play characters written through the lense of the Establishment (yes, I capitalized the E on purpose, so take that blog copy editors!).

What about our stories? Our perspective? This is why I love knowing Fil-Am Creative exists. Youtube channels, television pilots, short and feature films are being made and looking for support, created and influenced by talented Filipino-Americans who deserve their voice to be heard. Fil-Am Creative provides a platform to be heard.

Filipinos have a diverse set of perspectives that need a place to be heard. Filipino immigrants have a different viewpoint than third or fourth generation Filipino Americans. We are such a diverse group. Muddling through this diversity within ourselves is a challenge in itself. A support group like Fil-Am Creative can recognize these differences (thank God!).

For me, it’s a big sigh of relief knowing there is a movement of Fil-Am stories being told in the shadows of Hollywood’s elite.  I was lucky enough to meet a few people behind the scenes of this organization. My first thought: why didn’t I know about them before?

I’ve been reawakened.

For those who haven’t heard of Fil-Am Creative, check out their Filmmaker movement post, which gives you surface view of the work involved to support Fil-Am content creators! With funding always the issue in getting projects from infancy into public view, those with financial resources can get behind a support group like Fil-Am Creative and influence the creation of more great content! It’s gotta be great though. No junk, or else we add to the skepticism already prevalent to most who hear the words “Filipino American film.”

Let us not lose sight of one thing; a movement cannot be just one feature or one short. We must have a series of “quality” projects that allows us to be self-sufficient. Hmmm…I feel like I’m posting a car-ride lecture to my kids! Now I feel their pain.

Let’s. Not. Stop! More Fil-Am content please!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: film, Hollywood, , ,

2 Responses

  1. Craig Wilson says:

    As one of the leaders on this community- yes I’m half Filipino- I can testify to the talent in this group. We have some vets from the first wave of FilAm Films (The Debut, The Flipside and Lumpia) as well as some that are just getting their taste.

    We’re doing this entire thing over again with LA Philippine International Film Festival, meaning we’ve challenged our filmmakers to make a new set of short films to premiere at LAPIFF. This year, as a community we would have made a around 20 short films. Hopefully some will stand out as the calling card to the industry and a few will act as proofs of concept for bigger projects.

    Let’s rise.
    Level up.
    Hollywood. We’re. Here.

    • reno1107 says:

      Hi Craig. I met Meriden at a shoot this past weekend. This is the most movement since the veteran days that I can remember! Over time, I am hopeful and glad to know you, Meriden, Walter have galvanized people, challenged people, to make quality projects that can stand the test of time. Yes, let us rise!

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