A 15-minute short film directed by a Filipino-American featuring the personal struggle of an undocumented Filipina housekeeper in the US will be featured at the 2018 New York City International Film Festival.
"The Pleasure of Being Served," directed by Philippine-born Michael Manese, will be included in the selection that will be viewed at the film festival in April.
The short film tells the story of a Filipina housekeeper who must decide between continuing to work for her boss, a man who cheats on his Filipino girlfriend, and leaving despite being an illegal immigrant.
The film was already screened at the following film festivals in 2017:
- Diwa - Seattle, Washington - June 3
- iChill (voted most controversial) - Manila, Philippines - June 22
- 40th Asian American International Film Festival, NYC - July 2017
- Sinehan sa Summer @ the Philippine Consulate, NYC - August 2017
- Golden Door International Film Festival, Jersey City, NJ - October 7
- International Film Festival Manhattan - October 22 2017
- Cardiff International Film Festival, Cardiff, Wales, UK - October 2017
- Cinematografo, San Francisco – November 2017
Self-described as a "Filipino Chic" piece, Manese said in a statement to GMA News Online that the film draws from Filipino experiences the same way "The Godfather," "Serpico" and "Saturday Night Fever" did.
Manese said "Pleasure..." was made to help more "Filipino chic" movies make it to Hollywood and one day create a "big budget feature length movie starring an all Filipino cast with a unique Filipino story."
"It's a production straddling the familiarity of an American setting while telling the story of Filipinos. It's an American movie about Filipinos," Manese wrote.
The movie earned the following nominations at the Golden Door International Film Festival:
- Best Short Film
- Best Director - Michael Manese
- Best Actor - Graham Powell
- Best Actress - Maan Cruz
- Best Actress - Angelita Esperanza
- Best Concept for a Short Film
It was also voted "Most Controversial" at the iChill Film Festival in Manila. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News