Filipino-Americans left an indelible mark on the 2023 Sundance Film Festival with their unique and personal short films.
Kayla Abuda Galang, a talented filmmaker born in Olongapo City and raised in San Diego and Houston, received the Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival for her short film When You Left Me On That Boulevard. Meanwhile, Jarreau Carrillo, a filmmaker of Filipino and African American descent, was also honored with the Short Film Special Jury Award for Directing for his outstanding work on The Vacation.
With their recent success, Galang and Carrillo have now firmly established themselves as rising filmmakers in the industry. Both are now looking forward to bringing their stories to the big screen with the creation of feature-length films.
Galang plans on developing two features: ’06-’07, a coming-of-age comedy set in mid-2000s southeast San Diego, and On Earth as It is in Heaven, a comedy about familial grief set in present-day Houston. Carrillo, on the other hand, made The Vacation as proof of concept for his debut feature film entitled The Last to Survive in America, which has now been picked up by Range Media Partners.
See below the reviews of each Sundance short film:
When You Left Me On That Boulevard
Kayla Abuda Galang’s tribute to mid-2000s teenage life portrays the rich tapestry of Filipino-American heritage, where the fondness and affection of its people are on full display.
Set in 2006, Boulevard follows the delightful escapades of teenage girl Ly (Kailyn Dulay), as she indulges in weed along with her cousins before a lively Thanksgiving dinner. Aside from that, Ly must navigate the tumultuous waters of her own heart as she struggles to decipher the mixed signals from her crush and contend with her boisterous yet loving auntie.