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Sisa is a poetic essay film using dance and prose as modes to narrate their journey of immigration and disconnection from their motherland. This story is told from the lens of Filipino American mother and daughter, Anito Gavino and Malaya Ulan who collaboratively dive into their process of reflection on place and identity. In the documentary, Anito personifies herself as Sisa, a character in the Filipino revolutionary novel, Noli Me Tangere, a novel that incited Filipinos to revolt against their Spanish oppressors. Sisa suffered from mental health due to systemic injustice. Anito and Malaya relate their story to Sisa’s experiences as they experience similar identity and cultural loss in their current lives in the US.

This film was presented at the SF Asian Art Museum,  Icebox Project Philadelphia, Muhlenberg Dance Film Festival, American College Dance Association (screendance), 10th Pink City International Short Film Festival (where Anito won Best Debutante Director), and the Bakunawa Film Festival in the Philippines.

My Journey to My Dominican-ness is a poetic dance documentary describing a first-generation Dominican's search for identity and ancestral pride. The stigmas that the "streets are dangerous" have kept Peña away from her Dominican Brooklyn community. Thus, as part of an independent study course, Peña, along with the mentorship of Professor Gavino, spent two weeks exploring community spaces celebrating Afro-Dominican music and dances, festivals, and everyday happenings in Peña's neighborhood. Gavino archived the process through this film, while Peña processed her profound reflections on assimilation and self-erasure through dance and poetry.

 

Credits:

Director of Photography: Anito Gavino

2nd Camera: Malaya Ulan

Poetry and Dance by: Keanna Peña

Edited by: Anito Gavino

Supported by Muhlenberg College Summer Research and Scholarship Grant

PARANG DRUNK HISTORY 

Following the platform, Drunk History of Comedy Central, we made our own version retelling of the Battle of Mactan. 

Premiered at Philadelphia Asian American Film Fest.

DEAR WALTER WALLACE 

An Ode to Walter Wallace Jr... this film honors our West Philadelphia neighbor, another victim of the injustices of the US criminal justice system,  and another Black man fatally shot by police officers. During the event of his family calling for ambulance to assist in a mental health crisis, the police came instead. Wallace was shot fourteen times in front of his mother who begged for the police officers to "not shoot her son." We shall not forget this tragedy.

Director & Director of photography: Ani Gavino

Written by: Caitlin Green

Edited by: Ani Gavino

Choreography by: Ani Gavino & Caitlin Green

DE(SCRIBING) MAHARLIKHA

A journey to decolonization.

A work in progress...

Collaboration with Jasmine Lynea

MAGUNITA

Memorializing MYSTORY.

Directed, Written & Edited By: Ani Gavino

Director of Photography: Jasmine Lynea, Torian Ugworji

Choreography: Ani Gavino

AMIHAN & HABAGAT

Experimental Dance on Film created using an IPhone 8 camera

Directed & Edited by: Ani Gavino

Performance: Ani & Malaya

ACHES (A music video collaboration with Torian Ugworji)

BREATHLESS

A Burlesque Art Fillm

Directed & Edited by: Ani Gavino

Featuring: Beartrap Burlesque

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