A son’s stubborn father refuses to move unless a broken down van comes with him.

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Director’s Vision for ‘The Van’

The idea for The Van hit me like lightning at my son’s birthday party earlier this year. Eugene Cordero, the actor in THE VAN, was speaking to my dad when I thought to myself that I needed to check in with Eugene as this must be a lot emotionally having recently lost his father. Also, I realized how lucky I was to have my dad present to celebrate my son’s birthday.

In that moment, I was reminded of this documentary I watched years ago about the 2011 Japan Tsunami where a man installed a phone booth in his garden to speak to the ones he lost. It left me sobbing in the middle of my mother in-law’s kitchen and hasn’t left my mind since.

Those ideas smashed in my mind and I thought of the whole film in those minutes seeing my dad and Eugene. By the end of the week I had a script and it’s been a fulfilling adventure to complete it since.

At the beginning, I was inspired by fathers, but I think I was motivated to finish this for my son. It’s important to model for him people that look like us working through their struggles and imperfections.

In this case grief and how we hide in silence being strong. This was how I was brought up and it honestly never sat right with me. I loved growing up Filipino, but we are far from perfect people. I saw this film as an opportunity to speak about one of those things we never speak about. To be vulnerable and speak about how we feel. I’ve never seen a story about grief from a Filipino-American lens and I am so proud that it exists. Through that struggle of grief, I hope I can connect this story universally.

It means the world to share this film with you and your consideration to be part of your festival. Thank you!