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Documentary Film

For the past few years, I have been working with Virgile Beddok and a host of others on the film, Filipino La, a narration of my discovery of my ancestral story and the history of Filipino Louisiana. The film incorporates poetry from Settling St. Malo, features archival records, and includes drone footage and reenactments. The story builds upon my memories of a grandfather grinding coconuts and stories my grandmother told me of riding a Filipino Mardi Gras float and takes us to the story of my great-grandfather who owned the Filipino Colony Bar and then to the fishermen who dried shrimp at Manila Village and the settlers who established St. Malo, the first permanent Filipino settlement in the US.

Logline

Poet Randy Gonzales explores bayous, fishing villages, community bars, and Mardi Gras parades to reveal a Filipino Louisiana story he wishes he had known while growing up in New Orleans.

Contributors

Randy Gonzales (co-producer, story, co-writer, voice, as self) Virgil Beddok (co-producer, co-directer, co-wrote script, co-editor), Geoffry Marschall (cinematographer, colorist), Skip Shannon (co-editor), Delbert Gonzales (voice), Haven Gomez (voice), Kyle Gonzales (coconut grinder), Brooke Davis (assistant editor), Michael Frick (sound mixer and editor), Chas Justus (music composer, guitar), Danial Coolik (mandolin, guitar, music recordist)

The list of contributors will grow as we film reenactments of bar scenes, shrimp dancing, and community dances and add more voiceovers. The Filipino American community in Louisiana will be called upon to help us reimagine scenes from our history.

Timeline

A sample of the film was completed with the support of an ArtSpark grant. We will film several reenactments over the summer and complete post-production by the end of the year. We expect a fine cut of Filipino La to be complete by the end of 2024 and hope to have it airing on PBS in 2025.

Support