“LANIE” – short film about a Filipino migrant worker by Mina Cruz, BEBESEA Story Fellow
Posted on February 22, 2022
Category: News

Mina Cruz, BEBESEA Story Fellow, produced a short film “LANIE” as part of the fellowship program.

“Lanie’s story is inspired by news reports that came out about Filipino migrant workers looking for food in garbage bins and I added stories I used to hear my mother tell our neighbors whenever she came home from Abu Dhabi where she had worked for decades as a family driver and later on as a lady taxi driver.” 

Mina explains about the production of the film as part of the BEBESEA Story Fellowship; ‘A significant input from the BEBESEA Story Fellowship is the recommendation to send the script to real-life migrant workers that we did so before shooting the video. Among the feedbacks we got, the one that struck me the most was from my teacher in high school who is now in Montana. She suggested that it would be good to include the mental health aspect. And so Joy and I discussed during our online character and script analysis what subtexts do Lanie have during silent moments and pauses, particularly in the ending where she didn’t reply to her friend but in her mind she is saying “a mother gotta do what a mother gotta do.”’

LANIE was also produced as a part of The DistantPlay Project, which is a pandemic initiative that aims to provide a platform for actors to perform in the safety of their homes, and more importantly, to depict the plight of Filipinos during the Covid-19 lockdowns.


Carmina (Mina) Cruz is an actor and filmmaker from Bulacan, Philippines. She started her career in the Philippine independent film industry in 2010. Mina aims to produce more women-centered films and support young filmmakers.


LANIE Synopsis
LANIE (35/F) packs her luggage for an early flight to Manila. She remains thankful despite losing work due to the Covid-19 pandemic but news of other Filipino migrant workers’ condition leaves her worried, along with the uncertainty of what waits for her back home.

Cast & Crew
Joy Ras as LANIE
Writer/Director/Producer: Mina Cruz
Cinematographer/Live Sound Recordist: Allan Balberona
Post Production/Music: The DistantPlay Project

About The DistantPlay Project
The DistantPlay Project started in 2020 during the first lockdown in the Philippines due to Covid-19. It’s a collaborative effort among actors to be able to continue practicing at home. The collection is composed of videos treated like one-act plays and recorded via mobile phones. The choice of characters and development of the scripts for The DistantPlay Project is heavily influenced by the need to counter social media trolls’ claim that the spread of the virus was due to the poor Filipino’s non-compliance to the Philippine government’s militarized pandemic response. It is a humble support to the call for medical solution, food and financial aid for Filipinos. 

The collection of videos include:
RAINIER – A medical front liner on quarantine is being asked by his own mother to quit his job.
MARLA – A short phone conversation gives strength and comfort to a stay-in housemaid who fears she might lose her job due to the pandemic.
ANJ – A vlogger and theatre arts student shares inspirations and tips during the pandemic while she has her own personal battle to confront. 
CHRIS – A hardworking employee adjusts and copes with the inconveniences of work-from-home set up.
IRENE – A day-earner masseuse goes out despite checkpoints and Covid-19 quarantine restrictions to bring home food for her and her house companion.
LANIE – A mother prepares for an untimely flight back to her home country after losing her job due to the pandemic. 

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