Expired March 20, 2023 6:59 AM
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This program has 7 films. Toggle between film descriptions by clicking on the buttons at the top right.

While painting a portrait of indigenous Aeta natives in the Philippines, Ciara Morena, an insecure folk artist, runs out of brown paint to complete her piece. At the art store, she hesitates to pick up the darker brown paint after thinking about her mother’s warnings about becoming too dark under the sun. To top it off, she overhears customers talking about tanning and skin whitening pills and faces a tenant who mistakes her for a facility employee due to her appearance. Fed up with the triggers and microaggressions, Ciara resorts to skin whitening cream after she sees an ad. When the cream arrives the next day, she tests it out and begins to hallucinate flashes of her ancestor, a Kalinga Warrior. As the side effects and hallucinations worsen, Ciara discovers a side effect of the product and must rush to the hospital before it erases every trace of her existence...and her.

More Info.

Director - Nicole Mairose Dizon

“MORENA” means “brown-skinned” in Spanish and Tagalog. With light-skinned Filipinos typically receiving more representation in mainstream media, this film tackles the anti-blackness and colorism prevalent in communities of color. At an early age, I was always self-conscious about the amount of time I spent under the sun and was sometimes bullied for my skin color. Inspired by my experiences of assimilation and code-switching in predominantly white workplaces and crews, the film examines implicit bias in everyday interactions, internalized oppression, and erasure of one’s culture due to colonial mentality. Exploring erasure visually and aurally through sound design and music, I had so much fun working with my composer and the Philippine Folk Arts non-profit, Kayamanan ng Lahi, to play with another layer of cultural preservation through the use of Northern Philippine Instruments. I hope viewers can feel a sense of self-love towards themselves and embrace the rich history and resilience that their skin represents.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    8 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
  • Director
    Nicole Mairose Dizon
  • Screenwriter
    Nicole Mairose Dizon
  • Producer
    Nicole Mairose Dizon, Loren Maxine
  • Cast
    Alex Tobias, Sid Mascardo, Rachanee Lumayno, Florence Mae, Nancy Rumagit, Arnold Horn, Niko De La Rosa, Anna Sugiura, Diana Paraiso