Paul Sta. Ana
Monica Montejo, Iana Bernardez, Alemberg Ang
A 14-year-old Filipino tomboy embarks on a perilous voyage across the West Philippine Sea to uncover the whereabouts of her fisherwoman mother, who frequently leaves her behind, as she confronts ruthless turtle poachers and discovers her own strength and resilience.
Paul Sta. Ana
PAUL STA.ANA is a published poet, an award-winning screenwriter, television and film director who graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Philosophy and a Dean’s Award for the Arts, the highest non-academic award given to a graduating student. He is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talents, which is the talent development program of the Berlin International Film Festival. As a filmmaker, his art and praxis encompass a range of themes, including gender politics, the commodification of death, and ecology. He has garnered several nominations for his screenplay and direction. He wrote award-winning screenplays: Mayohan (2010 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival), Trespassers (Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film award at the 2011 Tokyo International Film Festival), Walang Forever (2015 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Screenplay).
Oros (2012 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festiva) was the opening film of the 2012 Asiatica Film Mediale in Rome, Italy. His most recent film Balut Country was exhibited at the 2015 Tokyo International Film Festival.
Since then, he has written and/or directed several television series, specials and mini-series from GMA Television Network, Inc. from 2013 until 2021, some of which have won local television awards and garnered a nomination in the International Emmys.
Iana BERNARDEZ is a Filipino producer who started her career in 2016 with independent films like Thop Nazareno’s Kiko Boksingero (2016, Cinemalaya), and Kenneth Dagatan’s second film Ma (2018, New York AFF). Since then, she has worked closely with recognized companies, Epicmedia and Daluyong Studios.
Her next notable work is Dwein Baltazar’s third film Ode to Nothing (2018), winning six awards at the QCinema IFF (including Best Film), and competed at Karlovy Vary and Fantasia. In 2019, she produced Rae Red’s The Girl and the Gun winning Best Director and the Gender Sensitivity Award at the QCinema IFF, competed at the Osaka AFF, and was the opening film for New York AFF. Most recently, she line-produced Petersen Vargas’ Some Nights I Feel Like Walking, a three-country co-production between the Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan.
MONICA MONTEJO is a passionate film producer from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. Combining her love for filmmaking and her region’s cultural heritage, Monica founded Isla Pelikula Palawan Film Festival in 2022. This groundbreaking short film competition caters specifically to high school students, providing a unique platform for young talents to hone their skills under the mentorship of award-winning Filipino director, Zig Dulay. Monica’s vision is to empower the youth, revitalize regional cinema, and put Palawan on the global filmmaking map.
Beyond the festival, Monica is dedicated to promoting arts, media, and technology among the youth. She organizes events and short courses, offering opportunities for young minds to excel in creative and technological domains. Her guest speakers have included influential Filipino figures like National Artist for Film, Ricky Lee, inspiring the next generation of artists and media professionals in Palawan.
As an experienced entrepreneur, Monica owns Infinite Digital Media and Techmart Solutions, a successful media production company founded in 2015. The company collaborates with top corporate entities and local government units, shaping Palawan’s media landscape with services like video advertisement, event coverage, live streaming, studio photography, and content creation.
Monica’s dedication to learning is reflected in her impressive educational background, including a Bachelor’s Degree in Philippine Studies with a major in Mass Media from De La Salle University-Manila. She has also completed short courses at renowned institutions like the Asia Pacific Film Institute, the Asian Institute of Management, and the National University of Singapore, enriching her expertise in film and business.
Through her productions, Monica tackles relevant social issues, portrays coming of age experiences, and celebrates the vibrant cultures and traditions of minorities. Her unwavering passion for film, media, and arts, combined with her commitment to nurturing young talent, showcases the beauty and uniqueness of Puerto Princesa, Palawan through world-class cinema.