By Trish Fontanilla
I recently had a chance to chat with the crew behind New Sights, New Bites, a documentary series focusing on Filipino food and identity. They recently launched a Kickstarter to fund their project, and so of course I wanted to highlight them on the blog!
To learn more about what they’re working on and how you can support them, check out the interview below!
Where did the idea for New Sights, New Bites come from?
The idea for New Sights, New Bites came from a culmination of director Bianca Nicdao’s experience coming from a high school in Carson, CA where the majority of students were of a multicultural background, to a larger institution like Emerson College where the majority was the opposite. Bianca found herself missing a huge part of her identity. Once she found her little community of fellow Filipinos at Emerson, she connected with them through shared experiences and organized “Filipino nights” in the dorm rooms where they would cook sinigang, adobo, corned beef, and bistek. Seeing how much food connects us all and how food can act as a storyteller, Bianca knew she needed to tell the story of Filipino cuisine before she graduated.
Why do you think it’s important to tell this story?
As a team, we didn’t grow up with a lot of Filipino faces in media to look up to. Even now there are not many pieces of media that represent our culture and showcase Filipino stories to an audience. As Filipino and Filipino-American filmmakers we want to change that narrative and use this documentary as a medium that can reach a large audience to spread our beautiful culture with the world.
What are you hoping people will walk away with after watching your documentary?
We hope that people walk away with a better understanding and appreciation of the Filipino culture. Additionally, we want audiences to be intrigued enough about the country to want to travel to it and participate in it more.
For Filipino audiences, we want to strengthen their sense of pride in their heritage. Our goal is that both Filipino and Filipino-Americans, Filipino-Australians, Filipino-Canadians, etc., leave the film and face the real world with a greater sense of where they come from and having pride in their home country.
Can you tell us a little more about using the hashtag #ProudToBe?
#ProudToBe came from a conversation we had about our team’s experience attending a predominantly white college. We wanted to make New Sights, New Bites more than just a film, and so we created a hashtag that would best represent why we’re creating this documentary.
#ProudToBe was our marketing director’s idea. He best described our experience as one that moves from being shy of being Filipino, and then coming to terms with it by finding pride out of that shame. We’re #ProudToBe Filipino and we won’t let the fact that we are just a very small minority in our community shy us away from that. We want others to use the hashtag to explain why they are #ProudToBe latinx, black, LGBTQ+, an amine fan, etc.
What’s up next after your trip to the Philippines?
After our trip to the Philippines, we don’t want to stop there with our film. We have planned screenings with USC’s Troy Philippines and CAMS Pinoy Club, and are in discussion with a potential screening at Troy High School in Fullerton, CA to continue our goal to showcase Filipino culture to others and to encourage others to tell their own stories! Additionally, we plan to have screenings at Emerson and wish to invite the BOSFilipino community to attend. We aim to land more opportunities to show the film to other schools and organizations, so during the post production stage, our producers plan to focus on outreach.
How can the community support your work through Kickstarter and beyond?
The community can support us financially through our Kickstarter by clicking here. We also would love any follows on Instagram or Facebook, and shares of our socials to help us get more eyes on our work. We’re a team of collaborators, so if there are other organizations, restaurants, media makers, artists, etc who would like to help us get our mission out there we’d love to work with you!
We’re always looking for BOSFilipinos blog writers / subjects! If you’d like to contribute or have any suggestions, feel free to send us a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.