17-23 April 2020

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HIFF Blog

October 29, 2019

HIFF39 KAU KA HŌKŪ NOMINEE: 5 Questions with Kerwin Go, director of MINA-ANUD

If three tons of cocaine were to wash up on your shore, what would you do? Such is the premise of MINA-ANUD, a dark comedic thriller from the Philippines directed by Kerwin Go and nominated for HIFF39's KAU KA HŌKŪ Award.

Exploring the Filipino criminal underworld through film is no simple feat given the current political climate in the region, yet that did not deter Go’s ambition to create a film, much less one with a comedic take and inspired by true events. We caught up with Go to learn more about his experiences making MINA-ANUD

Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey as a filmmaker thus far.

I never thought filmmaking was a viable career where I grew up so I started in the game quite late.  Once I got bitten by the bug I threw everything I had at it. Now I consider myself lucky since my work and play are one.

What inspired and motivated you to work on MINA-ANUD?

They say when you make films, you should pick stores that you are uniquely qualified to tell.  For me it would be this one. 

I was spending a lot of time surfing in Eastern Samar when the incident happened.  So the characters are loosely based on friends and acquaintances from the surfing scene there.

What were some of the greatest challenges of working on MINA-ANUD?

It was a nightmare to schedule our ensemble cast of busy actors.  We had an intermittent shooting schedule, often having weeks or even months before we could resume shooting.  We were never able to get any sort of momentum and continuity going. Production delays also had us shooting during typhoon season, so we were always battling the elements.

What do you hope audiences will take away from watching MINA-ANUD?

The biggest takeaway I’d like people to have would be that happiness isn’t about money and material possessions.  And that we should take a step back and appreciate what we already have rather than always wanting more.

What are you and MINA-ANUD's plans beyond HIFF?

I'm planning on screening MINA-ANUD in as many festivals as possible for the upcoming year while working on existing projects and pitches. Hopefully I can combine the two.

Read about all the HIFF39 KAU KA HŌKŪ Award nominees. To read more and purchase tickets, go to the MINA-ANUD program page.


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