All six stories from the “We Drank Our Tears” series of Mount Carmel School have been chosen for a special screening at the 9th Annual Guam International Film Festival, or GIFF.
The film series will be featured in the festival’s Made in the Marianas Showcase. The films will be shown on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, at the Guam Museum Indoor Theatre.
The showcase will include the stories of Carmen Acosta Sr. Antoineta Ada, Rosa Agulto, Francisco Babauta, Benjamin Abadilla, and Rafael Mafnas during World War II. The films were produced as part of the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the World War II Battles on Saipan.
All the films are adapted from We Drank Our Tears, a 2004 oral history of the civilian experience of World War II battles on Saipan and Tinian, published by Pacific STAR Young Writers Foundation. In 1944, some of the final battles of World War II were waged on the Pacific islands of Saipan and Tinian; 933 indigenous Chamorro and Refaluwasch civilians did not survive the battles.
All films in the series were directed by members and leaders of the school’s Theatre Club. Francisco Babauta’s and Benjamin Abadilla’s stories were directed by Galvin Deleon Guerrero. Rafael Mafnas’ story was directed by Justin Ocampo. Carmen Acosta’s story was directed by William Blake Deleon Guerrero, Sr. Antoineta Ada’s story was directed by Aysia Adele Duenas Santos, and Rosa Agulto’s story was directed by Quincy Chinen.
Telling Sr. Ada’s story has personal meaning for Santos. “To have personally met her and now to have her story turned into a film is such an honor. Not many people know about our history and I’m very glad I was chosen to tell such a powerful story.”
William Deleon Guerrero, a senior at Mount Carmel, is equally humbled to tell the story of Carmen Acosta. “I felt honored having the opportunity to tell a story, especially one from my island. It was definitely a new experience, but it was one that allowed me to express myself in ways I only dreamed of.” He was also thankful to the cast and crew for their contributions to the film. “I’m glad to have my friends help me accomplish a lifelong dream.”
While normally behind the camera or backstage as a manager, telling the Rosa Agulto’s story via film was Chinen’s directorial debut. “Directing was a new experience for me because I’ve always been behind the scenes, managing cast and crew, doing everything to aid the director.” However, Chinen appreciated the opportunity to step up as a director. “It was a privilege to work with such a talented group of people to tell a story that, I believe, will teach future generations what families went through in the war.”
For more information about the Guam International Film Festival, visit www.guamfilmfestival.org. (PR)