MCS Theatre Club film a finalist at Guam filmfest


The short film We Drank Our Tears: Francisco Babauta’s Story, from Mount Carmel School’s Theatre Club, is one of three finalists for the Made in the Marianas Award at the 7th Annual Guam International Film Festival. 

The film is 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. A total of 933 indigenous Chamorro and Refaluwasch civilians did not survive the battles. The short film chronicles one of those stories.

The film’s writer, editor, and director is school president Galvin Deleon Guerrero, who is very happy with the film. “We were just hoping it would get accepted as a submission into the festival, but we never thought it would be up for a major award like this.” 

In his notification message to Deleon Guerrero, GIFF program director Kel Muña wrote, “Our program committee is thrilled to include We Drank Our Tears into the festival’s programming lineup and in addition, felt that it is deserving of the nomination for this special award.”

Deleon Guerrero attributed the film’s success to the cast and crew. “We had a great group of collaborators who brought so much talent, passion, and commitment to the production.”

The film’s cast and crew included a wide range of talent from across the island. The film was produced by Deleon Guerrero, 2005 AlumKnight Rob Travilla and his company TRIBE Marianas, Frankie Eliptico and the Northern Marianas College, and the Northern Mariana Islands Council for the Humanities. The cast features Javon Gersonde as Francisco, Kelvin Cepeda as Francisco’s father, Keona Camacho as Francisco’s mother, and Keisuke “Kei” Yoshida as Hirokazu, a Japanese soldier who interacts with Francisco and his family. The cast also includes Michitaka “Michi” Yoshida and Randy Johnson as Japanese soldiers and Elphidia “Peding” Cepeda Sanchez and Derek Gersonde as older versions of their respective characters in the film.

The film’s crew included Zeno Deleon Guerrero as production manager, Markel Toves as first assistant director, Aysia Duenas Santos as assistant production manager, Raynard Travilla as director of photography, and Victoria Deleon Guerrero as production designer. Miguel Dandan, Angelo Manese, and Joshua Sablan operated the cameras, Willam Deleon Guerrero operated the boom microphone, and Velma Deleon Guerrero and Michelle Masga assisted in production design.

We Drank Our Tears: Francisco Babauta’s Story will have it world premiere at the film festival, which will be held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 at the Guam Museum.

Launched in 2011 as the first and only U.S. film festival in the western Pacific, the Guam International Film Festival presents an international cinema event exhibiting a dynamic source of cross-cultural artistic presence, bridging gaps among the U.S., Asia, and the Pacific’s multi-cultural population and region. To purchase tickets or for more information about the festival, visit the festival’s site at (PR)

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