Mount Carmel School was notified this week that the Guam International Film Festival, or GIFF, has nominated the school’s most recent entry in the We Drank Our Tears film series for “Best Made in the Marianas” award at the festival—only one of three films nominated for the award.
Telling the stories of Visitacion Camacho, Henry Indalecio, and David “Uncle Dave” Sablan, the film marks the fourth film entered in the festival and third to be nominated.
In the notification letter, GIFF co-founders Kel and Don Muña commended the school for its “outstanding work” and noted that the award serves to promote the achievements of our outstanding artists in the region. “We are thrilled to include We Drank Our Tears–The Stories of Visitacion, Henry, and Dave into the festival’s programming lineup and in addition, feel that it is deserving of the nomination,” they said.
The writer and producer of the film series, Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero, was very happy to hear of the nomination. “These films have empowered a whole new generation of storytellers to learn more about their history and tell these important stories of resiliency and hope,” he said.
All films in the series were made primarily with students from the school serving as cast and crew members. As Deleon Guerrero noted, “Just as the original book was the work of young students chronicling the stories of their elders in print, these films are the work of young students chronicling the stories of our islands in film.”
All films in the series 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. A total of 933 indigenous Chamorro and Refaluwasch civilians did not survive the battles. The book and the film series tell some of those stories.
The film stars Jessiana Tenorio as Visitacion Camacho, Jayson Tagaubel as Henry Indalecio, and Kainoa Tenorio as Dave Sablan. Their stories were directed by two students, Mikee Mendoza and Larry Cruz, and the school’s director of institutional development and AlumKnight, Victoria Deleon Guerrero.
The production was made possible by the CNMI CARES Relief Fund for Organizations and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.
For more information about the films or Mount Carmel School, visit www.mountcarmelsaipan.com. (PR)