Filipina filmmaker and singer-songwriter Stef Aranas’ film Resolving ‘Your Biggest Fan‘ will premiere as part of the 2021 Toronto Queer Film Festival (TQFF) this weekend.
The film was created entirely during lockdown, and explores Aranas’ identity as a transgender filmmaker and musician in the Philippines. It also touches on the Philippines government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Aranas – who is one half of the R&B duo Stef & Euge – said on Facebook last Saturday (March 20) that she was supposed to shoot the film, originally titled Your Biggest Fan, for her college thesis last year. But it was cancelled due to the enhanced community quarantine imposed in the Philippines.
With the help of her advisor Richard Bolisay, she was able to revise the film to detail the “fears and anxieties as an advocate and artist during the time that the Anti-Terror Law was about to be passed”.
“Now, a year has passed and things have only gotten worse,” she continued. “Cases are higher than ever, and it’s due to the incompetence and lack of empathy of this government. I hope that we Filipinos don’t lose hope, and continue to clamor for change. We deserve so much better.”
Read her full post below.
In March 2020, I was fully ready to shoot my narrative thesis film, Your Biggest Fan. The logistics were in place, the…
In 2018, Aranas wrote and directed her first short film ‘Mimi’s Makeover’ starring Lance Reblando. It premiered at the University of the Philippines Film Institute’s Black Beret Competition.
As a musician, her last project was the EP ‘Palate Cleanser’, released with Euge in 2019. Aranas released a number of standalone songs last year, the latest being ‘On The Run’.
TQFF’s 2011 theme is “Queer Emergencies”, and will highlight topics and issues from the past year. “From continued struggles to protect Indigenous land and sovereignty to a global pandemic, a housing crisis, and continued anti-Black violence: we are all carrying more grief, sorrow and anger than we might normally,” the festival’s description reads.
It will also feature films made by other Southeast Asian artists like Singaporean filmmaker and musician Yan Qiu (My Family) and Thai filmmaker Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke (Red Aninsri; Or, Tiptoeing on the Still Trembling Berlin Wall).
The first half of TQFF 2021 will run from March 25 to 28 and will continue on April 23 to 25.