Sari Dalena

Ms. Dalena is a Fulbright scholar and independent filmmaker from the Philippines. She obtained her Master’s degree in Film Production at the prestigious New York University graduate film program through a Fulbright Scholarship.
She is a Faculty Member teaching film production at the University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) and currently serves as the Institute Director.
She recently received the UP Artist prize and the Glory Award for her cinematic achievements.
Ms. Dalena’s first feature-length documentary Memories of a Forgotten War (a documentary on the Philippine-American War of 1899), had the honor of being the closing film at the Documentary Fortnight in New York City’s MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). Memories of a Forgotten War was screened at the Rotterdam Int’l Film Festival (IFFR) in 2010.
Her first feature film, co-directed with Keith Sicat, “Rigodon”, won in Greece (at the Int’l Panorama of Independent Filmmakers) and was nominated for “Best Feature” and “Emerging Director” Awards at the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York Asian American Film Festivals.
She won twice at the URIAN Film Awards (The Philippines’ Academy Awards) for two short films: Church Dogs and Little Crosses. Those two films, along with her third short, White Funeral, have screened internationally (Indonesia, Singapore) and in the US (Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center). Her experimental documentary films, Memories of a Forgotten War and From Asia With Love are being distributed by Third World Newsreel. Her short film Kamikaze was selected at the Clermont Ferrand Short Film Market.

Ms. Dalena’s notable documentary films are “Jamming on an Old Saya”, “Guerrera” “Himala Ngayon” and “Ishma”.

In 2011, Dalena won the “Best Picture” and “Best Director” prize from Cinema One Originals on her feature film, Ka Oryang.

In 2013, Dalena co-directed “The Guerrilla is a Poet” for Cine Filipino which won four awards. Her most recent film was the musical-documentary drama “Ang Kababaihan ng Malolos” which premiered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on February 2014.

In 2017, Dalena was awarded the Best Director prize at the 7th International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) in New York City for her film, “The Guerrilla is a Poet”, co-directed with her sister, Kiri Dalena.

Dalena’s latest documentary film, “History of the Underground” took seven year to finish and recently received a nomination for Best Documentary for the 41st Gawad URIAN.


From Asia With Love
Sari Dalena
2002, 12 min., Color, US
A critical look at the proliferation of the mail-order bride industry in Asia and its representations of Asian women in the West....

Memories of a Forgotten War
Camilla Benolirao Griggers/Sari Lluch Dalena
Producer: Kawayan Films
2002, 57 min., Color, US/The Philippines
In the decade following the Spanish-American War, more Filipinos were killed by US troops than by the Spanish during the 300 years of colonial rule. More than 1 million Filipinos died between 1899 and 1913. This experimental documentary about the Philippine-American War of 1899 combines archival ph...

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