An immersive look inside the world's busiest maternity hospital in The Philippines, one of the world's poorest and most populous countries.
Filmmakers: Ramona Diaz
Country: USA/The Philippines
Runtime: 94, 60 mins
Motherland takes us into the heart of the planet’s busiest maternity hospital in one of the world’s poorest and most populous countries: The Philippines. The film’s viewer, like an unseen outsider dropped unobtrusively into the hospital’s stream of activity, passes through hallways, enters rooms and listens in on conversations. At first, the surrounding people are strangers. But as the film continues, it's absorbingly intimate, rendering the women at the heart of the story increasingly familiar. Three women—Lea, Aira and Lerma—emerge to share their stories with other mothers, their families, doctors and social workers. While each of them faces daunting odds at home, their optimism, honesty and humor suggest a strength that they will certainly have to summon in the years ahead.
Ramona Diaz is an award-winning Asian-American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling. Her films, which include Spirits Rising, Imelda, The Learning, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey and Motherland, have demonstrated her ability to gain intimate access to the people she films—be they rock stars, first ladies, dissidents, teachers, or mothers—resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives that are unforgettable. While her stories focus on the Filipino and Filipino-American experience, Ramona’s films transcend their specificity and are universal in spirit. Her films have been broadcast on POV and Independent Lens and have screened and won awards at Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, Silverdocs, IDFA, and many other top film festivals. She has received funding from ITVS, CAAM, Sundance Documentary Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Tribeca Institute, Catapult Film Fund, and Chicken & Egg. Ramona has also served on numerous film festival juries and funding panels. Recently she was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Ramona has been a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, a joint program of the U.S. Department of State and USC that brings American films to audiences worldwide. She has conducted master classes and production and post-production workshops all over the world, including in Iraq, Laos, Morocco, Qatar, Zimbabwe, Brazil, and throughout the United States.
Director: Ramona Diaz
Producers: Ramona Diaz and Rey Cuerdo
Executive producer: Brillante Mendoza
Co-producer: Leah Marino
Editor: Leah Marino
Cinematography: Nadia Hallgren and Clarissa De Los Reyes
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Commanding Vision - Sundance Film Festival 2017
Nominated Best Documentary - Spirit Awards 2018
Sundance Film Festival 2017
Melbourne International Film Festival 2017
Berlinale Forum 2017