Sherad Anthony Sanchez
Sherad Anthony Sanchez was born in 1984 in the city of Davao in the Philippines. Davao forms the background for several of the short film which he directed already during his student days in Manila. These include his first film 'Apple', describing a so-called mananaptan, a person who makes a living by singing at other peoples'. The ethnographic study of the encounter between traditional culture and modern society is echoed in Sherad Sanchez' other work - such as the award winning Huling Balyan Ng Buhi or The Woven Stories Of The Other, which describes a native tribe's meeting with military and communist resistance groups in the southern Philippines. In 2007, Sherad Sanchez received a scholarship to study film at the University of Southern California. After returning to the Philippines, he made the controversial 'Imburnal' - a more than four hours long, non-linear return to Davao in the depiction of two boys growing up. The film from 2009 shows the director's rigorous ethnographic empathy with its environment and has therefore received both criticism and acclaim for his portrayals of poverty, unemployment, sextalk and cockroach-hunting.
Robin Färdig was born in 1979 and works as director and screenwriter in film and theater. The Swedish director's films works in the borderland between documentary and fiction. These include 'The Children of the sycamore tree' with scenes from the civil war in Uganda, which Robin Färdig already has portrayed earlier in a more classical documentary. Here Robin Färdig worked according to a loose script page from the Ugandan film crew and wrote on this basis the final script and chose the title. Otherwise, the film is based on the actors' own experiences. Despite his age, it was Robin Färdig sixth Uganda-based film. When people criticize his approach to film making, it is of a need for definition, Robin Färdig says. "All documentaries have a script and may occasionally take care of things that happened, but you maybe didnt get on camera",Robin Färdig says, about one of his upcoming films that similarly blend fiction and fact.
The setting is an abandoned airport in the Philippines. One of the absolute rock-bottom pits of globalisation, which is temporarily housing the lumads: a rootless and homeless group of modern nomadic people, who are struggling to find a place in the new urban reality. A visiting NGO worker moves in with shamans, large families and small children. They are all on their way to somewhere else, and they are all caught in the dusty and acid-green interiors of what once used to be luxury. Off-screen, a revolution is (possibly) under way, but even here, time seems to have stood still like a scratched gramophone record. 'Balangay' is related to the modern, Asian arts film, where the atmosphere of the location brings a collective character to life. But it is also solidly rooted in the reality which now haunts the threadbare remnants of the international utopias of the past.