SAN FRANCISCO – Ravien Bracero came to the Academy of Art University to earn his Master’s degree in film.
He never would have believed that his film “Christmas Bonus” would receive praise from his peers and teachers and also educate them on the Philippines.
“I made the “Christmas Bonus” for the victims of Yolanda, said Bracero. “It is about a taxi driver and a young professional and the young professional helps the taxi driver look for his family. Instead of buying a cell phone, the young professional bought the taxi driver a plane ticket to the Philippines. It’s a beautiful story on materialism and family. I encourage all Filipinos and Filipino-Americans to share their stories not only to those in the Philippines but to everyone so they can see the value and beauty of the Philippines.”
Bracero’s film was also able to capture and display the cultural differences between the US and Philippines.
“Part of my goal was to not just share the story of hardships and life in the Philippines but that it Filipino Americans also go through the same struggles to support their families back home,” said Bracero.
“It’s really a powerful story that none of us would know about if we didn’t have this gentleman here as one of our graduate students,” said James Egan, the Executive Director of the School of Motion Picture and Television at the Academy of Art University. “We are so proud of his work and it’s beautiful. All the people in the Philippines should be proud of this guy.”
Bracero was nominated for the Achievement in Directing and his film was also nominated for Best Motion Picture.
He did not bag the trophy but Bracero says he is happy that his film was recognized and well-received.
“Mabuhay Pilipinas! We can compete with the best out there because we have just as much talent as everyone else,” said Bracero.
Bracero will return to the Philippines upon graduation and plans to make more films about the Philippines with hopes to screen them in the United States.