Accessibility Settings

You can use these controls to adjust properties of the website’s presentation. Read more about the Festival’s Accessibility Guide

Shireen Seno

21 September 2018

America has ‘liberated’ the Philippines and the islands have just been proclaimed a new republic.

Every morning, at the crack of dawn, Father and Mother stretch Julio, pulling his limbs in opposite directions. They make him drink a concoction made from the liver of codfish, believed to stimulate growth in children. He stands in the blazing heat of the sun.

The family swells in size to six children. Father hunts for food while Mother tends to domestic duties, leaving Julio and his siblings alone, exposed to their lush natural environs. Soon enough, the youngest two are taken away and distributed amongst the two aunts without offspring of their own.

Big Boy chronicles the growth of a family, the myths of progress that consume them and the violence not just in war and colonization, but also that which is inherent in coming into being—for a boy, a man and a nation.

Q&A with filmmaker Shireen Seno

Run Time

89 mins
More Info
23 September 2018

Set in 1987, soon after the People Power Revolution which led to the fall of president Marcos, Nervous Translation follows eight-year-old Yael. A shy and uneasy girl, she listens endlessly to the cassette tapes recorded by her father, who has spent years away from home working in Saudi Arabia. When she hears an advertisement for a pen that will give her a ‘wonderful life’, she decides to spend all her savings on this miracle pen.

Yael’s world is small and tender—she likes to play cooking on her mini stove—but the real world comes knocking: a typhoon approaches the Philippines. Giving a voice to this quiet girl in a perceptive, playful film full of jump cuts, sensitive sound design, ’80s music and even an odd surrealist intermezzo, Seno empathetically captures the innocence and uncertainty of a child who doesn’t yet understand the world, although she is surrounded by it.

Introduction by filmmaker Shireen Seno

UK premiere of Nervous Translation presented jointly by BFMAF and Tate Modern

The film will be preceded by the 2018 Berwick New Cinema award presentation

Run Time

90 mins
More Info