“In May 2006, I went to the province of Obando, Bulacan, Philippines, and witnessed the Pista ng Obando, a fiesta for female fertility. There I met women from around the world who danced in prayer for a child. Their deep belief and fervent hope in their prayers was incredibly moving. It was a magical experience, and I was inspired by the strength and variety of desire, and its connection to tradition and ritual.

I wanted to tell a story about women’s desires. A woman’s desire to be independent, to love freely, to have a child, or to be childless. “Anita’s Last Cha Cha” tells a story of women who live in the same town, but want different things for their lives. The film shows those who desperately dance year after year hoping to bear children, and women who hide away and put themselves in dangerous situations to rid themselves of shame and pregnancy. As a filmmaker, I wanted Anita to portray the complexity of human desire, to reflect both sides, and to show respect for the difficult choices of women, especially those in poverty.

Within this narrative is another story of desire – the story of a twelve-year-old girl, Anita, who finds herself in love with a woman. Anita was inspired by my wish to express queer desire as its purest and most fundamental element: Love. I wanted to tell this story through a child’s eyes, so that viewers will remember the creative power and magical innocence of their first love.

I hope “Anita” will motivate people to teach their children that love based on respect and generosity of spirit is the strongest and most courageous kind of devotion. It is a love that can dance, year after year, without stop, in hope for the fulfillment of its dreams.” – Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo

Visiting filmmaker Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo in attendance!

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