From the Episode: Choices

Pagpag

| March 10, 2015

Tisch Asia / 2012 / 15 minutes / English and Tagalog with English subtitles / Color

“Now, Rose will dance.”

Seventy-year-old Perla is a “pagpag” (garbage food) vendor, barely eking out a living by finding leftover food at the dump and re-selling it. Since foreign couples who have trouble adopting via other means will pay big money to adopt a child unofficially, Perla coaches her orphaned granddaughter Rose on her “audition,” hoping the child will charm a visiting couple. Inspired by a 2011 case about a 6-year-old child who was exploited on a Filipino game show, Pagpag is a meditation on the nature of contemporary family and a commentary on the effects of media and poverty on Philippine society.

Written and directed by John Paul Su, who was named Best Asian-American Filmmaker by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) for his work on the film. Principal cast: Bibeth Orteza and Daisy Jadoc.

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Meet the Filmmaker:

John Paul Su

John Paul Su

Read more about John Paul Su, the director of Pagpag.

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Funders

Film School Shorts is made possible by a grant from Maurice Kanbar, celebrating the vitality and power of the moving image, and by the members of KQED.

Film School Shorts is a production of KQED.

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Credits

Series Producer
Lisa Landi

Associate Producer
Julia Shackelford

Editor
Peter Borg

Design
Zaldy Serrano
Christina Zee White

Original Music
Written and Produced by
Trifonic

Audio
John Andrieni

Interactive
Kevin Cooke
Marie K Lee

Social Media Specialist
Aldo Mora-Blanco

Publicity
Sarah Hoffner

On Air Promotion
Bridget Louie

Legal
William Lowery
Abby Staeble

Director of TV Production
Sandy Schonning

Executive Producer
Scott Dwyer