From the Episode: Choices


| 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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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.

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Series Producer
Lisa Landi

Associate Producer
Julia Shackelford

Peter Borg

Zaldy Serrano
Christina Zee White

Original Music
Written and Produced by

John Andrieni

Kevin Cooke
Marie K Lee

Social Media Specialist
Aldo Mora-Blanco

Sarah Hoffner

On Air Promotion
Bridget Louie

William Lowery
Abby Staeble

Director of TV Production
Sandy Schonning

Executive Producer
Scott Dwyer