Interview with Filmmaker Deborah Slater (WHEN NANAY COMES HOME)

Directed by Deborah Slater
A story about a young Filipino daughter coping with the Pandemic and the nurse pipeline from the Philippines.


Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

We are making a dance/theater performance called IN THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE, and this was a text commissioned from Youth Speaks, which is how we met writer Zoe Dorado. Dancer Rachel Garcia is in my company and this was one of the first pieces we built for the show. We will be making more movies as we go forward and mixing them into our live performances.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

Many months of research for the overall show and about 3 months working with the dancer, the composer Joowan Kim and our videographer Joseph Marks.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Love and hope

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Money always, of course, is an obstacle but the Challenge was honoring the story and finding the truth in the movement.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was very impressed with how thoughtful and thorough people were in their comments. And I’m thrilled for my collaborators to hear the feedback!

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

We work in video all the time as dancers but I really loved the magic that was possible a few years ago when I collaborated to make a film with filmmakers who were also dancers.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Rashomon – it was made from several stories mashed together and we did the same to create a live dance/theater performance.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Helping us get it out into the world is one of the greatest gifts you can offer. And if there are filmmakers interested in collaborating, they should contact us.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

It’s simple, clear and straightforward. I like it very much.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

First the amazing show we are building from more stories, many, many interviews and some more films that will be part of the collected materials. We are building a library of interviews, will have more films as part of gallery installations and all sorts of performances ranging from schools, site specifics events and a fully produced theatrical show. The films allow us to change and combine pieces with each other and to feature dancers even if they can’t be in a live performance. We are creating a series of pandemic reflections from a current point of view. How do we rebuild community now that we have experienced isolation and learned about all these different life experiences we didn’t know about including Black Lives Matter, the environment, mental health, introspection, what is home and how do we come together with our new awarenesses.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: