Hampas Dugo

: Documentary Short
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


Ruben Enaje, a man locally well-known for his portrayals of Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion, reflects on the twilight of his 30-year long ritual, while facing a shifting spiritual landscape in The Philippines.
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Set in the Philippines, three men undergo an annual Holy Week penance ceremony emulating that of the Passion of The Christ. The film aims to intimately investigate the mental, emotional, and spiritual states of these men as they seek atonement through a brutally physical journey.


Why am I undertaking this endeavor? What is it that is drawing me so strongly to believe that this will be my seminal, and true debut to not only the art world - but to the world as a whole? With the intimate guidance of God, artistic mentors, and friends & family, I’ve reached a level of heightened, acute awareness over my work throughout this year. I have been working to answer intensively profound questions regarding the future of my artistry, my body of work, and the space in which I will transcend towards and occupy. Those questions tackled internal and external curiosities regarding my ethnic and racial identity, as well as my spiritual existence and religious identity. These questions are best presented as follows: Does a Filipino Aesthetic in Art & Culture exist? Do we have an identity? Has colonialism affected that identity? What does the Filipino voice look and sound like? Can this film serve as the initial steps towards an exploration and reclamation of that identity? How do I make Spiritual work? How do I further deepen my relationship with God through my work? How does the artistic process serve as a continuous dialogue with God? How does image making serve as a form of Prayer, and a conversation with God? How do I create work that is rooted in Scripture? This film feels like the ultimate crossroads between those two sets of questions. For the first time - I am working to create a project that dissects my genealogy, my heritage, my blood, my roots, my beginnings. I am working deeply to understand the greater historical picture and context of the Philippines. I am conversing with God directly through my past and present experiences, and the experiences of those before me. The film, along with the photography series, and research towards developing a fashion collection, will be one of the first major steps towards establishing a foundational presence for young Filipino artists trying to understand themselves on a more intensive level, and project that into the world.


Aaron Laserna - Writer, Director, Executive Producer
Aaron Laserna is an American-born, multi-disciplinary artist of Filipino descent, based in New Jersey & New York. Focused on, but not limited to photography and filmmaking, he utilizes these mediums as pseudoscientific tools to dissect humans through ways in which conventional means of communication and study have not been able to do so. The emotionality he builds with his subjects is prioritized, as the imagery created serves as a byproduct of the connection. His approach is multi-layered, as his Christian faith and identity guides his portrayal of his subjects in way that is described as spiritual, celestial, and divine - sourcing much of his inspiration from prayer and Scripture. Almost exactly one year after graduating from Rutgers University in 2017, with a major in Economics, he was selected as a Top 50 finalist in JW Anderson’s #YOURPICTUREOURFUTURE Campaign, exhibiting his work for the first time ever in London, and later being published in the following book. Since then, he has shot for i-D and Twin Magazine, directed a documentary-narrative film titled "MIRRORS", about Baltimore City, and continues to push his practice forward. His photography work sits between the intersection between fashion, documentary, and portraiture, and his future motion work seeks to explore documentary, music, and narrative filmmaking.


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