Hampas Dugo

: Documentary Short
GENRE: Experimental
STATUS: Pre-Production


Set in the Philippines, three men undergo an annual Holy Week penance ceremony brutally emulating that of the Passion of The Christ.


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.

Nick Gorey - Director of Photography
Nick Gorey, a graduate of Towson University Film Program in 2018, is Baltimore based cinematographer with a passion for visualizing unique stories, striving to influence perspectives through moving imagery. He has extended his eye and acute technical skill towards feature film and short film projects, music videos, and documentary projects, seeking to constantly push the boundaries of cinematography.

Tyler W. Davis - Secondary Director of Photography & Steadicam Operator
Tyler W. Davis has been working as a cinematographer, director, and camera operator for almost 10 years. He currently lives in Baltimore. Tyler has a long history with DIY filmmaking and music videos, and this regularly influences him today on much larger commercial and documentary projects. If he's not traveling or shooting, he's probably working on his music project Lathe.

Bryan Datinguinoo - Producer
Bryan Datinguinoo is the co-founder and COO at Hidden In Plain Sight Studio, a NYC based fashion design development firm. He desires to elevate his understanding of production process and commerce to the film industry to co-produce “Hampas Dugo”.

Clarissa Arocena - Production Designer
Clarissa Arocena is the co-founder and design developer at Hidden in Plain Sight Studio, a NYC based fashion design development firm. Having studied art and design and textile technology at NC State, she constructs design languages for clients at her studio. She is eager to transcend beyond the medium of fashion to greater explore her understanding of production design in film.

Jeremy Rodriguez - Assistant Producer
Jeremy Rodriguez is a New Jersey based multidisciplinary artist & health coach looking to integrate the realms of health, movement, and lifestyle through the use of videography/cinematic story-telling and relate it to an individual's notion/understanding of spirituality and self-expression. At Rutgers University, he studied the interplay between physiology and psychology and currently works with clientele to help cultivate a greater understanding of their own cognitive and kinesthetic awareness. Currently, He has the desire to drive new ideas in the creative field by adding perceptual elements otherwise often unseen in the wellness & lifestyle industries.

James William Blades - Film Score Composer & Sound Engineer
James William Blades is a London based composer, producer and sound artist whose work has included a wide range of productions across feature films, documentaries, commercials, sound installations, theatre and fashion. James was commissioned to produce and compose music for ‘Threads, Resonance & Reconstruct’, a sound installation with collaborator and singer Mabel Ray at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. He continued his exploration with music, sound and space in 2019 for Theaster Gate’s ‘Amalgam’ exhibition in which he composed the soundscapes installed at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. James composed soundscape and additional music for Mercury Award winning Sampha’s film ‘Process, directed by Kahlil Joseph — and has continued collaborating with Joseph, working on ‘Black Mary and Fly Paper’, which were exhibited in London’s Tate Modern and New York’s New Museum. James commercial clients have included Toyota, Harrods, H&M, Mercedes, Dyson & MoMA where he merges original composition and soundscape to create a unique sound palette. He was nominated for Best Original Score at the 2019 AMP Awards for his music to the 2019 Toyota Olympics Campaign.


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