‘As You Know Me’ is a short fiction film that looks at the life of a Filipino family living in Earls Court, and it was one of the films funded by Earls Court Film Festival in 2019

What was unique about this film is that the Festival funded the film with only the knowledge that the film would focus on the family’s dynamic and how that shifted when the mother’s sister shows up for a surprise visit – there was no script.

Chris O Donnell

Instead the filmmakers, Akinna Aquino and Christopher O’Donnell, interviewed Filipino’s living in the area across different generations – those who came here and brought their families with them and the younger generation who have grown up in Britain and have the complexities of a ‘dual’ identity – documenting all their stories and using them as a basis to formulate their narrative and characters.

Once the interviews had taken place the next step was to cast their actors. Again, no script was in place yet but we had a clearer idea of ‘who’ the characters were and a skeleton of the plot line.

Akinna Aquino

The audition process and rehearsals were improvised workshops – working with the actors and placing them in several scenario’s (obtained from the interviews) and seeing how their characters would interact. With the cast all being Filipino, it meant they could also draw on their own experiences to help inform the characters reactions and decisions. The results created an authentic Filipino family drama with themes everyone could relate to.

There are plans in the new year for more screenings to take place in Earls Court in 2021.