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  • International Premiere

Special Programs < New Action! Asia >

Billie & Emma

Director: Samantha LEE

2018|Philippines|107min|Language: Tagalog|Subtitles: English, Japanese

Date Time Venue Guest
3/11 (Mon) 18:55 Cine Libre Umeda 4    
3/14 (Thu) 18:05 Cine Libre Umeda 4
Billie & Emma
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Set in the mid-90’s, the film tells the story of Billie, a girl exiled from Manila to a small provincial town to live with her spinster aunt who is also the town’s religion teacher. Despite trying to get through the last year of high school without incident, the moment she enters the place she sets tongues wagging with her cool look and different attitude. Billie tries to hide herself from the world until she meets Emma, the ambitious, star student who everyone idolises. Initially awkward with each other, Emma slowly coaxes Billie out of her shell and they soon fall in love but things get complicated when Emma finds out that she’s pregnant...

Director Samantha Lee follows her debut feature “Baka Bukas” (OAFF 2017) with a light-hearted coming-of-age film that explores female agency in a story that allows characters to truly explore who they love and what sort of future they want for themselves.

Director’s Message/Statement

“I’ve always said that my films are the kinds of films my younger self needed to see, to make her feel less alone, to tell her everything will be okay. Growing up without seeing representations of myself in local media made me feel invisible, like I didn’t really matter. I never thought I would ever see an openly gay movie lead in my lifetime. Which is why I never thought this would ever happen, or that I would ever get the chance to help make it happen: Billie and Emma is a queer film, made and written by a queer director, with queer actors playing queer roles. This film stands on the shoulders of the films and actors and directors that have come before us, who may not have had the privilege to have lived and spoken their truths openly but we believe it’s about time we got to tell our own stories in our own way.

We’re hoping young girls will see Billie and Emma and say, ‘If she can do that, then I can do it too!’. Here’s to proving that we can make our dreams happen because of, and not despite of, who we are.”