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A Long March

Three Filipino American veterans trace their paths from war to erasure by the U.S. Government, marching from an obscured history to the Federal courts, right up to the steps of Congress in search of promises denied.

  • TS Botkin
  • TS Botkin
    Ni Ta, Femto 7K, Desolation
  • TS Botkin
    Her Turf, Mary Janes: The Women of Weed
  • Amanda Upson
    Magnum Opus
  • Benito Bautista
    Boundary, Harana, Mumbai Love
  • Noel M Izon
    Sandaan, An Open Door, An Untold Triumph
  • Erlinda Villalobos
    Key Cast
    "Manang Biring, General Commander, The Strangers"
  • Gregg Stouffer
    Monogamy, Mary Janes: The Women of Weed, Her TTurf
  • Tamara "Mara" Benitez
    The Helper, Tigbao, In Bangka Ha Ut Sin Duwa Sapah
  • Gabriel Macalintal
  • Nonie Cruzado
    Nomad of Nowhere
  • Michael Dadap
  • Shawna Schultz
    Visual Effects Executive Producer
    The Social Dilemma, Chasing Coral, Chasing Ice
  • Katy Daily
    Animation Producer
  • Ryan Scobey
    Animation Producer
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Social Justice, AAPI, Human Rights
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 26 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 31, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Better Angels Society

    Awarded Better Angels Lavine Fellow
  • Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

    May 10, 2022
    World Premiere
  • GI Film Festival

    Best Documentary and Best First Time Director Nominee
  • Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
    Denver, CO
    United States
    July 30, 2022
    Special Presentation
Distribution Information
    Country: United States
Director Biography - TS Botkin


Ms. Botkin, Principal of ätɘr+flix and member of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, has been producing for seven years including the award-winning documentaries Her Turf (2018) and Mary Janes: The Women of Weed (2017). Her directorial debut is the documentary A Long March (2021) which she created with a diverse crew under the guidance of the Filipino community. Botkin’s indigenous writing has garnered recognition as a second-round selection at the Austin Film Festival (2016) and quarterfinalist at Atlanta Film Festival (2018). She is a staunch supporter of diverse voices and Women in Film.

A Long March (2021), Director/Producer/Writer
Sundown Road (2019), UPM
Her Turf (2019 Pilot), Co- Producer
Mary Janes: The Women of Weed* (2018), Co-Producer, Post-Supervisor
Experience Pros TV (2016, 10 episodes), Producer
Femto 7k (2016), Producer/Writer
Forty Seconds (2016), Narration Writer
Who da Belize (2014), Producer

Lucy with the Truth, Producer; Ni Ta, Writer/Producer; Man of La Mesa, Producer; Alferd, Producer

Add Director Biography
Director Statement


This story came to me after the discovery of a crate of WWII art in the family basement. It took two years of digging past white versions to learn of the abuse of Imperialist America over the Philippines and how a million people were erased from war time records.

Being aware of my own heritage as both a victim and perpetrator of imperialism, I spoke with my FilAm community and FilVetRep.org about me helping to amplify the story. The response was, 'this is an American issue; all Americans must accept responsibility for the country’s actions.' Since, I have been fortunate to be "adopted" in to a broad FilAm community with whom I, and Producers Amanda Upson and Benito Bautista, have worked diligently with to bring this story forward.

On screen and behind the camera inclusivity and representation speak at all levels including Filipino, BIPOC, women, and people with disabilities. We have remained in close contact with FilVetRep, NaFFAA, NFALA and APABA Colorado and other AAPI groups to update them on our progress, check in with what is happening across the community and prepare to launch join initiatives. Together, we have built the platform to amplify our veteran voices and look forward to the change that follows!


Our approach is to transform this documentary into a cinematic experience while minding the balance between history and present day, talking heads and narrative, and between art and thousands upon thousands of Army documents and legal briefs. This is approached through the weaving together of WWII art and footage, archival photos, animation, motion graphics, color and texture, sound effects, music, silence, purposeful titles and captions, and audio captions.

We have had to pivot to more animation due to the death of subjects and COVID-19 safety constraints, and because WWII cameras were rarely pointed at people of color, much less women of color.

Our animations follow a path closer to fine art, leaning into the emotive qualities of the Expressionist era. Recurring visual motifs by Illustrator Nonie Cruzado include representations of the perspectives of our soldiers, as they were rarely captured during war time or the years that followed. In his art, Cruzado also transforms thousands of pieces of paper which have become the shield for white imperialist policy and the impersonal character of court decisions, V.A. policy, and U.S. government inaction. The beauty of this animation is that it allows us to create a visually symbolic space during intense scenes for our audience to project themselves into our characters, to allow viewers to enter the Filipino veteran experience more deeply. Still, these scenes remain grounded by the reality of the historical record which is frequently layered or composited in and echoed by the testimony of our subjects.

We also use color and texture to move between characters and eras, to create continuity and to allow for distinction. Our veterans are frequently portrayed in hues of altruistic blues and complimentary oranges, while the ill policies of the U.S. war machine and white supremacy take on a sickly green and is aptly complimented by red. These colors are used as subtle washes and a bold brush strokes to become the dissolving transitions, as black and white footage, “the facts,” remain largely in their original form. The intent of these transitions is for the Filipino POV to recolor the whitewashing of a century.

Girding the visuals are a melancholy melody, Feliciana’s theme, which echoes a broken heart, unrequited love, and a struggle forward, which is woven together with the blithe instruments of the Philippines and contrasting timpani of war and betrayal. We will juxtapose music against periods of silence and orchestral pieces against solo instruments to craft an authentic and moving soundtrack.