Private Project

Kaperosa

Tristan is finally ready to tell his best friend, Janine, that he likes her. However, he discovers that he’ll have to impress the ghost of her late grandmother first.

Walking to his car, Tristan balances bags of groceries while on the phone with Janine, his friend who is sick in bed. Tristan makes fun of the amount of groceries Janine requested for, and she jokes, threatening to unleash a supernatural being on him: the kaperosa. As he settles behind the steering wheel paranoid, he scares himself into thinking something might be there. When he checks behind him, the seat is empty. Or is it?

Tristan arrives at Janine’s apartment and the two sanitize the food packaging. He asks Janine what she had for lunch, which she reveals to have been nothing. Tristan offers to cook for her, and she accepts, on the condition that he can make her favorite dish, dinuguan, as well as her mom can - a tall order for someone who has never made it before. Once Janine leaves the kitchen, a book appears with a dinuguan recipe nestled in the binding. He follows the recipe, with a little bit of external resistance.

Tristan finds a photo of Janine’s mom and her Lola in her room. She reveals how her grandmother died before she was born and expresses her longing to have met her. Janine talks about how she finds comfort in knowing that Lola could be watching over her and that is good enough for her.

When Tristan goes to clean up the kitchen, he is ambushed by the kaperosa and teleported to a bright void. A woman sits on a rug watching a CRT. Walking up to her, Tristan realizes its Janine’s Lola, the kaperosa who has been haunting him that day. They watch a series of memories and experiences that Lola was not able to share with Janine nor her child. She cries, watching as the memories pass her by. Tristan makes sure to give her the time she needs and after some time, he is sent back to Janine’s apartment.

Tristan returns to a sleeping Janine, glass of water in his hand. She wakes up as he places the cup on her bedside table and she thanks him for having taken care of her. He promises to take care of her whenever she asks, allowing her Lola to rest.

  • Matthew Macasieb
    Director
  • Matthew Macasieb
    Writer
  • Kimberly Barnard
    Producer
  • Jasmeen Shaqueita
    Producer
  • Monica Joelle Ortiz
    Key Cast
    "Janine"
  • Robin Calvo
    Key Cast
    "Tristan"
  • Quincy Villanueva
    Key Cast
    "Esther"
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Horror, Romance
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 43 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    4:3
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Savannah College of Art and Design
Director Biography - Matthew Macasieb

Matthew Macasieb is a filmmaker residing in Atlanta, Georgia. As a Filipino-American, his goal is to tell stories and highlight perspectives that aren't traditionally represented in media.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

There’s a photo that sits on a table in my living room back home. It’s a picture of myself, my sister, and my grandfather. At the time, he was visiting us in Massachusetts all the way from the Philippines. While he was there, he constructed rock walls and planted trees which became landmarks that I was able to witness grow with me at that house. However, I don’t remember a lot of who he was really like.

My grandfather suffered from a heart attack in our home. I remember the ambulance lights flashing in the middle of the night, sitting in hospital parking lots for hours, and ultimately having to attend his funeral. At that point in my life, I had not yet grasped the concept of death. I had not yet learned that our lives end. My strongest memories of that time consist of the pain and loss that my family experienced, but not of that photo when I was hugging his leg with the biggest smile on my face.

I often wonder what it would have been like to have really known him, but all I can do is wish that I might remember even one moment spent with him. However, despite not having been able to interact with either him or my grandmother, I know in my heart that the love they have for me is very real. Kaperosa is at its core a tale of love, passed on from the ones we’ve lost to those we have yet to meet. Despite the loss and longing that the characters carry, they each continue on in the comfort of the love that can be fulfilled by those closest to them now.

Throughout my time at SCAD, I’ve talked at length about the effects and significance of the representation of Asian Americans in media. Recently, my involvement in the Filipino Student Association at Georgia Tech has allowed me to meet other Filipino-American students my age who all grew up wishing they were better represented in the shows and movies they watched. With this film, I hope to transition my work from discussing to contributing to the space of Asian-American stories. I aim to use this film as a stepping-off point in my search for finding more filmmakers out there who value speaking their truth as Asian Americans.

My goal is that this film inspires even more people to tell stories pertaining to their own realities as Asian or Filipino Americans, and bring the community closer together by pushing people to become proactive in supporting these kinds of stories and voices. My goal is that this film resonates with those who have lost people close to them and reassures them that they are indeed loved and cared for. Even after death, there is a very real love that is reborn in new life, and the ones who’ve passed on will continue to look out for us, whether we realize it or not.