Private Project


"Ugnayan" intimately explores an immigrant's journey from the Philippines to Canada, challenging conventional narratives. Emotionally charged, the film captures the complexity of leaving home, depicting both the highs and lows. Amidst cultural shifts and adversity, the protagonist's self-discovery and community connections redefine the immigrant experience, unraveling the power of self-love and human connection.

  • Erica Olavario
  • Erica Olavario
  • Erica Olavario
  • Aleksey Chistilin
  • Nature's Eye
  • Phoenix Connection Brazil
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 22, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Tagalog
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Fleming College HSAD
  • Student Exhibition Fleming HSAD
    April 22, 2023
  • San Diego Filipino Film Festival
    San Diego, CA
    United States
    October 6, 2023
    International Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Erica Olavario

Erica Olavario is passionate about visual storytelling. Through her production company DIWA—film, photography and UX design—she creates visually stunning and emotionally resonant pieces that capture the essence of our collective experience. Erica’s work aims to promote empathy, understanding, and acceptance; while also showcasing the beauty and diversity of different cultures. In particular, she uses her skills and talents to identify and represent the lives of her Filipino diaspora, to connect with her rich heritage and explore the current human condition. As a recent immigrant to Canada, her creative motivation comes from a striving towards becoming, rather than belonging.

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Director Statement

As the creator of "Ugnayan," I embarked on a personal and introspective journey to craft a film that resonates deeply with the challenges and emotions faced by immigrants. Having grappled with my own inner dilemmas during the past year, this project provided a platform to rationalize those complex feelings and bring them to light.

Through "Ugnayan," my aim is to extend a hand of understanding and validation to those who share similar experiences. Leaving home and adapting to a new culture is a profound journey, often marked by a range of emotions – from excitement and hope to homesickness and grief. The film captures these intricate emotions, offering a personal perspective on this transformative voyage.

In the process of creating "Ugnayan," I've come to realize the extent of my own evolution as a person. This project has been an opportunity for growth, empathy, and healing. By sharing this film, I hope to foster a sense of community and connection among individuals undergoing similar challenges. "Ugnayan" is a testament to the power of storytelling to bridge gaps, create understanding, and validate the shared experiences that shape our lives.