The Coming of Filipino Horror Short Film ‘Mosquito Lady’

With its world premiere at the prestigious genre festival Beyond Fest on October 7, its East Coast premiere at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, and Midwest Premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival, Mosquito Lady is an incredible horror short film that features the manananggal, a terrifying fetus-eating creature from Philippine folklore.

Written and directed by the fantastic Kristine Gerolaga, it is our great pleasure and honor to debut the trailer of Mosquito Lady here on The Nerds of Color! After watching the trailer, be sure to read her statement and bios on herself and her cast below:

Terrified of telling her parents that she’s pregnant as restrictions to abortion access worsen, a desperate teenager seeks the help of a reclusive neighbor who her parents warned her about.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

Mosquito Lady was created in reaction to the terrifying state of reproductive rights. This film features the manananggal, a vampiric, fetus-eating creature from Philippine folklore that endures excruciatingly painful werewolf-like transformations, to highlight the consequences of restricting access to abortion and sexual health education, and to use it as a metaphor for the horrors of losing bodily autonomy.

The idea for this project came to me around 2015 when I was volunteering as a pro-choice clinic escort and helping patients get from their cars to the clinic doors as safely as possible while anti-choice protesters harassed them from the sidewalks. As time went on, I learned more about the violent policies here in the United States, the Philippines, and around the world that forced desperate people to seek out dangerous abortion methods even if it meant imprisonment or death. It wasn’t until 2020, with the encouragement of the API Horror Screenwriters group created by Minh-Anh Vo Dinh and Regina Kim, that I began writing Lamok, a feature-length Filipino horror film based on the state of reproductive rights in the Philippines.

In 2022, I was awarded the Sundance Institute Uprise Grant for the development of Lamok. This
grant gave us the green light we needed to make Mosquito Lady, the proof of concept/standalone short film. The grant was used to create the practical effects for our manananggal in collaboration with our incredible SPFX department head and creature designer Pothmolita Dou. In 2023, Mosquito Lady was selected by The Future of Film is Female for a post-production color services grant, courtesy of Nice Shoes. I was also fortunate enough to get script consultation from Caren Spruch, the National Director of Arts & Entertainment Engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation.

I hope that those who watch this short film see it as a cautionary tale about the consequences of how we talk to children about their sexual health and their bodies.

Mosquito Lady is proudly led by an all-Filipino cast. It’s produced by Kristine Gerolaga, Lauren Bancroft, Jesus Beltran, and Steven Krimmel. Executive produced by Will Sayo and Will Green. You can follow the film @mosquitoladyfilm on Instagram but in the meantime, check out the bios for Kristine and her cast below:

Kristine Gerolaga (writer/director/producer)

Kristine Gerolaga is a Filipina American filmmaker and actor. Vulture called her a “creator to watch.” Her work was featured by The United Nations Population Fund, WhoHaha, TIFFxInstagram Shorts Fest, NYX Horror Collective’s #13MinutesOfHorror, ATTN, Amazon Fire TV, ALTER, and Shudder.

She is a grant recipient of The Future of Film is Female and a 2022 Sundance Institute Uprise Grantee and is currently in development for her Filipino horror feature film, Lamok.

Hanna Lorica — Gemma (Lead Actor)

Born in the Philippines, Hanna Lorica has loved performing since childhood but officially started her acting career on the stage of the annual Pilipino Cultural Night at UC Berkeley.

She’s starred in several short films, including lead roles in Mosquito Lady (2023), Let Me In (2022), Stages (2020), Ungnome Number (2020), Thieves (2019) and The Figure (2019) and is excited to branch out into other genres. She is big on adventure and her motto in life is to try everything at least once.

Maria Lingbanan — Mosquito Lady (Lead Actor)

Maria Lingbanan (she/her) is an actress, writer, director, adjunct professor, intimacy choreographer, and acting coach. Recently, Maria added academics to this growing list after continuing her graduate work in the MFA Performance Pedagogy program at Loyola Marymount University, where she currently evolves her art.

Other projects include writing for Kwento Comics, the first all-women, all-Asian comic book company highlighting Asian & Filipino mythology through the medium of graphic novels, and co-hosting/producing a new video
podcast series, Tita Laughs.

Ina Dahilig — Gloria (Supporting Actor)

Ina’s first TV appearance was in 1996 on a gag reality show. After college, she landed a job in a radio station and did voice acting for both the AM and FM divisions as a side hustle. Her first TV drama appearance was in 1997, a dramatic supporting role for a True-to-life Crime TV program.

Ina’s last project before migrating to the U.S. in 2006 was a national TV Commercial where she played the lead together with a known Filipino celebrity. Ina started acting in Hollywood in 2013
but became more active in 2019 until today. Ina recently finished Advanced Level 2 Acting Workshop with AMP Studios Canada and Star Magic Workshops under Rahyan Carlos using
the Ivana Chubbuck technique.

Rhandy Torres — Arnel (Supporting Actor)

Rhandy Torres is a Filipino American actor born and made his television debut in the Philippines on the multi-award-winning weekly comedy program Ispup & Wow Mali. Rhandy landed supporting roles for various feature films such as The Year I Did Nothing, Almighty Zeus, The Master Chief, South Central Love, and Wedding Hustler.

Rhandy is the featured actor for the 2020 National Census commercial and the 2022 Los Angeles Public Health Covid Vaccination campaign. He was also featured in the Music Video “Watch Your Step” by Disclosure and Kelis.

If you’re Los Angeles based, you can get tickets for the world premiere at Beyond Fest which will opens its tickets the day of on October 7th! Click here to RSVP (and do it right at 9am PST because it WILL sell out).