A feature length screenplay by Myra Sito Velasquez
AWARD WINNING FINALIST:
SUNDANCE LAB FINALIST
Genre: Coming of Age
103 pages/ Intended Running Time: 100 minutes
Set in a privileged foreigner’s community in early ’70s Tokyo, DIANA is the story of Felicia Martinez who, convinced at 12 years old that men are indeed the superior sex, wants fiercely to be a boy. After seeing a cheesy film version of “The Picture of Dorian Grey”, Felicia invents her ideal man “Christian Grey” and convinces herself that she will turn into him. She sets up a shrine to him and prays daily for her Grand Transformation.
Enter into the all girls international Catholic school that Felicia attends new student Diana Patrescu, of Japanese and Rumanian descent. Diana’s courage and brazenness win Felicia’s admiration, up to now reserved only for the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte and Oscar Wilde. With Diana, Felicia has her first sexual experience. That their sexual play is largely inspired by Japanese comics in which women are degraded in one form or another speaks to the dark undertow of their predicament. Regarding Diana, however, it would appear that her father is the darkest force. While it is left to speculation the extent to which he has violated the boundaries with his daughter, that he manipulates her to fulfill his narcissistic and erotically charged desires is without question.
As Felicia and Diana’s relationship intensifies, disconcerting aspects of Diana’s character unfold: she blocks out truth when it suits her, assumes a flirtatious “Daddy’s Little Girl” manner around her father. As frustrating and mystifying as this is to Felicia, she must tolerate it as Diana’s sexual power over her is too compelling. But one day, they are caught by Mr. Patrescu in one of their sex games. What happens to the girls after this event — how each turn out — is the stuff of the last act.
Gender issues, the beauty and power of sexual awakening, the challenges specific to children of mixed heritage in a land known for its xenophobia, the difficulty of being true to one’s self and the price that is paid if one fails: all these are themes explored in DIANA, set within the culturally schizophrenic, economically rapacious, frenzied world of early 1970’s Tokyo, which is as much a main character as Felicia and Diana. DIANA delivers a highly unique, edgy, humorous and rich experience of a world that is at the same time exotic and familiar, singular and universal.