Mother’s Blood

Written and produced by Myra Sito Velasquez

16mm B&W, 16 minutes, 2001.

Synopsis

A mother’s strange habit. A grandmother’s silence. A daugther’s unheard cry… All witnessed through the eyes of a daughter yet unborn, MOTHER’S BLOOD is the story of a young Chinese American woman struggling to break the bonds of her family’s emotional legacy before they break her.

To view this film on YouTube, please click here

“MOTHER’S BLOOD tells a vivid and profound story about a childish mother — unwitting, unaware — who, with innocent selfishness, uses her three daughters in ways that damage and maim them. For adolescents struggling with their own developing personalities, this film has multiple benefits. It is enlightening to see the familiar pattern of mother-daughter dynamics told with such clarity and heart. Additionally, because the story takes place in the context of the Chinese American culture, it universalizes and broadens our understanding of family dynamics.”

Florence Weintraub

Educator, Offsite Educational Services/The Door

“Really impressive work, deserving of all the awards it received.”

Joe Kim

Director/Programmer, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

“A wonderful film! And the camera work, directing and acting: all so great!”

M. Makishima

Writer

“This film is mesmerizing, so layered with unexpressed feelings and subtleties. Deep, thought provoking and brutally honest. Thank you for bringing this gem into existence.”

Gail Bradney

Business Writer

“Stunningly beautiful!”

Stephanie Friedman

Open City Films

“MOTHER’S BLOOD is a fascinating, riveting film about the unconscious legacy of crippled self esteem passed on from generation to generation. With wonderful, evocative performances by all the actresses, this debut film by Myra Sito Velasquez pulls you into this very private world of mothers and daughters, making it almost impossible to stop you from combing your own history to find equally hidden agendas lurking in your own past. Directed with a mature, sure hand, MOTHER’S BLOOD feels lush and yet, at times, sterile in its peek behind the living room curtains of just another house in pseudo-serene suburbia. I loved it the way that I love a good painting.”

Francesca Rizzo

President, CineWomen, NY

“Brilliant!”

Nicole Franklin

Award winning Filmmaker, Producer & Editor

“Myra Velasquez’s debut short film MOTHER’S BLOOD is a tour de force of a mixed genre experiment: mockumentary meets the eternal mother-daughter tangle with a dollop of film noir that is absolutely mesmerizing from start to finish.”

Susan Hamovitch

Director, WITHOUT APOLOGY

“A beautiful film, touching, intense, so real and intimate. Loved also the B&W.”

Sandra Nevistich

VP/ Group Art Supervisor, H4B Chelsea

“Wow. Great film, very personal and touching. Great cinematography. The sound and music also work well, giving the piece a moody feel, like a memory.”

Raymond Yeung

Filmmaker, Cut Sleeve Boys

Cast

Nina Zoie Lam • Mother

Nina Zoie Lam made her professional debut at 13 as a dance soloist with a Chinese Folk Dancing Troupe. She received scholarships from the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey Dance Schools. Among her National Tours are: THE KING AND I , A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, and A CHORUS LINE. Her off-Broadway and Broadway credits include MISS SAIGON, SAYONARA, OKLAHOMA , SOUTH PACIFIC among others. Recent projects include co-producing and co-writing KILLER GEISHAS A-GO-GO and LITTLE MISS BUDDHA. In film and TV, she has appeared in such shows as THE GUIDING LIGHT, SNL, FAME, THE COSBY SHOW and Nora Ephron’s YOU’VE GOT MAIL. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Meisner Acting Program in New York City.

Sammie Lau • Kay

Of Chinese heritage, Sammie is a Dutch citizen born and raised in Rotterdam. She moved to New York three years ago where she is a student majoring in Corporate & Cable Communication at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Inspired by a class in video editing, her main interest at this time is off/on line editing. Sammie made her acting debut in MOTHER’S BLOOD and wishes to thank the directors Myra and Tom for all that it taught her about film production behind, and in front of, the camera.

Meeyun Taylor • Sacha

MeeYun is currently a high school student at the Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City. Her theater credits include Olivia in TWELFTH NIGHT and Queen Titania in MiDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM at the Bard College Shakespeare Workshop. In television, she has appeared on READING RAINBOW, NEW YORK UNDERCOVER and AWESOME ADVENTURES. She has had the lead in educational videos for Sunburst Productions and has appeared in the independent films FUNERAL FOR A CLOWN and FLOWERING; Universal Pictures’ A SIMPLE WISH; and, most recently, Columbia Pictures’ FINDING FORRESTER.

Michaela Conlin • Third Daughter/Narrator

Michaela Conlin recently graduated with a BFA in Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied with the Atlantic Theatre Company and the Experimental Theatre Wing in Amsterdam, Holland. She has trained and appeared onstage regionally, as well as at the Public Theatre, The Atlantic Theatre Company and the Playwrights Horizons Theatre Lab. Her most recent film and television work includes ABC’s All My Children and the feature film LOVE THE HARD WAY. She loves watching films and writing short stories.

Norma Chu • Grandmother

A retired NYC high school teacher and licensed real estate broker, Norma Chu was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. She received her MA from Columbia University and her Secondary School Administration Certification at NYU. She is active in community work, serving as the Fundraising Chair of The Chinese American Planning Council, NYC Commissioner on the Status of Women and is a member of the Advisory Council of Beth Israel Hospital. She has appeared in commercials including UNITED WAY, MOUNT SINAI, and NOW AND THEN. A proud grandmother of five, she is pleased to make her film debut in MOTHER’S BLOOD.

Darcy Chin • Clara

Darcy Chin has appeared in numerous NY stage productions including BUTTERFLIES & TIGERS at the Trilogy and its subsequent extended run at the Orenda Theatre, RESTRAINT at Inner Space, OUR CHILDREN at the Harold Clurman, SANDBOXING at La Mama ETC, and BORDERLINE at the 29th Street Playhouse. Her independent film credits include BE GOOD MY CHILDREN and NIPPLY RAY. Television credits include NBC’s ANOTHER WORLD. She is currently studying with Naked Angels and Chicago City Limits.

Guiying Yang • Maid

Guying was born and raised in Shanghai and moved to New York three years ago. She worked in Shanghai at a Chinese Opera Company as a makeup artist and is proud to make her U.S. acting debut in MOTHER’S BLOOD.

Crew

Myra Sito Velasquez • Writer, Producer, Director, Production Designer

Of Chinese, German and Mexican heritage, Myra Velasquez was born and raised in Tokyo. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she has worked as literary advisor at The American Place Theater, production co-ordinator for the Japanese TV networks FUJI, NHK and NTV and is also a script consultant. Her feature length screenplays include DIANA, a coming of age story of love and betrayal set in 1970’s Tokyo and the action comedy KUNG FU GRANNY. In addition to preparing for a documentary project in Rwanda, she is writing a new screenplay with the filmmaker Ruth Sergel. MOTHER’S BLOOD is Myra’s debut film as producer/writer/director and production designer.

Tom Dybek • Co-Director

Tom Dybek has acted and directed in regional and New York Theatre. After training with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse, Tom co-founded the Red Earth Ensemble which produced over thirty new plays during its decade long existence. Tom has previously acted in films but MOTHER’S BLOOD marks his first experience as director in this medium.

Todd Liebler • Director of Photography

Todd Liebler was a fine arts/ art history major before tranferring to NYU’s film program in 1982. In two and a half years, he shot over twenty short films. After graduation, he was trained as a lens and camera technician at a NYC rental house. In 1986, Todd went freelance, shooting music videos, commercials, documentaries, shorts and features. He also published still photography and worked extensively with digital and analog video. He is an award winning cinematographer who is inspired by the collaborative spirit and a compelling story.

Josh Litwhiler • Editor

A graduate of the Boston University film program, Josh Litwhiler spent several years working in the New England independent film community before moving to New York City. Although his main interest is documentary filmmaking, Josh is incredibly grateful to Myra Velasquez for the opportunity to be included in the creative process of MOTHER’S BLOOD.

Daniel Pagan • Supervising Sound Editor

Daniel Pagan hails from NYC with a BFA in Film Editing. For the last 3 seasons, Daniel has been working as a sound editor on HBO’S SEX AND THE CITY. He has supervised the sound editing on several films such as HUELEPAGA, MI DIA DE SURTE and THE DEFINITE MAYBE. He has also worked as sound editor on Ron Howard’s EDtv and Jim Jarmush’s GHOST DOG, HBO’s THE CORNER. Other credits include DELLAVENTURA, IN &OUT, IN THE GLOAMING, I’M NOT RAPPAPORT, RANSOM, APOLLO 13, JOE’S APARTMENT, DEADMAN WALKING, BOYS and JINNAH.

Peter Blum • Tibetan Bowls Composer

A certified Instructor in Basic & Advanced Clinical Hynoptherapy and the son of an operatic baritone, Peter has been involved with the study of music & voice all of his life. Some of his teachers have been Ustad Jamaluddiin Bharitya, Pauline Oliveros and, for shamanic use of sound, Beautiful Painted Arrow. In 1999, his 4 CD set, SOUNDS FOR HEALING featuring the Tibetan Singing Bowls was released on EnTranceWays label. A teacher of many workshops, Peter’s current work combines his training as a practitioner of NLP and Eriksonian hynopsis with ancient techniques of healing with sound and music. The selections in MOTHER’S BLOOD are from SOUNDS FOR HEALING VOL.2, COMING HOME.

Phil Richards • Mall Muzak Composer

Phil has been writing and producing music for pop artists and jingle houses for 10 years. A relative newcomer to film, he has written “mood” music for TV and radio spots as well as done voiceover work in that genre. Due out at the end of the year is as yet untitled feature film in which Phil has placed three original compositions.

World Wide Audio • Audio Post Production

Georgia Hilton • Final Sound Mixer

Kevin Cloutier, Takeshi Iwasaki, Jenny Ducaud • Still Photos

Press

“MOTHER’S BLOOD employs artistic imagery to explore the relationship between a mother and her daughters. This sensitive and genuine film is moving and beautifully put together.”

Gena Hamamoto

VCFilmFest2002, Recommended Shorts

“Stunningly beautiful!”

Stephanie Friedman

Open City Films

“MOTHER’S BLOOD tells a vivid and profound story about a childish mother — unwitting, unaware — who, with innocent selfishness, uses her three daughters in ways that damage and maim them. For adolescents struggling with their own developing personalities, this film has multiple benefits. It is enlightening to see the familiar pattern of mother-daughter dynamics told with such clarity and heart. Additionally, because the story takes place in the context of the Chinese American culture, it universalizes and broadens are understanding of family dynamics.”

Florence Weintraub

Educator, Offsite Educational Services/The Door

“MOTHER’S BLOOD is a fascinating, riveting film about the unconscious legacy of crippled self esteem passed on from generation to generation. With wonderful, evocative performances by all the actresses, this debut short film by writer/ producer Myra Velasquez, directed by Myra Velasquez & Tom Dybek, pulls you into this very private world of mothers and daughters, making it almost impossible to stop you from combing your own history to find equally hidden agendas lurking in your own past. Directed with a mature, sure hand, MOTHER’S BLOOD feels lush and yet, at times, sterile in its peek behind the living room curtains of just another house in pseudo-serene suburbia. I loved it the way that I love a good painting.”

Francesca Rizzo

President, CineWomen, NY

“Myra Velasquez’s debut short film MOTHER’S BLOOD is a tour de force of a mixed genre experiment: mockumentary meets the eternal mother-daughter tangle with a dollop of film noir that is absolutely mesmerizing from start to finish.”

Susan Hamovitch

Director, WITHOUT APOLOGY

Screenings

Other Screenings

Preview screening presented by CineWomenNY and NewFilmmakers:
The Female Gaze: Relationship & Intimacy, Anthology Film Archives, NYC, July 2001

IFP & Sundance Channel’s Buzz Cuts, Pioneer Theater, NYC, April 2002

Women in the Director’s Chair 2002-2003 Tour
Family Practice: New Asian American Shorts: a showcase of short work on family dynamics in diverse Asian and Asian American communities.

Rooftop Films, NYC, July 26, 2002

Women In The Arts Festival: The Moving Image, July 2002

Freight Cafe, New York City via Women Make Movies

Girls on Film, San Francisco Artists Television Access, San Francisco, CA

BlueStockings Bookstore & Cafe, NYC, October 2001

Hiroo Cafe, Hiroo, Tokyo, Japan

Share on facebook
Share on email

More Films