NBC Left Field
—Winner, Overseas Press Club of America Andelman Award for best international reporting in the broadcast media, 2018
I co-directed this documentary with Ed Ou.
In the Philippines, thousands have died in the government-induced slaughter. It is in the closeness and intimacy of the camera — as it traces the ligature marks along the wrists of a bullet-riddled corpse, capturing the ebbing tears of a family as they gradually accept that the body they hold will never wake up, and filming the nervous laughter of a drug addict as he asks a police officer not to be killed — that the complex issues of crime and state play out.
Filmed one year after Duterte assumed the presidency, we gained unprecedented access to the lives of survivors and policemen, and considered why Duterte’s bloody rampage continues: from the normalization of government-inspired brutality, the narrative of righteousness that undergird the killings, to the validating effect of President Donald Trump’s unequivocal support of the Philippine president.
The documentary shows how citizens of a country are willing to compromise their morals for what they’ve been convinced is the greater good and sheds light on an ongoing human rights crisis, serving as a cautionary warning on a dark side of the human condition.
NBC Left Field
I produced and directed this short documentary about Nakajima, a Japanese man searching for companionship and found love in his sex doll. In this story I found the universal emotions of loneliness and longing for companionship that underpin a seemingly deviant lifestyle.
KCRW's Unfictional & The Groundtruth Project
—Winner, regional Edward R. Murrow award for news documentary, 2017
While covering Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, amid the destruction that killed thousands and displaced millions, an aid working told me a truth about disasters that haunted me long after I left. First comes the humanitarian aid, then come the human traffickers, she said.
Two years after Haiyan, I went to Angeles, a notorious, crime-ridden red light city to spend time with sex workers driven to the trade after the typhoon. The reporting was a feat in gaining access and trust. The resulting story is a sensitive, nuanced portrayal of the interplay of disasters, trafficking, sex work and poverty.
I conceptualized, reported and scripted this radio documentary, with funding from a Groundtruth Climate Change Fellowship.