Filmmaker Spotlight: Bernard Badion

I Won’t Miss You,” directed by Bernard Badion, is featured on the X1 International destination this November in the Philadelphia Asian-American Film Festival collection. We had the pleasure of asking Bernard what inspired his filmmaking journey and how his Filipino-American heritage influences his work.

Image Credit: Bernard Badion
Image Credit: Rameel Raymundo

Tell us about your film featured on X1 this month.

Bernard Badion:I Won’t Miss You” was written by my friend Joy Regullano. When I first read the script I knew I had to make it. It had so much heart and made me laugh. The relationship between Tim and Janey felt like it came from such a real place, and then I learned it did. Joy told me she based the script around her friend who passed away in high school. So as much as this was a film I wanted to make, I knew this was much more to Joy. We had to get it done.

How did you get into filmmaking?

BB: I started learning about cameras/editing in my high school’s video journalism class, but I think what really got me into it was the Filipino club at my undergrad, Cal Poly. First I was making little promo videos for events, which then turned into making films to celebrate holidays like Halloween or Valentine’s Day. I thought, “This is fun, but you can’t actually do this as a job.” Then I made a feature film my last year in college. It was over. I was hooked. Since then I’ve been chasing this dream to be a career storyteller.

What are some films and/or filmmakers who have inspired you?

BB: Spike Lee, Billy Wilder, John Hughes. Spike for the heat and power that comes from his screenplays and the way he communicates that onscreen, Billy for the charm and pain he brings to every scene, and John Hughes because I grew up on John Hughes. There are so many more filmmakers, but those jump to the top of my mind right now.

Image Credit: Rameel Raymundo

Do you have a favorite Asian-American film?

BB: This might be controversial, but it’s between two: “Better Luck Tomorrow” and “The Debut.” “Better Luck Tomorrow” communicated how I felt being Asian in America, and “The Debut” was amazing because it was the first time I saw things that happened in my life portrayed by people that like me. Honestly, after seeing “The Debut” I thought maybe I could do this filmmaking thing.

How does your Asian heritage influence your work?

BB: I think it’s in all the small details of our lives that culture and heritage really hit. I bet my dinner looks a little different than your dinner. Or road trips to Reno, church on Sundays, weekly family gatherings, and all of the food! When I write it’s just a blank document and the experiences in my head. That’s what’s in my head, so I think my work is heavily influenced by my growing up Filipino-American.

What is your outlook on the state of Asian-American cinema?

BB: Bright! I’m lucky enough to have attended a lot of film festivals the last couple years and seen so many great films from new voices. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how these new voices navigate Hollywood and the indie world to make the projects they want to make. That very much includes me! Does anyone want to make a movie?

Image Credit: Rameel Raymundo

***

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Bernard Badion! Watch “I Won’t Miss You” in the Philadelphia Asian-American Film Festival collection on your X1 International destination or with XFINITY Stream this November.

For more Filmmaker Spotlights or Asian-American news and entertainment visit XFINITY Asia.