A Loving and Supportive Family: The Jonnie Lyn Dasalla’s Backstory

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

Have you ever wondered about being the only surviving human on Earth? One would never know what kind of apocalypse or Armageddon would obliterate or halt the existence of humanity. While we do not expect a permanent detriment in our life, creating lasting memories with our family and loved ones is one thing we could carry on.

Some of the functions of families in the society would be physical maintenance and social control of its members and affective nurturance. Having not performed such things, individuals could be at risk and suffer as well as their morale would be degraded just like what the whole world is facing during these uncertain times.

For the Cinemalaya 2021, one short film entry may pinch the heart or somehow make anyone who will watch it realize the importance of family.

'Namnama en Lolang' or 'Grandmother's Hope' is a short fiction drama film produced and directed by Jonnie Lyn Dasalla. This five-minute film depicts a grandmother and her baby grandson who find solace with each other during the lockdown period as they face the harsh reality of the pandemic.

Hailing from Baguio City, Benguet, this budding filmmaker is currently taking her Master's Degree at the University of the Philippines Diliman with the course MA Media Studies (Film) and at the same time working full time as a Digital Media Editor in GMA Network Inc.

Jonnie Lyn shared that filmmaking was not the path she dreamt to take. At the time she was starting, she had struggles with her resources to gradually pursue what was considered a blessing in disguise. Indeed, passion is born when a person catches a glimpse of his or her true potential.

"Actually, ang course na kinuha ko nung college ay pre-Law which is Legal Studies. But then, narealize ko na mafifeel mo na hindi pala ito yung para sa iyo and then nagshift ako to Mass Comm. Dun unti-unting namulat ang passion ko for filmmaking and photography. At that time, wala rin akong camera nung college. So nakikihiram ako ng DSLR camera ng classmates ko and dun ako unti-unting natuto until nabilhan ako ng sariling camera and then I just exposed myself konti-konti on that."

After college, she decided to finally pursue filmmaking by applying for the Master of Arts in Media Studies major in Film at UP Diliman. She had friends who were also passionate of the craft.

"So dun nagkaroon ako ng friends who are also passionate in filmmaking. Naging videographer ako sa mga kasama ko until nitong pandemic, bumalik ako sa hometown ko sa Baguio."

Back in the Cordilleras, she produced and filmed her short masterpiece using only what she had--a mobile phone.

"Ang ginamit kong equipment ay mobile phone lang for that short film 'Namnama en Lolang' which is very challenging kasi syempre iba ang DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) sa mobile phone. Doon ko minaximize ang resources ko and then dun mo siya makikita na hindi about sa equipment but it is your vision, your passion, and how you tell a story."

"Nagsimula siya sa isang film festival here in the Philippines called Quarancine. Ang requirement po talaga is yung film is to be shot using mobile phone. Yun po ang challenge sa filmmakers. Dun na po umikot ang kwento."