Living and studying in New York was a dream come true. And making "Dawn" as my final film was the exclamation point I needed to end my intensive workshop at the New York Film Academy.
I did this in 2006 with my 2 crew members Dae Young and Min Hee (my uber cool South Korean classmates). Shooting Dawn was a challenge as I would catch her at odd times at the street corner in front of Union Square. During this time in my life, I was a Gawad Kalinga worker and I wanted to compare poverty in the Philippines with that in New York. After talking to Dawn for some minutes, I knew right away there was a story there. She was smart, beautiful and obviously middle-class before she ended up begging in the streets of New York. "What happened to her?" I asked myself.
I hope you enjoy this short documentary I made. I wish I could go back to New York soon and meet Dawn again. Hopefully, she will be working, married to her boyfriend John and living the life she never had.
Here's her story...