Aina Dumlao

Actor. Filmmaker. Mother of Chihuahuas.

Actor. Filmmaker. Mother of chihuahuas.

'The Return'

 
Still from 'The Return' - photo credit: Elaine Ash

Still from 'The Return' - photo credit: Elaine Ash

 

I wasn't born a Coppola, or blessed with the kind of drop-dead gorgeous looks that agents, managers, CDs and studio heads foam in the mouth over. I wasn't in a school play that changed my life or came out of my mom's womb screaming, 'I'm gonna be an actor, waaaahhh!' And I'm certainly not an actor for the money.  Between the $$$ I've spent on headshots, decent clothes for auditions, parking tickets (because you know, LA Parking signs) and gas ... its Los Angeles that makes money off of actors.

Why then did I trade a 9 to 5 desk job for a career mottled with rejection, false hopes and broken dreams? 

Being part of  'The Return'  - a film by the talented, passionate writer/director Matthew Szewczyk - is why. The film shines the spotlight on the little-known epidemic of modern slavery here in the United States and I was privileged to play the lead, Ligaya, an amalgamation of the true stories of countless women whose stories need to be told and heard.

I made this film hoping to put a face to the desperation, paranoia and helplessness that thousands of immigrants in the United States experience while being held captive in modern day slavery.
— writer/director Matthew Szewczyk

To have been the face and the voice of Ligaya, to have helped bring her story to life and to have worked with such talented, passionate actors and filmmakers is why I am an actor.

1.7.16: Taliesin Nexus screening of The Return at the Arclight Culver City.