JEEPNEY is a documentary film that visualizes the richly diverse cultural heritage of the Philippines through its boldly decorated and ultimately iconic mass transport vehicle. Born from the ashes of WWII, the jeepney industry is being rapidly phased out by expanding foreign businesses, tougher green policies, and the impending loss of the original generation of artisans. Through the personal narratives of its builders, drivers, and passengers, JEEPNEY traces the vehicle’s journey from an object of war to a brazen symbol of the country’s resilient native arts. Lavishly shot and cut to the rhythm of the streets, and traversing the islands of Luzon, Negros and Palawan, this film provides an enticing, accessible vehicle through which the rippling effects of modern globalization can be pieced together.
Filipino American filmmaker Esy Casey is the Director of JEEPNEY. She co produced and shot Sarah Friedland’s THING WITH NO NAME (2008), which was praised by Variety as a “well-composed documentary that contrasts the beauty of the land and the strength of its women with the inexorable advance of the [AIDS] pandemic.” The film was in competition for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Film Festival and for the Haskell Wexler Prize for Best Cinematography at the Woodstock Film Festival, and is available on iTunes and Amazon. Esy’s cinematography is also featured on IN THE EYE OF THE WHALE (2009), THE COURT OF THE MYSTERIES (2009) and WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE (2010). She received her BFA from Parsons School of Design and is an American Association of University Women Fellow.