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David Maquiling, Writer & Director
David Maquiling, Writer & Director

Born and raised in the suburbs of New Jersey, David Maquiling is a magna cum laude graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and made his feature film debut in 2001 with Too Much Sleep.  In 2002, David won an Independent Spirit Award nomination and was awarded the IFP/New York Fellowship.  David is currently an Adjunct Professor of Film at Hunter College in Manhattan, and for the last five years has served as the Festival Director of the NewFilmmakers series at Anthology Film Archives.  Recently elected to the Directors Guild of America, David is now in pre-production for his new film, ANOTHER DEEP BREATH, a groundbreaking exploration of Filipino culture in America, offering a look into a world that has never before been seen in American movies.


With his parents' encouragement, David chose the film program at New York University for his advanced studies and quickly earned considerable recognition for his short films and scripts.  After graduation and with several festival awards under his belt, David was eager to grow as a writer/director.  The result was his first feature Too Much Sleep.  In Too Much Sleep, David revisited the quiet suburbs of his childhood, but the Filipino folk stories that his father taught him obviously had a lasting effect on David, who incorporated Filipino storytelling traditions into this modern American folk story.


In The New York Times Dave Kehr wrote, Too Much Sleep marks Maquiling a young filmmaker to watch.  Roger Ebert enthusiastically gave the film Three Stars, insisting that we must cherish it as a treasure.  In the Village Voice, Amy Taubin called the film a gem and a remarkably assured debut feature.  Too Much Sleep was quickly signed to be a part of the prestigious Shooting Gallery Film Series, making David the first Filipino American filmmaker in history to receive national distribution in the United States.  In a recent interview with the film journal Jump Cut, David spoke of his experiences: 

Scene from "Too Much Sleep"

"As a person of two cultures, two ethnicities, two perspectives, I have never felt that I have to choose between one or the other.  I have always been of both worlds, and I want my films to celebrate this     . . .to me, it is the very definition of what it means to be both Filipino and American."


Davids new film ANOTHER DEEP BREATH features a remarkable cast of both American and Filipino stars, most notably Cesar Montano, who is the finest and most popular actor in the Philippines today; Academy Award-nominated actress Valerie Perrine (Lenny, Superman, The Border); film and television star Jane McLean (Guilt by Association, Whitecoats); Obie Award-winning actor Orlando Pabotoy (Strangers with Candy, The Romance of Magno Rubio), and the legendary Abe Pagtama. 


The producers of ANOTHER DEEP BREATH are Ray Cuerdo, who most recently produced Small Voices, the most honored Filipino film in World Cinema, and Marc Palmieri, Miramaxs Telling You and The Escape Artist.  The Executive Producers of ANOTHER DEEP BREATH are Sid Ganis and Alex Siskin of Out of the Blue Entertainment, whose previous films include Adam Sandlers Big Daddy and Mr.Deeds and Rob Schneiders Deuce Bigalow.

Scene from "Too Much Sleep"
Answer This?
Q & A with Mr. Maquiling
 Film Addiction: Was Too Much Sleep picked up for distribution after it was filmed or was Angelika on board from the beginning?
David Maquiling:After screening at film festivals around the world, "Too Much Sleep" was purchased for distribution by "The Shooting Gallery," who screened the film in more than 50 cities in the US during the spring and summer of 2001. 
Angelika Entertainment was the Executive Producer of the film and was instrumental in the marketing and packaging of "Too Much Sleep."   It was the hard work and brilliant planning of Barney Oldfield, in particular, that brought the film to national attention.
FA:What source or influences did you pull from to write the story for Too Much Sleep?
DM:"Too Much Sleep" was very much inspired by the Filipino folk stories that my father shared with me when I was a child.  Folk stories from all cultures have always been the means of passing on the values, traditions, and ideals from one generation to the next.  They are the more than the amusing, thrilling, and wild tales that entertain children at bedtime, and in that regard, I have always hoped that "Too Much Sleep" offers its audience a funny and poignant look at the struggle we all endure when making the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
FA:From what I have read about your film Too Much Sleep, it seems really character driven much in the same vein as David Gordon Green's films portray the human experience. Is there some truth to that?
DM:Yes, my work has always been driven more by character and place than by plot.  To me, it is the internal struggles -- moral, sexual, political, philosophical -- that define all of us and, ultimately propel us through life.
FA:This is your first feature film, can you tell me a bit about your previous film projects?
DM:Prior to making "Too Much Sleep," which is my first feature film, I directed and produced several short film ("Old English Cal," "Nine Feet Tall") and wrote several feature-length screenplay.  I'm a graduate of NYU's Film Program and worked for several years in the NY film industry as a film editor, production manager, and cinematographer.  Over the past ten years, I have also taught at several colleges in Manhattan and am currently a professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College.
Scene from "Too Much Sleep"
FA:Has your experience as a professor had an impact on your filmmaking?
DM:Working as a professor has had an enormous impact on my career.  I can honestly say that I have learned more in the classroom from my interactions with my students than I ever did during my college years.  The skills required for teaching -- motivating a group toward a common goal, articulating ideas in direct and focused ways, solving problems creatively and collaboratively, maintaining the utmost patience in the face stressful and demanding circumstances -- are exactly the same as those needed when making a film.  I have no doubt that it my years working as a teacher best prepared me to deal with the realities of film production.  I am also deeply inspired by the enthusiasm, energy, and sincerity of my students every semester.
FA:What can you tell me about your latest film "Another Deep Breath". What stage of production are you currently in?
DM:Currently, we are in the pre-production stage of my new film "Another Deep Breath, " which will begin shooting in New Jersey in October  The majority of the cast and crew are in place, many of the locations have been scouted, and we are securing the final portion of our financing.
FA:Too much sleep and your current feature Another Deep Breath have had Filipino influences. What is the connection?
DM:While "Too Much Sleep" was inspired by Filipino folk tales, "Another Deep Breath" deals more directly with Filipino culture.   It is the story of an intense love affair that crosses racial lines and threatens the marriage of a  Filipino American college professor and his lawyer wife.  I feel that the film is a an exploration of the universal themes of what it means to be in love, what it means to be honest, and, in the end, what it means to be human. As a Filipino American, it is very important to me, personally, to set the film within the Filipino community, a culture rarely seen on screen.
FA:I have read about the experiences you had while getting Too Much Sleep out to the public (Not being accepted at Sundance, et al.) What things have you learned from that experience that will help with the distribution of Another Deep Breath?
DM:The distribution of "Too Much Sleep" was one of the most enlightening experiences in my professional life.  Learning the fundamental importance of marketing, publicity, and promotions was, I feel, a lesson that could be gained only from the actual experience of doing it.  Taking the film to festivals all over the world was, of course, incredibly enriching and a whole lot of fun, and most of all, gave me the opportunity to understand how audiences react to certain material in the film.
FA:Whose on board behind the camera for Another Deep Breath (DP, Producer, etc.)?
DM: Many of the same incredible people who shared their talents on "Too Much Sleep" will be back again for "Another Deep Breath."  Bob Mowen, an award-winning writer/director himself, shot "Too Much Sleep" and will be the DP for "Another Deep Breath."  His own film "Drop" premiered at Sundance this year and is playing at festivals around the world.
Our production team includes Ray Cuerdo, Marc Palmieri, Michele Medina, and Barney Oldfield.  For more on them and their credits, you can refer to the bio I e-mailed to you.
FA:Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and best of luck in the future.
DM:Take care, Jayson
A Closer Look:
Too Much Sleep
DVD Release: Early Summer
 "Jack Crawford (Marc Palmieri) is 24 years old, lives at home with his mother, and works nights as a security guard. On the bus home one morning, while admiring a beautiful young woman named Kate (Nicol Zanzarella), Jack has his gun stolen. Desperate to get it back, he enlists the help of a guy named Eddie (Pasquale Gaeta), who "used to work for the authorities," and here begins the tale of a young man not only looking for his gun, but more importantly, trying to find himself.

"Through a series of mysterious leads and not so coincidental coincidences, Jack is drawn deeper and deeper into the peculiar underworld of a sleepy American suburb, unearthing a slew of oddball characters and a series of dead-end clues.

"The key to the film is the subtlety of both the deadpan humor and the personal growth that Jack undergoes as his passivity evolves into confidence. While Kate serves as the catalyst propelling him out of indifference and into maturity, Jack represents many of his generation who have a lot going for themselves, but can't seem to find the drive to overcome their own disillusionment. David Maquiling's sly and witty first film, Too Much Sleep is a modern folk tale about the inward journey we all must take when trying to figure out what it's all about."

Sarah Bork, South by Southwest Film Festival