“‘Women of Yolanda’ is a film about hope, survival and being content in a place which was almost washed away”. When Laura talks about her latest project, you immediately sense there is much more to it than just a good story.
“I lived in the Philippines for 2 years when I was younger and view it as my second home, I love the people and their way of life. When the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), struck on November 8th, 2013, I was devastated and felt useless because I couldn’t physically help in any way. Despite donating money to the relief effort, I never felt like it was enough and this frustration gradually grew. I was angry that a place I cared for so much had been destroyed.”
Channeling this very personal reaction, Laura determined to bring attention to the human impact of the disaster and began making plans contacting relief project ‘Bantayan Crafts’, where local women create intricate handmade crafts from the debris of the typhoon with 100% of the proceeds going back to the women’s community.
“This whole idea of creating something out of nothing struck me and I immediately became passionate about wanting to share their story. These women are extraordinarily strong, it’s amazing that even in the darkest of times, humankind can find the strength to carry on and this community of women proves that. I hope to use the film to generate support for these women through providing an awareness of their on-going endeavors.”
Having produced the film for her final degree project, Laura hopes that the film will now be seen internationally in film festivals and bring attention to the positive impact of the project and the inspirational women who have made it such a success against the odds.
“Women of Yolanda is a film about hope, survival and being content in a place which was almost washed away. Through capturing their journey and their voice, I would be returning the support I’ve always wanted to give.”
find out more about Laura and Women of Yolanda at the project’s facebook page