To Calm the Pig Inside

Director: Joanna Vasquez Arong

Philippines, 2020



To Calm the Pig Inside is a contemplation on the effects a typhoon leaves on a seaside city. Myths are woven in to try to understand how people cope with the devastation and trauma. A girl divulges bits and pieces of her own memory of her grandmother and mother to tie in the experiences she felt visiting this ravaged port city.

About Director

Born in the Philippines, Joanna has led a bohemian life living in different cities including Boston, London, Paris, Bangkok, Singapore and Manila, pursuing stints in international relations, environment and finance. Joanna started filmmaking in Beijing to pursue her love of storytelling and film. Joanna premiered her first feature documentary, Neo- Lounge, in 2007 recounting intimate stories of foreigners in Beijing searching to break from their past. It won four awards, including two Best Documentary awards. Her second film, The Old Fool Who Moved the Mountains also won two awards including Best Documentary. Her third film, Sunday School from Zambia, was commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam for their Forget Africa series. Her latest short To Calm the Pig Inside has won nine awards including the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival. It was one of ten nominees for the 2021 International Documentary Association Awards for Best Short.


Camera: Veejay Villafranca, Christian Linaban, Piyavit Thongsa-ard, James Reynolds, Mark Thomas

Editing: Lawrence S. Ang

Sound: Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr

Music: Evgueni Galperine

Producer: Joanna Vasquez Arong