Fil-Am short film ‘When You Left Me On That Boulevard’ is free to watch

This slice-of-life short film set during a Fil-Am Thanksgiving is free to watch

After a successful Sundance premiere, “When You Left Me On That Boulevard” is also eligible for an Oscar consideration
/ 04:19 PM December 09, 2023

Awkwardness, rock music, and karaoke: This Fil-Am short film When You Left Me On That Boulevard is free to watch

A teenage girl navigates a Fil-Am Thanksgiving in “When You Left Me On That Boulevard” | Screencap from “When You Left Me On That Boulevard” teaser

As Christmas is fast approaching, family gatherings can be a double-edged sword. While some go through them with flying colors and actually enjoy it, a lot detest these events to the core, as they can be a harsh test of patience—there’s a reason why survival tips are created for them.

The same scene unravels in “When You Left Me On That Boulevard,” a slice-of-life short film by Kayla Abuda Galang. In particular, the story lets you barge into a Thanksgiving get-together in southeast San Diego, California in 2006. You get the picture: Motorolas, side bangs, and some Blood Brothers blasting through the speakers were huge.


Filled with lots of noise rock music and a certain Auntie Pinky’s voice, this 13-minute Filipino-American diaspora tale is set in the eyes of Ly (played by Kailyn Dulay), a teenager who awkwardly navigates the tricky turn of events in a day together with her karaoke-loving relatives. There are brief catch-up sessions with both strange pauses and intrusive energy, plus lots of noise and silence, sending one to question: How can you feel alone in a room full of people?

Before we can even further spoil, you can actually watch the film yourself. After being selected for the Staff Picks roster, the narrative short can be viewed via Vimeo for free.

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A stellar festival run 

According to Galang, “When You Left Me On That Boulevard” has been part of 50+ film festival selections. On top of that, the film even took home numerous awards such as the jury award for best short narrative and audience award at the 2023 San Diego Filipino Film Festival, and best US narrative at the 2023 Drunken Film Fest in Oakland, and the special jury award for vision at the 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival. 

Not to mention it also bagged the grand jury prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival for the short film category, making it potentially qualifying for The Academy.

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The film’s latest Instagram posts already show how the team’s vying for an Oscar nomination. “The film is now available to watch in The Academy screening room. look out for more festival and theatrical screenings, as well as our much-anticipated online premiere to mark the end of our amazing festival run,” one post said. 

“This film took lots of grit, community, and true independent spirit to make, and the journey so far has been wilder than anything we ever could’ve imagined.”


It added, “Thank you to all of our audiences, festivals, friends, and family for warmly embracing our little film that could. Not gonna lie—campaigning is admittedly brand new, resource-intensive, and a little funny feeling for us! But we are excited to seize this opportunity and for you all to join us in this next phase. Please spread the word far and wide!”

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Revisiting home 

Galang, who was born in Olongapo in the Philippines and was raised in San Diego and Houston, takes inspiration from the details of her “communities, surroundings, and memory” in storytelling according to her official website.

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This is apparent in “When You Left Me On That Boulevard,” in which she actually gathered her members of her family, childhood friends, and elementary classmates, and old neighbors to make one heartwarming project. 

“I shot it in Paradise Hills, where I grew up, in tribute to my younger self and her mom, and her cousins, and her aunties,” the filmmaker revealed in an interview with Sundance Institute. She also mentioned that she wanted to encapsulate “the warm and the suffocating embrace of family” as a teen.

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TAGS: Filipino films, Filipino movies, short film
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