Billie and Emma

Director: Samantha Lee
2018 | Philippines | 104m
GENRE: Drama | Lesbian | Pacific Islander | Romance | Youth (18 & Under)
SECTION: World Cinema


It’s not easy wearing combat boots in a world of Mary Janes, especially when what makes you “different” is far more than your shoes. But high-schooler Billie, exiled by her parents to live with a devout spinster aunt in a small town, doesn’t want to stand out or fit in. She wants to be invisible at her new school—except when arguing about homosexuality in religion class.

Occasional outspoken defiance aside, Billie spends her time avoiding everyone, reading Rita Mae Brown and writing songs instead. Yet despite her efforts to go unnoticed, star student Emma can’t stop watching Billie. When they’re paired for a class project, initial distrust quickly develops into something more. But with judgment and complications at every turn, will this love hold them back or help them set themselves free?

Balancing classic teenage romance with surprisingly thoughtful reflections on the nature of love, choice, and women’s autonomy, writer-director Samantha Lee (Maybe Tomorrow, Frameline41) offers a tender queer film with a flavor all its own.


Bank of America

Cinematografo Film Festival

  • Language: In Tagalog and English with English subtitles. ASL Interpreter present.
  • Premiere Status: US