Directed by: John Paul Su 2016 | 116 min.

Section: Spotlight on The Philippines

Premiere: Hawaii Premiere

Countries: Philippines, United States

Languages: English, Tagalog, with English subtitles

Genres: Asian Cinema, Comedy, Family


How far will your dream take you? One young man in the Philippines discovers it’s all about the journey, not the destination.

ANTONIO “TOTO” ESTARES comes from Tacloban, a place ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda. His mother has cancer. He works at a hotel in Manila, and tries every which way to get to the U.S. so he can support his family – which he’s been doing since his father died and left them penniless. His father had made it to Las Vegas, undocumented, to become a stage act and promised to petition his family, but he ended up a dishwasher who drank and gambled away everything. The only thing Toto inherited from his father is the obsession of the dream. Toto has forged it into his own obsession, and he is intent on fulfilling it, because it was once also his mother’s hope. Can he succeed before her cancer does?

Toto makes one failed attempt after another to get a U.S. visa, risking friendships, relationships, his job, a lot of borrowed money, his dignity, and his heart. What he doesn’t realize is that, in a way, he’s already made it to America. The hotel is America. Its U.S. guests represent the good, the bad, and the ugly that make America. After Toto meets the bad and gets ripped off, he loses hope. Yet it’s a good American that helps Toto, in a most unexpected way.

TOTO is all about the power of the dream. Although the failures of his father follow him, and even haunt him, it’s the power of his father’s dream that fuels him, not just for himself, but for those he loves, to help better their lives and achieve their own dreams. Some call it the American Dream, but for those beyond the U.S. it’s simply “the dream”. After all, there's a TOTO that resides in all of us.


Friday, November 11 8:45 PM Dole Cannery C Date Passed
Saturday, November 12 11:00 AM Dole Cannery C Date Passed
Sunday, November 20 7:15 PM Kauai Waimea Theater Date Passed

Cast & Crew

Director John Paul Su
Producer Rey Cuerdo, Donald Martin, John Paul Su
Cast Blake Boyd, Liza Dino, Mara Lopez, Sid Lucero, Thou Reyes
Cinematographer Clarissa De Los Reyes
Editor Manet Dayrit
Writer Donald Martin, John Paul Su
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