Online Presentation: Islands

Canada202194 minTagalog, English with English subtitlesOntario PremiereDrama, Family

Shy, sheltered, middle-aged Joshua lives with his elderly parents and is desperately lonely as he longs for a wife. When he’s suddenly forced into a caretaking role for his family, Joshua goes further adrift into isolation, and his Scarborough bungalow feels like a prison. Help arrives unexpectedly when his cousin Marisol flies in from overseas to help—except now, Joshua finds himself confronted with emotions and experiences he’s never had before.

On the surface, Joshua’s anxieties around loneliness may seem bleak, but writer and director Martin Edralin treats him with a warm affection, showing the challenges and humour imbued in everyday life, as he learns to take new chances. Cutting vegetables, taking a shower, and walking down the stairs all take on new meaning through finely tuned performances, and Edralin’s observant eye toward everyday life at home. And amid a year-plus of our collective pandemic-induced isolation, Islands is a hopeful and humanist story that reminds us the importance of stepping outside.

- Aram Siu Wai Collier


A live Q&A from the Opening Night screening will be simulcast online at 9:45PM on November 10. A recording will be available afterwards with the online screening of Islands.


Rogelio Balagtas

Sheila Lotuaco

Esteban Comilang

Pablo S.J. Quiogue

Vangie Alcasid




South by Southwest, 2021

Calgary International Film Festival, 2021

Vancouver International Film Festival, 2021

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2021



Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Performance, South by Southwest, 2021

RBC Emerging Canadian Artist Award, Calgary International Film Festival, 2021
Special Jury Mention – Best Emerging Canadian Director, Vancouver International Film Festival, 2021
Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2021

Director Bio

Martin Edralin

Martin Edralin is a Filipino Canadian, Toronto-based filmmaker. His first short film, Hole (2014), won the grand prize at Clermont-Ferrand, jury prizes at Locarno and Seattle, and screened at Sundance, TIFF, and BFI London. His second short, Emma (2016), was selected in TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten and won Best Live Action Short at the Rhode Island IFF. Islands is his debut feature film.

10 Nov, 2021

to 19 Nov, 2021





Closed Cqptions symbol  This presentation has closed captions.

This presentation has English subtitles.

The simulcast Q&A portion has on-screen ASL interpretation.


Our Opening Night presentation is the in-person screening of ISLANDS on November 10 at 7:30pm at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Guests in attendance include director Martin Edralin, and cast members Sheila Lotuaco and Esteban Comilang.

10 NOV 2021

Arrow Link

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