Actress Vanessa Hudgens is heading to the Philippines to explore her family history as the star of a new travel documentary. The film will capture Hudgens’ first trip to the country of her mother’s birth, showcasing her close relationship with her family and her personal trajectory as an American-born, half-Filipino woman who has become one of the world’s most recognizable stars.
The project is set to begin shooting in the Philippine cities of Palawan and Manila later this month. Hudgens will be accompanied on the journey and in the film by her mother, Gina Guangco, and her sister, Stella Hudgens. The actress has often spoken with pride about the biography of her mom, who left the Philippines for the U.S. at age 25.
“I feel like ours is such a relatable story to so many women all over the world,” Hudgens says. “The more that we can share, the more we can lift each other up.”
The still untitled film will be produced and directed by Paul Soriano, director of Mañanita (a competition entry at the 2019 Tokyo International Film Festival) and the Manny Pacquiao biopic, Kid Kulafu. Soriano also produced Lav Diaz’s A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (2016), which won a special film award at the Berlin International Film Festival and Transit (2013), which was the Philippines’ entry in the Best International Film Category for the 86th Academy Awards. Philippine boutique studio TEN17P is producing the new Hudgens doc.
“We are honored to work with Vanessa for this film project,” says Soriano. “It’s inspiring to note that with everything she has achieved in life, she wants to discover her Filipino roots and pay homage to her mother’s country. Hopefully, this opens doors for many more collaborations to come.”
Hudgens most recently starred in Lin Manuel Miranda’s Oscar-nominated Tick, Tick…Boom! She began her career in the world of musical theatre at age eight, eventually finding global fame in the Disney Channel’s High School Musical. As a young adult, some of her other credits have included Spring Breakers, Gimme Shelter and Bad Boys for Life. She also executive produced and starred in the films The Knight Before Christmas, and all three installments of The Princess Switch for Netflix. She’ll next star in the indie comedy French Girl and Michael Bay’s Bad Boys 4.
Hudgens is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment, The Lede Company and Ziffren Brittenham.
The forthcoming travel documentary will be executive produced by Paul D. Soriano and Mark A. Victor of TEN17P.