And So It Begins

Ramona S. Diaz is an Asian-American filmmaker known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine her profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics with potent storytelling.

Artist Bio

And So It Begins trains the camera on the last months of the authoritarian rule of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the battle for the presidency between the incumbent VP, Leni Robredo, and the former dictator’s son and namesake, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., and Maria Ressa’s continued fight for press freedom. A companion film to A Thousand Cuts (2020), And So It Begins further explores the relationship between fear and the institutions empowered to protect us. The story itself is a meditation on power: who amasses it and who relinquishes it, what is gained and what is lost in the transaction?

And So It Begins premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2024 on January 22.

Award Year


Ramona S. Diaz

Ramona S. Diaz

Baltimore, MD

Ramona S. Diaz is a Peabody, Gotham, IDA and Emmy award-winning and Independent Spirit award-nominated Filipino American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling. Her films have been screened and won awards at Sundance, Berlin, Busan, Tribeca, SXSW, IDFA, HotDocs, and many other top-tier film festivals. Ramona’s feature-length independent films— Imelda (IL, 2004), The Learning (POV, 2011), Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (IL, 2012), Motherland (POV, 2017), and A Thousand Cuts (Frontline, 2020)—have been nationally broadcast on PBS, Arte, and the BBC amongst others. Ramona is both a Guggenheim Fellow and a United States Artists Fellow. In 2017, she received a Women at Sundance Fellowship and a Chicken & Egg Pictures Filmmaker Award. In 2021, she was named the inaugural McGurn Family Trust Resident in Film by the American Academy in Rome. Ramona is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Producers and Writers Guilds of America.