The Filipina actress in the spotlight in the Japanese film “Plan 75”

Courtesy: Mike Smith Sumisusama

Growing up in the Philippines, Stefanie Arianne dreamed of one day becoming an actress and participating in film festivals abroad. At 27, her biggest dream came true when her film premiered and won a special prize at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

In the film “Plan 75”, Arianne plays a Filipina worker abroad who is a caregiver in Japan. The Filipino Japanese actress attended her Cannes red carpet premiere where the film, its cast and the filmmaker received a standing ovation. She couldn’t stop her tears of joy when she saw the positive reaction.

“Best creatives with great minds together, it was overwhelming but at the same time I was so proud, and of course being a representative of both countries, the Philippines and Japan, in my head it was just like , ‘Wow. Is that really the case?’ I couldn’t hold back my tears. I was so touched by everyone’s love and support, because who would have thought, you know? My younger self was really dreaming about it,” Arianne shared.

Stefanie Arianne.  Photo courtesy: Alejandra Acosta
Courtesy: Alejandra Acosta

Ten years ago, she left the Philippines to live in Japan where her father was from. It was there that she started looking for work as a commercial model and actress at the age of 19.

To brush up on her Tagalog skills for “Plan 75,” she watched the movies and TV shows of her favorite Filipino actresses.

“I watched Angel Locsin and Angelica Panganiban because I really like their accent, and I was always like a huge fan of them when I was there in the Philippines.”

To ensure the Filipino aspects of “Plan 75” are properly portrayed, its writer-director Chie Hayakawa has teamed up with Filipino producers Alemberg Ang and Wilfredo Manalang. According to Hayakawa, Arianne’s character was inspired by the many hardworking Filipino caregivers in Japan.

The film tells a dystopian story set in the near future where old people face the grim reality of their government and society encouraging them to submit to mercy killing once they turn 75.

Stefanie Arianne.  Photo credit: Megan Kitt
Courtesy: Megan Kitt

Arianne said the story moved her when she read it. “I’m very, very close to my grandmother, so it just hits home. It really explored what the older generations feel, and what we’re going to feel in the future as well, which is really scary too because you are not getting any younger,” she noted.

Since starting modeling and acting, Arianne has booked several commercials and smaller roles in two films. “Plan 75” was his biggest break yet.

Following the film’s success at Cannes and its upcoming worldwide release, the actress said she hoped it would lead to more substantial projects and a chance to star in Hollywood movies.

Stefanie Arianne, Plan 75, Cannes Film Festival, Filipino actresses, Filipino overseas workers, Filipino caregivers, immigrants, Hollywood, TFC News

Marie A. Evans