Joella Cabalu

Producer & Director

Joella Cabalu (she/her) is a Filipino Canadian documentary filmmaker based in Vancouver. Her films lay bare narratives about intimacies, identities, and relationships. Joella has worked as a producer with emerging women directors to realize critically acclaimed short documentaries that have screened at TIFF (Born Identities, 2021), Tribeca and The New Yorker (On Falling, 2020). Recently, her first feature documentary, back home, supported by Telefilm Talent to Watch (2019) was presented at the Cannes Docs 2022 - Docs-in-Progress Canadian Showcase. In the director’s chair, Joella approaches contemporary social issues with careful attention to nuance and levity. Her first mid-length documentary, It Runs in the Family (2015) — a personal exploration of acceptance and what the modern queer family can be in the Filipino diaspora — won the Audience Choice Awards at the Seattle Asian American Film Festival and Vancouver Queer Film Festival and a special jury mention at CAAMFest for the Loni Ding Award for Social Justice Documentary. Joella is currently developing Nakabingwit: First Comes Love, a feature-length documentary that follows four Filipino Canadians and their white partners as they navigate race and romance against the backdrop of Canadian multiculturalism.