Episode 088 – Sonia Filinto | Filmmaker, & Director of Bread & Belonging

Sonia Filinto is a filmmaker and writer.  In addition to working on several feature films, she has independently directed Shifting Sands and Bread & Belonging.

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Listen to her journey from growing up in the beachside neighborhood of Calangute in Goa, and moving to different cities for work. Having recently returned to Goa, she now shares stories of people closer to home.

As a writer, she has contributed to various publications over the years. You can also read up more features and browse stories on her website.

Watch the trailer for Bread & Belonging here

Her latest film Bread & Belonging (2020) showcases the different facets of Goa’s relationship with pao. Between natives who have been baking this bread as a family business, to migrants who have taken on this trade by filling in the void, the film explores the complexities involved in making this staple food every day.

Know more about Bread & Belonging

You can get a sense of the insider/outsider dynamics in Goa, through the lens of the ubiquitous local breads.

Keep an eye out for screenings of Bread & Belonging at film festivals and other intimate events near you.

Featured above are the different types of bread in Goa. Row wise: Kankon, Katro pao, Sweet Poi, Undo, Poi, Pav

Shifting Sands (2013) is a documentary that showcases lives of a native fishing community of Goa in the popular beachside village of Calangute, where Sonia was born. It captures the tides of change that has overwhelmed this coastal stretch, thanks to tourism, while the state keeps up with the growing demand of seafood.

A still from Shifting Sands
Watch the documentary here, hosted by PARI

Also mentioned in this episode:
Alami mushroomsAnika ProençaArmeniaBangalore Iyengar BakeryBate PapoBollywoodCabo de Rama FortChampagne Wine TrailsFloyd CardozFundação OrienteGanjamGreat Ocean RoadJila BakeryKankon PaoKatro PaoLadi PavMamta MurthyMancurad mangoesMoira bananaNahoum and SonsNeil DsouzaO G Variar BakeryPaowallaParis PaoPaoPoderachem FestPoiResponsible Tourism CollectiveRoads & KingdomsSaumyanda SahiSave Mollem – Sid – Smith Field BakeryStellenboschSunaparantaThe Bombay CanteenThe One School GoaThe Paradise School GoaUndoUrakVada PavWendell RodricksWenger’s

Timestamps for reference
02:05 Happy New Year 2021
03:56 Using the lockdown for developing future projects?
08:05 Poe, the equalizer
12:54 Sonia’s relationship with Goan bread
18:02 Goa’s local associations for bread
20:42 Certain professions, migration, and food
25:59 Vada Pav in Bombay
27:44 Pao vs artisnal breads
40:22 Getting to know the different Goan breads
48:04 Neo-bakers and traditional baking methods of pao
51:45 Sonia’s biggest takeaway from the film
54:35 Migrants vs Expats
01:05:05 Reactions to Bread and Belonging
01:05:58 Shifting Sands
01:13:04 Travels and meeting people
01:17:30 Kind of stories that Sonia writes about
01:19:01 Travel influences, and stories closer to home
01:26:50 Travel experiences around local products
01:30:31 Sonia’s introduction to filmmaking
01:33:35 Sonia’s upcoming projects
01:37:17 Future of filmmaking
01:40:31 Finding a niche in filmmaking
01:43:17 Goa 2.0?
01:58:45 Sonia’s favourite part of Goa


Show cover jingle courtesy of Icons8
Music by Nordgroove from Fugue

Episode background tunes courtesy of YouTube Audio Library
A New Orleans Crawfish Bowl
by Unicorn Heads
Zodiac Structures by NomBe

All photographs by Sonia FIlinto, Bread & Belonging, Shifting Sands, and Nikhil Shankar, unless otherwise stated.

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