LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 28, 2019 – Dream Team Directors Bayou Bennet and Daniel Lir used Facebook Video to create their newest short ﬁlm, Tombstone Pillow. The short poignantly calls attention to socioeconomic disparity in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the world: the slums of Manila Cemetery in the Philippines. The ﬁlmmakers’ purpose is driving social awareness to this issue. Through stark characterization and impactful imagery, this ﬁlm reveals how, in the darkest corners of the world, compassion still conquers all.
“Being the mother of a 3 year-old and wanting to change the world through ﬁlmmaking means I have to be very creative,” Bennet explains. “I had to ﬁgure out a way to be as innovative as the ﬁlm itself! The Tombstone Pillow shoot location was 7,292 miles away from where I live with my family, and the time zone is almost a 12-hour diﬀerence.”
While Lir traveled to the Philippines to direct the ﬁlm from the shanty towns of Manila Cemetery, Bennet stayed stateside in Los Angeles to care for their 3 year-old child. Tombstone Pillow is revolutionary not only for the fact that it deftly brings social awareness to the issues of extreme poverty and class division, but because Bennet used Facebook Video to direct the ﬁlm remotely.
“I realized that Facebook’s video technology is the only one that could help me see my scenes with fantastic quality while allowing me to keep up with my 12-hour days of co-directing with my husband, Daniel Lir,” Bennet says.
Both Lir and Bayou aim to create art that changes the world. The innovative duo will continue to push boundaries in every way possible — from the stories they tell to the techniques they use to tell them. Tombstone Pillow is included in the list of ﬁlms selected by the LA Shorts International Film Festival, and is screening on March 23, 2020 at the opening night of the NYC International Film Festival at the Dolby Theatre. The ﬁlm is Oscar-qualifying for LA Shorts, and is currently a ﬁnalist in the Asian Cinematography Awards where it will screen in Manila in the spring of 2020.
“We aim to tell stories through our art by opening our audience’s eyes to things they haven’t seen before and helping them think about things — issues and life — diﬀerently. We tend to ﬁnd the truth and tell it,” Bennet says. “We searched for poignant and unforgettable images, like a mother and baby sleeping on a tomb, or kids attending schools amongst tombs. We entertain but at the same time very subtly sneak in education and empowerment through comedy, hipness, and fashion.”
About Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennet
Bayou Bennet and Daniel Lir founded Dream Team Directors in 2007. The duo aims to combine beauty and humor to positively impact the world through their art and ﬁlms. To date, Bennet and Lir have worked with international brands including Adidas, Atlantic Records, Smashbox Cosmetics, and Chrome Hearts. Additionally, they have collaborated with Mark Ruﬀalo, Lea Michele, P. Diddy, Lindsey Sterling, Paris Hilton, and Bella Hadid.