TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


Burning Well

MG Evangelista, Karishma Dev Dube


Fran, twenty-five-years old, hasn’t been home in six years. But when an old childhood friend, Emily, calls out of the blue, Fran takes the train to Burning Well, the sleepy town where they grew up.
Back in Burning Well, we discover Fran had left home as a daughter, worried about parental disapproval and fleeing small-town constraints. Returning as a son, Fran learns their mother, a Filipino immigrant nurse, is dying. Their father has decamped to the basement, and their teen sister is punchy with anger and grief. But things with Emily are surprisingly easy. The two friends are falling in love.
As the family slowly accepts new realities, Fran recognizes a similar longing for a sense of self in their mother. This leads the family on one final trip to the Philippines.


I wrote Burning Well when my brother, sister, and I took care of our mom, diagnosed with terminal cancer. Writing was a way to cope. The pillar of our family was dying, and I was going through a gender journey, deeply alone and unable to share. Creating Fran, so secure in their identity, fulfilled a longing. I wanted to make a film about familial and romantic love that transcends the gender binary.
So my film is about returning home and discovering that one can reclaim and heal from past regrets. A Prodigal Son story with a queer romance, this is about a blue-collar American family — a Filipino immigrant mother, a father, and their two kids — trying to make sense of their lives.
I want Fran (and perhaps myself) to understand that they've underestimated their family, friends, and themselves. Their Mom’s resilience and grace in confronting death catapults Fran to follow their heart. Burning Well portrays a family in chaos and shows that out of chaos, there is hope and love.

Fran, a daughter-turned-son, returns home to face familial loss and familiar love.
MG Evangelista

Film Director

Karishma Dev Dube

Film Director, Production

production notes

original title
Burning Well

produced byBurning Well LLC

total production budget
€ 1,100,000.00