Growing up in the Philippines, Stefanie Arianne dreamed of one day becoming an actress and attending film festivals abroad. At 27 years old, her biggest dream came true when her film premiered and won a special award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
In the film 'Plan 75,' Arianne plays an overseas Filipino worker who is a caregiver in Japan. The Filipina Japanese actress attended its Cannes red carpet premiere where the movie, its cast, and filmmaker received a standing ovation. She couldn’t stop her tears of joy upon witnessing the positive reaction.
"The top creatives with great minds altogether, it was overwhelming but at the same time I was just so proud, and of course, being a representative of both countries, Philippines and Japan, in my head, it was just like, 'Wow. Is this really happening?' I just couldn't hold my tears. I was just so touched by everyone's love and support, because who would have thought, you know? My younger self was just really dreaming this," Arianne shared.
Ten years ago, she left the Philippines to live in Japan where her father was from. It was there that she started seeking work as a commercial model and actress when she turned 19.
To refresh her Tagalog skills for 'Plan 75,' she watched the films and TV shows of her favorite Filipino actresses.
"I watched Angel Locsin and Angelica Panganiban because I really like their accent, and I've always been like a huge fan of theirs when I was back there in the Philippines."
To ensure that the Filipino aspects of 'Plan 75' are represented correctly, its writer-director Chie Hayakawa partnered 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 the elderly face the grim reality of their government and society encouraging them to submit to mercy killing once they turn 75 years old.
Arianne said the story made her emotional when she read it. "I'm very, very close to my grandma, so this hits me. It really explored like what the elder generation are feeling, and what we are going to feel in the future as well, which is really scary too because you're not getting any younger," she noted.
Since she started modeling and acting, Arianne has booked several commercials and smaller roles in two films. 'Plan 75' was her biggest break to date.
After the film's Cannes success and upcoming global release, the actress said she hopes it leads to more substantial projects and a chance to star in Hollywood films.