Jill Damatac is a writer and filmmaker born in the Philippines, raised in the US, and settled in the UK. As a double immigrant, her work is centered around themes of migration, identity and indigeneity. Her film and photography work has featured on the BBC, TIME magazine, and film festivals worldwide; her short documentary film “Blood and Ink (Duo at Tinta)”, about the indigenous Filipino tattooist Apo Whang Od, was an official selection at the Academy Award-qualifying DOC NYC, winning Best Documentary at Ireland’s Kerry Film Festival.
Jill holds an MA in Documentary Film from the University of the Arts London and is a candidate for an MSt in Creative Writing at Cambridge University. She lives in London with her husband and their very large, very stubborn shih tzu. She is currently writing her first book, Dirty Kitchen, an excerpt of which has been published by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop magazine Margins, picked up by Longreads and translated into Dutch and Italian. World English language rights were pre-empted by US publisher Astra House, for publication in 2023.
Blending memoir, food writing and history, Jill takes us through two decades of a life undocumented in the United States, cooking her way through recipes from the Philippines as she searches for a sense of self and renewed possibility. Weaving together her journey with Filipino colonial history and long-buried indigenous traditions, she explores fractured memories to ask questions of what it means to belong.