From Janet With Love


A digital interactive story by Helene Klodawsky

Producer: Kat Baulu The National Film Board of Canada

Photographer: Rita Leistner

In From Janet with Love, the daughter of a Filipino pen-pal bride explores her mother’s life as an immigrant care worker and DIY philanthropist.

Janet arrived in Canada when she was 21, newly married to Danny, a factory worker who fell in love with Janet’s pen-pal catalog photo.

Janet works in accounting. Weekends and evenings she cares for frail, affluent seniors, donating much of her paltry earnings to impoverished youth in her former village.

Jennifer, her Canadian daughter, hates seeing Janet treated as another “replaceable, submissive Filipina”. Across this mother-daughter divide, they try to understand one another.

From Janet With Love is part of a National Film Board of Canada series of interactive photo and illustration essays reflecting on legacy and inheritance a century and a half into Canadian Confederation.


Harbourfront Gallery, Toronto, 2017

Pier 21, Halifax, 2017


World Press Photo 2018

Digital Storytelling Contest, Innovative Storytelling, 2ndPrize

Canadian Digital Publishing Awards, Nominee, 2018