Finalists for the New Breed Full-Length Feature category and Directors Showcase for the 2012 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition were announced recently.
Now on its eighth year, Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Film Development Council of the Philippines and Econolink Investments, Inc. It is an all-digital film festival and competition that aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.
See you at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival on July 20 to 29, 2012.
NEW BREED CATEGORY
- Ang Katiwala (The Caretaker) by Aloy Adlawan
- Ang Nawawala (What Isn’t There) by Marietta “Marie” Jamora
- Oros by Paul Sta. Ana and Obet Villela
- Apparition by Vincent Sandoval / Darlene Malimas
- DAYO by Julius Sotomayor Cena
- Diablo by Mes De Guzman
- Lola Igna by Eduardo W. Roy Jr.
- MNL 143 by Emerson Reyes
- REQUIEME by Loy Arcenas
- Santa Niña by Emmanuel Q.Palo
DIRECTORS SHOWCASE CATEGORY
- Bwakaw by Jun Lana
- Kalayaan (Wildlife) by Adolfo B. Alix Jr.
- Kamera Obskura by Raymond Red
- Posas by Jeffrey Jeturian
- Mga Mumunting Lihim by Jose Javier Reyes
My personal favorites for Director’s Showcase are Bwakaw, Kamera Obskura and Mga Mumunting Lihim, among others. Somehow Kalayaan is a bit interesting to watch, too. Similar interest si also for the following New Breeds: Sta. Niña and Apparisyon.
Here are the synopsis of the finalists for the Director’s Showcase Category:
BWAKAW by Jun Lana
SYNOPSIS Bwakaw is a drama-comedy about growing old, and everyone’s fear of growing old alone. Rene is a gay man who came out of the closet at age 70. Ailing in his twilight years, he thinks it is now too late for love, even companionship, and that all there is to look forward to is Death. He has made a will, bequeathing his few possessions to his even fewer friends. Everything is packed and labeled, ready for distribution. He has even paid for a coffin, taking advantage of a funeral home’s Summer Sale. Nowadays the only companion Rene has is Bwakaw, a stray dog that hangs around his house and follows him wherever he goes. As Rene waits for the day of his death, he gets the surprise of his life when it is Bwakaw who suddenly falls ill and is diagnosed with cancer. Rene is surprisingly affected, and he realizes that he values Bwakaw more than he thinks. In his struggle to get Bwakaw cured, Rene finds comfort in the most unlikely person: Sol, a tricycle driver who helps him bring Bwakaw to the vet and befriends him. Buoyed by Sol’s friendship, Rene starts living. Little by little he discovers simple joys. To the surprise of his friends, he even has his hair dyed to look younger. One day, he finally decides to make a move on Sol. The revelation that Rene is gay and has feelings for him surprises and disgusts Sol. He rejects Rene and leaves in anger. In the meantime, Bwakaw’s condition gets worse. Not even Rene’s ancient Santo Entierro (a supposedly miraculous statue of Jesus Christ) can save Bwakaw. Bwakaw dies, and Rene’s neighbors help him bury the faithful dog. But Bwakaw’s death, even while it was still only imminent, has made a difference. Rene has found a new appreciation for life and what is most important. He decides to unpack the things that he has already willed to other people and make his house more inhabitable. He is, after all, still alive.
FILMMAKER’S PROFILE Playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker Jun Robles Lana is the youngest Filipino to be inducted in the Palanca Literary Awards Hall of Fame. His debut screenplay “Sa Pusod Ng Dagat” (In the Navel of The Sea) directed by his mentor Marilou Diaz-Abaya premiered at the 1998 Berlin International Film Festival and also won him the Best Screenplay Award from the 1998 Brussels International Film Festival. Since then he has worked on mainstream and independent projects, as screenwriter for landmark films such as Jose Rizal and Muro Ami and as director/creative producer for Regal Films on projects such as Kulam, Tarot and My Neighbor’s Wife. He is presently the creative director of the drama department of GMA Television Network.
MAJOR CREDITS Cast: Eddie Garcia, Rez Cortez, Soliman Cruz, Bibeth Orteza, Joey Paras, Alan Paule, Beverly Salviejo, Soxie Topacio, Luz Valdez, Gardo Versoza, Ms. Armida Siguion-Reyna, Jonathan Neri, Ronaldo Bertubin, May-I Fabros and introducing Princess as Bwakaw. Production: Sound-Albert Michael Idioma, Production Design-Joey Luna, Editing-Lawrence S. Ang, Music-Jema Pamintuan & Jeff Hernandez, Cinematography-Carlo Mendoza, Story and Screenplay-Jun Robles Lana, Line Producer-Tonee Acejo, Producer Antonio P. Tuviera, Producer-Ferdinand Lapuz, Executive Producers Ramel David, Joselito Oconer & Michael Tuviera, Executive Producers Perci Intalan & Jun Robles Lana, Director JUN ROBLES LANA, DGPI
KALAYAAN (WILDLIFE) by Adolfo B. Alix Jr.
SYNOPSIS Julian, a Filipino soldier stationed in Kota Island, is ready to leave Kalayaan. He already completed his three months of service. News of a pending coup d’ etat in Manila orders him to stay in the island until further notice. With nothing much to do, he spends his waiting hours walking by the beachfront, cleaning his rifle, watching porn, listening to songs on his old radio to overcome boredom and loneliness. He also has to contend with ‘someone’ seemingly watching him. Not until his officer from the main island sends the loud mouth Lucio and the newbie Eric to station with him on the island. Their moments together – chatting, drinking, playing basketball and exchanging stories about a ghost soldier opens up things that Julian tries to forget. He is now confronted with a growing loneliness and remembers a traumatic experience in his past, which he doesn’t want to talk about. His only option for survival is to cope with reality or lose his own sanity.
FILMMAKER’S PROFILE Born October 1978 in Makati City, Philippines. He graduated magna cum laude at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila) with a degree in Mass Communications. He started as a scriptwriter for films and television. His first film, DONSOL was a finalist in the 2006 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and was the Philippines’ official submission to the Academy Awards® (OSCARS) Best Foreign Language Film category. Since his debut as a director, he has become one of the promising young Filipino filmmakers with his other films screened at variousinternational film festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Rotterdam, Busan, Mar del Plata among others. Alix has been recently listed by The Hollywood Reporter in its “Next Generation Asia 2010”, which features the top 20 young entertainment personalities in the region deemed “the best and the brightest among their peers” from a vast region considered “the world’s biggest entertainment market.” He is now in pre-production for PORNO which was part of the Hongkong-Asia Film Financing Forum.
MAJOR CREDITS Cast: Ananda Everingham, Zanjoe Marudo, Luis Alandy, Rocky Salumbides, Kiki Sugino, Angeli Bayani Production: Production Company -Phoenix Features/Wa Entertainment Supported by Cinemart/Hubert Bals Fund/Global Film Initiative; Director Adolfo Borinaga Alix, Jr.; Writer Adolfo Borinaga Alix, Jr.; Producer Arleen C. Cuevas; Co-Producer Kousuke Ono, Kiki Sugino; Associate Line Producer- Maan Dimla; Associate Director -Benjamin Tolentino; Production Manager-Rolly Palmes; Location Manager- Robin Palmes; Director of Photography- Albert Banzon; Production Designer- Adolfo Alix, Jr.; Editor- Aleks Castañeda; Music- Teresa Barrozo; Sound Design- Ditoy Aguila; Field Sound Recordist- Joseph Santos
KAMERA OBSKURA by Raymond Red
SYNOPSIS The title “Kamera Obskura” is a Filipino spelling of the latin “Camera Obscura” which simply means “dark room”. The film’s concept adheres to formalist cinema, where the filmmaker’s thesis is to make a semblance of a vintage film seemingly produced sometime in the late 1920s to early 1930s in the Philippines. The thesis is to conjure up a film from a period that did not really exist in Philippine cinema’s historical cultural heritage as we know it, such as a pseudo-expressionist / experimental Filipino cinema of the silent film era. It is a film within a film. The narrative plays with the idea of a retro-futurist world where a prisoner locked away in a dark chamber for over two decades only sees the reality of the world outside through the small hole in his cell, which projects an image of the city on his wall, the phenomenon of the “camera obscura”. He later immerses back into society by slowly climbing up the different social classes represented by the levels of different floors in a mysterious building, where corruption, deceit, and betrayal seem to be at work at every level. The film KAMERA OBSKURA is a tribute to Filipino cinema heritage. Through the re-imagining of an era of cinema in the transition from the lost silent era, the filmmaker hopes to instill in the next generation the recognition of the value of passing on that heritage before it is totally lost.
FILMMAKER’S PROFILE Raymond Red is one of the pioneering figures of modern Filipino alternative cinema. Having a background in Fine Arts and photography, he began by making numerous experimental and narrative super-8mm and 16mm short films in the 1980s which paved the way for recognition of Filipino alternative cinema both locally and at the international film festivals scene. He had then, at an early age, begun to inspire a new generation of independent filmmakers, mentoring early on quite a number of the prominent indie filmmakers of today. Red has earned the distinction of being one of the first Filipinos to receive a Rotterdam Hubert Bals Memorial grant, the first Filipino in the DAAD Berlin Artist-in-Residence grant, the first Filipino awarded the ZDF German TV grant, the first indie filmmaker awarded the Pag-Alab ng Sining Award by the U.P. College of Fine Arts, the first Filipino in the official selection of the New York Film Festival, one of only two Filipinos mentioned in the Oxford History of World Cinema, and being the first and so far only Filipino to have won the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival for his short film “ANINO”. Amongst his award-winning feature films are the historical epics “BAYANI” (1992) and “SAKAY” (1993), and the drama films “KAMADA” (1997) and “HIMPAPAWID” (2009). He is now finishing his latest feature, “KAMERA OBSKURA” for the Directors’ Showcase of the 2012 Cinemalaya Film Festival.
MAJOR CREDITS Cast: Pen Medina, Joel Torre, Nanding Josef, Abe Pagtama, Irene Gabriel, Ping Medina, Suzette Ranillo, Lou Veloso, Archie Adamos, Mads Nicolas, Sue Prado Production: Producers –Raymond Red and Filmex Inc., Direction –Raymond Red, Associate Producers-Butch Jimenez, Suzette Ranillo, Henry Frejas, Mac Alejandre, Mon Confiado, Paolo Villaluna, Editing and Cinematography-Raymond Red, Art Direction-Mikey Red, Production Design-Daniel Red and Cesar Hernando, Music-Diwa de Leon, Sound Engineering-Ditoy Agila, Visual Effects-Edrie Ocampo and Pablo Biglang-Awa, Production Managers –Cathy Sanidad, Ado Urbano, Marvin Manalo.
POSAS by Jeffrey Jeturian
SYNOPSIS Corruption is a process. Jestoni “Jess” Biag, early 20s, is a notorious snatcher victimizing people in bustling streets around Quiapo Church. As a routine, he steals wallets, gadgets and jewelries, which he will trade for a meager amount of peso—enough for him to survive and to support his family. Today, Jess will be captured by the police for snatching a cellphone of a call center agent, Ma. Grace Rosuello (Bangs Garcia). It’s his first time to undergo investigation. And as he goes in the process from Barangay Hall Clinic, Police Station to the Fiscal’s Office, we will witness how human rights violation bluntly executes, and how culture of corruption deviously perpetuates in this chain of institutions. In the end, despite the fact of proving Jess as guilty of committing theft, he will still get his freedom. But this freedom shackled him to a cycle upholding the predicament of his life.
FILMMAKER’S PROFILE Lawrence Fajardo studied film and theater in University of St. La Salle Bacolod and through internships with Peque Gallaga, Lore Reyes and Erik Matti. His breakthrough in the film making circuit was when his short film entitled “Kultado” won the Special Jury Prize in Cinemalaya 2005. The same film bagged the Best Short Film Award at the Gawad Urian in 2006. In addition, “Kultado” has also been exhibited in Singapore, Germany, Los Angeles and Italy, and was an official entry to the Clermond Ferrand Short Film Festival held in 2008. In 2007, “Liwanag sa Dilim”, another short film he directed, was a finalist in Cinemalaya Short Film Cateogry and was chosen to be shown at the Cinema Damare in Sicily, Italy. His biggest breakthrough in his filmmaking career was through his third film “Amok”, a finalist in the New Breed Category of the Cinemalaya 2011. It got rapturous reviews during the festival and won Best Editing and Best Sound. It was shown in Busan International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Detective Fest 2012 in Moscow, Russia where it won the Special Prize of the Jury Award. Locally, the film got 11 Gawad Urian nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. He is also a film editor with credits such as Milo Sogueco’s “Sanglaan”, Auraeus Solito’s “Boy”, Jobin Ballesteros’ “Colorum”, Dennis Marasigan’s “Anatomiya ng Korupsyon” and Jeffrey Jeturian’s “Bisperas”. He is currecntly busy with TV directing and other editing projects as well as facilitating the Film Production workshop in Bacolod every summer.
MAJOR CREDITS: Cast: Nico Antonio as Jess, Bangs Garcia as Grace, John “Sweet” Lapus as complainant, Art Acuña as Inspector Domingo, Nor Domingo as PO1 Damian, Jake Macapagal as SPO1 Santiago, Wendy Valdez as Idang, Susan Africa as Ester ad Philip Nolasco as Tantan. Production: Director-Lawrence Fajardo; DOP-Louie Quirino; Story and Screenplay-Zig Dulay; Executive Producers-Josabeth Alonso, Armando Lao, John Victor Tence; Line Producer-Krisma Maclang-Fajardo; Associate Producers-Angel Garces-Antonio and Ron Capili; Editor-Lawrence Fajardo; Musical Scorer-Joseph Lansang; Sound Designer-Addis Tabong and Wildsound Ami; Asst. Director-Zig Dulay; Production Manager-Philip Buena; Production Design-Lawrence Fajardo.
MGA MUMUNTING LIHIM by Jose Javier Reyes
SYNOPSIS The death of Mariel (JUDY ANN SANTOS) was met with such hurt by her three closest friends. But it was her best friend, Carla (IZA CALZADO) that she leaves a most special gift, a box full of her diaries through the years. Carla has been Mariel’s friend since their high school years; they have practically shared everything in their lives together. Their two other girl friends, Sandra (AGOT ISIDRO) and Olive (JANICE DE BELEN) formed the quartet who would get together ever so often and served as a mutual support system. Despite warnings from Sandra and Olive not to read the diaries left behind by Mariel, Carla could not help herself to find out what was written on those volumes of handwritten materials. True enough, what she
discovered completely shattered all her perceptions and beliefs of the friendship shared by the four women through the years. Inside those diaries were all the little secrets that the women kept from one another—all the hidden emotions, stories and comments that made their lives a sham. Death should be a closure but it could also be a terrible beginning and realization of what was hidden by the living.
FILMMAKER’S PROFILE Jose Javier Reyes is among the finest writers and directors for film and television in the Philippines. He is a multi-awarded director, screenwriter, playwright, essayist and a highly respected educator. His notable works as writer and director include the films “Katas ng Saudi” (Saudi Juice), “Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo”, “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo”, “I want to be Happy”, “Kutob”, “Spirit of the Glass”, “Malikmata”, “Anghel sa Lupa”, ”Kung Ako Na Lang Sana”, “Minsan May Puso”, “Live Show”, “Batang PX”, “Luksong Tinik”, “Nang Iniwan Mo Ako”, “Pare Ko”, “May Minamahal”, “Makati Avenue Office Girls”, “Hindi Kita Malilimutan”, “Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin”, “Iisa Pa Lamang” and “Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal?” He has won recognition from important and major film festivals and institutions such as the Metro Manila Film Festival, Star Awards Film Festival, Young Critics Circle Awards, URIAN Awards, Gawad Tanglaw Awards, FAMAS Awards, Asia Pacific Film Festival. He was awarded Best Screenplay for his work in Oro, Plata, Mata by the Asia Pacific Film Festival in 1982 and the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines in 1981. He won a Palanca award for his play “Lamat” (Crack) in 1983. His film Live Show (Toro) which he wrote and directed as the official selection for the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival and twelve other international film festivals from 2000-2001.
MAJOR CREDITS: Cast: Iza Calzado, Agot Isidro, Janice de Belen and Miss Judy Ann Santos. Production: Produced by Largavista Entertainment Incorporated. Director/Writer-Jose Javier Reyes; Executive Producer-Charyl Chan-De Guzman; Photography-Rodolfo Aves Jr.; Design-Jay Custodio; Sound-Albert Michael Idioma and Addis Tabong; Music-Jesse Lucas; Editor-Vanessa de Leon.