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MANILA, Philippines – Laotian-Australian actor Ananda Everingham only has positive words for his Filipino co-stars in the upcoming Adolf Alix, Jr. film, “Kalayaan (‘Wildlife’).”
The Thailand-born Ananda, familiar among Filipinos for his role in the horror film “Shutter,” is cast alongside Zanjoe Marudo, Luis Alandy, Rocky Salumbides, Angeli Bayani, and Kiki Sugino in “Kalayaan,” which is part of the Director’s Showcase of this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.
Working with them was “refreshing,” said Ananda in an interview with Inquirer. He particularly noted Zanjoe and Marudo, who in spite of their mainstream status, “had the sensibility and dedication that the film required.”
Ananda likewise lauded his director, who “worked nonstop.”
This Ananda-Adolf collaboration has been years in the making. Their first meeting at the Bangkok Film Festival held years back apparently came at the right time, as Ananda was interested in doing work outside his country. In a 2008 interview with PEP, Adolf related, “Noong nag-usap kami, sabi ko bagay sa kanya ‘yung role kasi mukha naman siyang Filipino. So mag-aaral siyang mag-Tagalog."
“Kalayaan,” set in the lovely Palawan, centers on the “lonely lives of Filipino soldiers stationed in the Spratly islands,” as stated in the film’s Facebook page.
Ananda related in a separate PEP interview how he got convinced to work with Adolf—whose string of films include “Donsol” (2006), “Manila” (2008), and “Batanes” (2007), which paired Taiwanese singer-actor and F4 member Ken Zhu with actress Iza Calzado.
“From seeing the films that he's made the last couple of years and how he's developed and so on, I'm very keen on working with him. I understand that making independent films is tougher than your regular studio kind of thing. My favorite one from him is ‘Adela,’" he enthused.
Also written by Adolf, “Kalayaan” is one of the 10 films that received a script development grant from the Hubert Bals Fund, a project of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The Global Film Initiative likewise awarded “Kalayaan” with production funding, along with nine other films, as part of its Winter 2012 granting cycle.
A source said another finalist in the New Breed category is in danger of disqualification, also due to casting disagreements with the competition committee. Eduardo Roy Jr.’s “Lola Igna” reportedly had to cancel filming last week upon the order of committee members, who did not approve of actress Sue Prado being cast. They also ordered a “major script revision,” the source added.
Meanwhile, Lawrence Fajardo has replaced Jeffrey Jeturian as director of “Posas,” a film competing in the Directors’ Showcase category. Online reports said Jeturian could not take a leave of absence from ABS-CBN, where he just started directing a new drama series. “Posas,” a coproduction of Quantum Films, features Bangs Garcia and Nico Antonio.
Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino
Directed by Lem Lorca
Story Eros Atalia
Screenplay Jerry Gracio
JM de Guzman
Aloy Adlawan returns to his indie roots - "I wrote the script of the movie with Dennis (Trillo) in mind."
By: Rica Arevalo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 5, 2012 | 12:42 am
TRILLO. Portrays a caretaker in Cinemalaya entry.
It was Labor Day (May 1) when we visited the set of Aloy Adlawan’s Cinemalaya entry, “Ang Katiwala” in an empty house, previously owned by LVN’s Doña Sisang on Broadway st., Quezon City.
Cinematographer Carlo Mendoza practiced the dolly movement of his camera as we watched Dennis Trillo learn to polish the old and thick wooden floors for his role as the mansion’s caretaker. It was the production’s last shooting day, and the set was quiet and relaxed. Adlawan sat in front of a television monitor, through which he was watching Trillo.
Adlawan shares, “I wrote the script of the movie with Dennis in mind. I worked with him on ‘Magdusa Ka,’ where he was very good. Unfortunately, he isn’t given a lot of opportunities to explore his craft in the mainstream. In this film, he doesn’t hold back; he’s giving me more than I expected!”
The film is inspired by an article that the writer-director read, about a controversial property that was being sold despite its significant historical value. He explains, “It was valuable because a prominent figure used to reside there. The article mentioned that the house was abandoned, and that a caretaker lived there. That was where I got the idea for the film. So, I read and researched about this person’s life.”.......(actually, the old house of former Pres. Manuel Quezon which is being referred to in this movie. this info comes from Dennis Trillo himself when he replied to his instagram followers who asked him about the house in this movie.)
Adlawan made his directorial debut during the first Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival in 2005 via “Room Boy.” He followed it up with two more indie features, “Signos” and “Padyak.”
He intimates, “My TV career is stable and comfortable, but the mainstream industry moves in a box. You can only play so much with comedy, romance and horror—and I have other stories to tell!"
“Making this film balances my act. I use the money I earn from the mainstream to make indies, so I get to make the films I want. And, since I also write, I don’t pay myself to do that anymore. It’s a practical arrangement!”
PLEASE FOLLOW DENNIS TRILLO ON THESE SITES:
TWITTER - http://www.twitter.com/DennisFTrillo
^^ this is the REAL Dennis Trillo on twitter and he just recently joined the twitter world last week pa lang.
INSTAGRAM - @dennistrillo
OFFICIAL TWITTER FANSITE - http://www.twitter.com/OFFICIALDennisT
OFFICIAL FACEBOOK SITE - http://www.facebook.com/TheOfficalDennisTrillo
taken from Dennis Trillo's instagram site @dennistrillo -"Katiwala" shoot day 4
taken from Ang Katiwala cinematographer Carlo Mendoza instagram site @dcarlomen
Last edited by angel5612; Jun 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM.
FIRST DAY OF SHOOTING, BEHIND THE SCENES, OF DENNIS TRILLO'S ANG KATIWALA MOVIE FOR THE CINEMALAYA FILMFEST THIS JULY 2012.
PLEASE LIKE THE FACEBOOK LINK OF ANG KATIWALA--
DENNIS IS BEING WELCOMED FOR HIS FIRST DAY OF SHOOTING.
pinaitim si dennis in this movie para maging poor, simple, probinsyano looking. hehe another kakaibang role for dennis as he continues to prove his acting versatility. lahat ng klaseng roles kering keri nya ... very unusual for top kapuso mainstream actors like him.
Last edited by angel5612; Jun 9, 2012 at 11:38 AM.
Mainstream actors invades Cinemalaya 2012! Magkano na kaya ang ticket?
Carla Abellana for Bwakaw (a Jun Lana movie for Cinemalaya)
PEP's Guide to Cinemalaya 2012 - part 1:
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Mainstream stars once again lend their time and talent for the entries that will compete in this year’s Cinemalaya. The 8th edition of Cinemalaya will be held from July 20-29, 2012 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines as well as selected cinemas in Greenbelt, Makati City; and TriNoma, Quezon City.
This year’s entries for the New Breed category are: Ang Katiwala (The Caretaker) by Aloy Adlawan; Ang Nawawala (What Isn’t There) by Marietta “Marie” Jamora; Aparisyon by Vincent Sandoval and Darlene Malimas; Diablo by Mes de Guzman; Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino by Lemuel Lorca; Mga Dayo (Resident Aliens) by Julius Sotomayor Cena; Oros by Paul Sta. Ana; REquieme! by Loy Arcenas; Santa Niña by Emmanuel Palo; and The Animals by Gino Santos.
Filipino directors who have directed at least three full-length commercial feature films get to compete in a separate category known as the Directors Showcase. The five finalists competing are: Bwakaw by Jun Lana; Kalayaan (Wildlife) by Adolfo Alix Jr.; Kamera Obskura by Raymond Red; Posas by Lawrence Fajardo; and Mga Mumunting Lihim (Those Little Secrets) by Jose Javier Reyes.
Aside from the full-length entries, there are ten entries competing in the short film category this year. These are: Bohe: Son of the Sea by Nadjoua Bansil, Ang Paghihintay sa Bulong by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Pasahero by Mario Celeda, As He Sleeps by Sheron Dayoc, Sarong Aldaw by Marianito Dio Jr., Balintuna by Emmanuel Escalona Jr., Ruweda by Hannah Espia, Ulian (Senility) by Chuck Gutierrez, Manenaya (Waiting) by Seymour B. Sanchez and Richard Legaspi, and Victor by Jarell Serencio.
PEP'S Guide to Cinemalaya 2012 - part 2:
NEW BREED CATEGORY. Here are the 10 films competing in the New Breed section of the 8th Cinemalaya:
Ang Katiwala (The Caretaker) Stars: Dennis Trillo, Althea Vega, Ronnie Lazaro Writer-Director: Aloy Adlawan
Ruben (Dennis Trillo) loses his job as a carpenter in a small town in Quezon where he lives with his wife Edna (Althea Vega) and their 10-year old son, Budoy (Miggs Cuaderno). Desperate to make ends meet, he accepts a job as a caretaker of an abandoned property inQuezon City. Ruben soon finds out that the previous owner of the house is an important figure in the country’s history. When he is interviewed by a TV reporter about this historical figure, Ruben feels embarrassed that he knows nothing about him.
Ruben soon starts reading up to get to know more about the life of this person, his accomplishments and what he has done for the people. Ruben’s fascination about the person’s life and his inevitable hero-worship irks the only friend he has in the sprawling compound, the night-shift security guard, Gimo (Ronnie Lazaro), who jokes that Ruben is slowly being possessed by the soul of his new hero. Writer-director Aloy Adlawan specifically wrote the script with Dennis Trillo in mind. They previously worked together on the GMA-7 teleserye Magdusa Ka (2008), where Direk Aloy served as head writer.
Ang Nawawala (What Isn’t There) Stars: Dawn Zulueta, Dominic Roco, Felix Roco, Buboy Garovillo Director: Marietta “Marie” Jamora Writers: Marie Jamora and Ramon De Veyra
Twenty-year old Gibson Bonifacio (Dominic Roco) returns to Manila for the holidays, his first visit home in three years. He's been studying abroad, and his homecoming is a mix of anxiety and excitement. While the holidays are always festive in the Philippines (home of the world's longest Christmas season), for his family, it is always tinged with sadness, marking as it does yet another anniversary of the accidental death of his identical twin brother Jamie (Felix Roco). The event after which, Gibson stopped speaking entirely. This year, a full decade has passed, and yet there are still everyday reminders of their loss, since a carbon copy of the son that has died is the son who survives.
Gibson comes home to a fractured family, tensions roiling under the surface covered by the tablecloth-gleam of Christmas cheer. Amidst the subculture of Manila’s overlooked upper middle class youth, Gibson searches for genuine connection. As his childhood best friend reaches out to him, and, as he finds a possible romance in a young woman, Gibson reconsiders and redefines his relationship with his family, with himself, even with his dead brother: the only person he talks to. Writer-director Marie Jamora praised Dawn Zulueta for her outstanding portrayal of Gibson’s mother, Esme. She described Dawn by saying, “Ang galing niya kasi almost all the work has been done. Her interpretation of the character…she brought something na parang I didn’t imagine while writing I was writing the script. She brought another layer so super okay na experience to work with her.” Direk Marie, who has been a commercial and music video director for the last 10 years, describes Ang Nawawala as a “coming-of-age love story.” In the film, Gibson develops a budding romance with Enid (played by Annicka Dolonius, half-sister of Sanya Smith). This entry makes use of Original Pinoy Music and features songs and performances of Sandwich, Pedicab, Itchyworms, and Ebe Dancel, among others.
Aparisyon Stars: Jodi Sta. Maria, Mylene Dizon, Raquel Villavicencio, Fides Cuyugan-Asensio Director: Vincent Sandoval Writers: Vincent Sandoval, Jerry Gracio, and Raquel Villavicencio
Aparisyon is a film about contemplative nuns who must grapple with an act of violence in the months leading to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972. Sister Lourdes (Jodi Sta. Maria) is a new member of the Adoration Monastery, which is under the leadership of Mother Superior Ruth (Fides Cuyugan-Asensio). Sister Lourdes becomes close to Sister Remy (Mylene Dizon) whohas to deal with the fact that her activist brother has been snatched away. Raquel Villavicencio is also cast as Sister Vera, who is Mother Ruth’s aide and confidante.
According to Direk Vince, Aparisyon “focuses on the lives of these cloistered nuns, who are walled in by the monastery and insulated from the rest of the world. But the world outside makes itself felt indelibly and even brutally.” Did he deliberately choose to make the film to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law? Direk Vince pointed out: “It's incidental at best as I didn't set out to do an advocacy film. Although I do feel it is important that we don't have historical amnesia, especially since I belong to the generation after Martial Law.”
Diablo revolves around Lusing (played by Ama Quiambao), mother to five grown up sons who have distinct characters and professions of their own. The first born is Ronaldo (Jose Escobedo), an elementary school teacher assigned in a remote village. He is followed by Fernando (Fredie dela Cruz), an army lieutenant, while the third child, Alberto (Roeder Camañag), lives in the city trying to manage a fledging business. He is succeeded by Ruben (Arnold Reyes), a farmer who tills the two-hectare rice field owned by the family, part of the few properties left by Lusing’s late husband. Her youngest is Oscar (Carlo Aquino), a deep thinker who chose to be a nomadic hermit. Oscar is in pursuit of enlightenment. He travels to search for the “illuminating radiance” he witnessed as a child while flying a kite in their rice field. He wears a white missionary gown and goes around the village and up the hills carrying a lamp.
Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino Stars: JM de Guzman, LJ Reyes, Joross Gamboa, Arnold Reyes Director: Lemuel Lorca Writer: Jerry Gracio based on a short story by Eros Atalia
Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino is a unique love story set in the "tahungan" (tahong) in Kalye Marino in Sangley Point, Cavite City from its glorious past during the American regime to its current condition today. JM de Guzman, who plays the title character, suffered from muscle cramps after diving again and again for his scenes as a diver harvesting tahong (green bay mussels). “Anim na oras si JM sa dagat. Mag-hapon kami sa dagat kasi meron kaming mga scenes sa ilalim ng tubig. Sabay pa kaming pinulikat niyan pagkaahon namin sa tubig…ang sakit!” narrates director Lemuel Lorca. LJ Reyes, whose character is called Doray Langaw, is a babaeng hamog. The term refers to a woman who has sex with fishermen in exchange for money or fish that she can sell in the market. In an interview with PEP.ph, LJ admitted that she felt nervous about accepting the role of a prostitute. She revealed, “Kay JM isa [ang love scene], pero marami akong love scenes kasi yung character ko, may pagka-pokpok.” Portraying Intoy’s barkada are Joross Gamboa as Bertong Baka, Arnold Reyes as Boyet Bagol, and Kenneth Salva as Yeyeng Tikol. Direk Lem praised his cast members for not being squeamish about swimming in the dirty water of Sangley Point. “si Richard Quan, si JM de Guzman, si Joross, sila yung lumulubog sa tubig…lumulubog sila sa mga madudumi. “I’m so surprised that the actors, lahat sila walang karekla-reklamo. Siguro dahil nakikita nila nakalubog din ako sa tubig…they’re such troopers.” Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino, with a screenplay written by Jerry Gracio, is faithful to the short story of Eros Atalia of the same title. It won first prize in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2006.
Mga Dayo (Resident Aliens) Stars: Sue Prado, Janela Carera, Olga Natividad Writer-Director: Julius Sotomayor Cena
Mga Dayo (Resident Aliens) is the first Cinemalaya entry to be shot entirely out of the Philippines. In this film, a photographer named Alex (Sue Prado) is getting into a fixed marriage to obtain a permanent resident card while a journalist named Miriam (Janela Carera) is waiting for her green card. Another major character, a housekeeper named Ella (Olga Natividad), is torn between keeping her 88-year-old mother's residency on Guam or sending her back home to the Philippines. Set against a classic migration story of Thanksgiving, Mga Dayo hopes to represent a few of millions of Filipino immigrant experiences in America. According to writer-director Julius Sotomayor Cena, all three stories are based on real events but the characters are fictional. He points out that the common thread that ties the three characters together is their green cards and their migration issues. The scenes were mostly shot at Bayview and Oceanview Hotel in Tumon, Guam.
Oros Stars: Kristoffer King, Kristoffer Martin, Tanya Gomez Director: Paul Sta. Ana Writers: Paul Sta. Ana and Obet Villela
In Manila, Philippines, an unidentified cadaver or a “spot” is found. In order to generate income from an unidentified body, the funeral parlor owner sells the body to Makoy (Kristoffer King), a kasero in a saklaan, who takes interest in the “spot.” Makoy and his reluctant younger brother, Abet (Kristoffer Martin) then stage a three-week long fake wake which holds the illegal saklaan. The sakla personnel deals with everyone involved, including Linda (Tanya Gomez), the homeowner, as they agree upon a fictional story that will “legitimize” the wake.
As the fake wake commences, gamblers earn their keeps through various games of chance (tong-its, bingo and sakla). Prolonging the wake provides a venue to generate income: impoverished families are able to generate income from the illegal operation.
Oros is a story about people who find the means to live by exploiting the dead. Writer-director Paul Sta. Ana explains the role of Kristoffer King in the movie. “Ang kasero ang kumukuha ng unclaimed body sa isang funeraria. Bumili si Makoy ng unclaimed body para pagkakitaan at magamit sa saklaan. Kasi ang patay siya ang nagiging lisensiya para magkaroon ng saklaan, pag walang patay, walang saklaan. “Para kumita sila, nagse setup sila ng fake wake kunsaan hindi kamag-anak ng patay ang may-ari ng bahay.” Makoy wants his younger brother to be a kasero like him but Abet (Kristoffer Martin) wants to put up a business like a carinderia.
REquieme! Stars: Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Rez Cortez Director: Loy Arcenas Writers: Loy Arcenas and Rody Vera, based on a short story by Gina Apostol
Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino topbills Loy Arcenas’ REquieme! This is a black comedy about a transvestite, three deaths, two wakes, a funeral and a provincial town of gossipers eager to claim relations with a notorious murderer. Rex Cortez is cast as Budoy, the husband of Shamaine’s character. Shamaine, who bagged the Best Supporting Actress trophy last year for the Cinemalaya entry Niño, is reunited with Direk Loy for this project. She is now cast as Swanie, a woman who wants to claim the body of Adolf Payapa. This man supposedly killed an international fashion designer named Vidal Valere in the United States. Direk Loy revealed that REquieme! is inspired by Gina Apostol’s short story titled Cunanan’s Wake. Apostol’s work of fiction re-imagines the death of Fil-American Andrew Cunanan, who allegedly shot and killed Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997. Another incident that inspired REquieme! happened to Rody Vera’s friend who wanted to bury someone. However, the friend was unable to do so because of bureaucracy or “red tape.”
Sta. Niña Stars: Coco Martin, Angel Aquino, Alessandra de Rossi, Anita Linda Director: Emmanuel “Manny” Palo Writers: Emmanuel “Manny” Palo and Liza Magtoto
Sta. Niña is a fictional story of a girl whose body was preserved in lahar, prompting people to believe that she can produce miracles. Writer-director Emmanuel “Manny” Palo explained, “Namatay yung bata before matabunan ng lahar ang Bacolor in 1995. During the evacuation, yung mag-asawa iniwan nila yung bangkay kasi they cannot bring it to the relocation area. Matatabunan yung bahay nila ng lahar. Gusto nila na ilibing properly yung bata. After 10 years, mahuhukay siya and yung katawan ng batawas still intact.” Coco Martin portrays Pol Mungkal, a father who is campaigning to have his daughter recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. His wife Madel is portrayed by Alessandra de Rossi. Coco admitted that he couldn’t sleep when he read the script of Sta. Niña. The ABS-CBN actor was then busy taping for the teleserye Walang Hanggan but Coco wanted to do this film even when it meant that he would have to carry a heavy cross and shoot a crucifixion scene. Direk Manny says about Coco: “Nagpasan siya talaga ng krus sa kalye ng San Fernando [in Pampanga]. Tumagal ng maghapon ang eksena na crucifixion scene at inabot siya ng isang oras na nakasabit sa krus.” Another big scene in the film is the rally led by Pol wherein townsfolk marched from Bacolor, Pampanga to Manila in order to show their support for his cause.
The Animals Stars: Albie Casiño, Patrick Sugui, Dawan Balagot, John Wayne Sace Writer-Director: Gino Santos
Set in an affluent, upper middle class village in the suburbs, The Animals chronicles a day in the life of Jake (Albie Casiño), Trina (Dawn Balagot), and Alex (Patrick Sugui, former Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash Of 2010 housemate), who go through the musings that every kid in high school has to deal with. All Jake wants to do is have a good time, Alex just wants to fit in, and Trina simply wants more. A very vivid picture is painted of life in high school after the final bell rings, as well as a different side of the Philippines, and what is happening to its privileged children. Writer-director Gino Santos, the 22-year-old filmmaker who used to organize parties in high school, admits his film has elements of “drugs, alcohol, and rape but the film focuses on the characters.” Albie Casiño is cast as a fun-loving boy named Jake. Direk Gino says about his character: “Sabi ni Albie sa ‘kin never pa siya nag take-off ng shirt in front of a camera. Tapos he has a make-out scene so that would be a first also.” Dawn Balagot portrays a beautiful and smart student named Trina while former Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash of 2010 housemate Patrick Sugui is cast as her younger brother named Alex. Direk Gino says Alex is the “bad boy” in the story. “Patrick’s character is the type of teenager who doesn’t know where he’s going. He’s like a lost kid so that’s why he goes with the wrong crowd and makes the wrong decisions.” John Wayne Sace is cast as Alex’s close friend who is also part of the same fraternity.
PEP's Guide to Cinemalaya 2012 part 3:
DIRECTOR’S SHOWCASE CATEGORY. Here are the entries competing in the Directors Showcase category of the 8th Cinemalaya:
Bwakaw Stars: Eddie Garcia, Rez Cortez, Gardo Versoza, Soxy Topacio, Armida Siguion-Reyna Writer-Director: Jun Lana
Bwakaw is a drama-comedy about growing old, and everyone’s fear of growing old alone. Rene (Eddie Garcia) 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.
Nowadays the only companion Rene has is Bwakaw, a stray dog that hangs around his house and follows him wherever he goes. Rene feeds him, but refuses to show him affection.
As Rene waits for the day of his death, he gets the surprise of his life when it is Bwakaw who suddenly falls ill. In his struggle to get Bwakaw cured, Rene finds comfort in the most unlikely person: Sol (Rez Cortez), a tricycle driver who helps him bring Bwakaw to the vet and befriends him.
Buoyed by Sol’s friendship, Rene starts living and discovering simple joys. The 75-year-old man finally learns to live life without fear because of man’s best friend.
Kalayaan (Wildlife) Stars: Laotian-Australian actor Ananda Everingham,Japanese actress Kiki Sugino, Zanjoe Marudo, Luis Alandy Director: Adolfo Alix Jr. Writer-director
Adolfo Alix Jr. was inspired to do the film Kalayaan when he chanced upon an article discussing how different countries are claiming the Spratly islands. He also read about the military installations put up by the Philippines in the islands being claimed by other countries such as China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. He tapped Laotian-Australian actor Ananda Everingham to play the lead role of a soldier named Julian Macaraeg. Ananda, who is best known for the 2004 horror film Shutter, brings life to a man who must cope with loneliness as he is stationed in the remote island. The actor, who is considered a popular star in Thailand, shot the film in Palawan for 12 days. Due to time constraints and security reasons, Direk Adolf decided to shoot in mainland Palawan instead of shooting in the Spratlys. “We had to re-create the installation based on the photographs that we gathered. We found similar landscapes in Cowrie and Luli island so we built our set there.” Soldiers were stationed in the Spratlys for three months but the military shortened the duty to one month. Based on Direk Adolf’s research, this is reportedly because most of the soldiers suffered anxiety and low morale. “[The soldiers] have transistor radios, TV and DVD players.
They use two-way radios in order to communicate with their main base.” Despite these forms of communication, there are soldiers who have difficulties dealing with the long period of isolation. In fact, Direk Adolf revealed: “In most of my interviews, the soldiers often mention their own mermaid stories.” Japanese actress Kiki Sugino plays the mermaid in one of the crucial scenes of the movie. Direk Adolf revealed that they had to bring their own generator in the mangroves where they shot this scene. Zanjoe Marudo plays Lucio, the bratty and loudmouthed soldier who has been assigned in the Spratly a couple of times. Luis Alandy portrays Eric, a newly assigned soldier in the island. Direk Adolf says that his movie aims to focus on the real victims of this situation: “the Filipino soldier who doesn’t even know what their real purpose is in guarding those islands.”
Kamera Obskura Stars: Pen Medina, Joel Torre Writer-Director: Raymond Red
Kamera Obskura can be described as “a fictitious Filipino black-and-white silent expressionist film supposedly found recently by our film archivists and historians.” In this experimental film-within-a-film, Pen Medina portrays a prisoner locked away in a dark chamber for over two decades. He only sees the reality of the world outside through a small hole in his cell, which projects an image of the city on his wall. He watches people passing by, projected like an inverted movie. As he yearns to rejoin society, he eventually chips away on the hole until it is big enough for him to escape through. Direk Raymond points out: “Since 1983, I’ve been thinking of giving homage to silent cinema. ‘Yon yung wala tayo sa Philippines since ang sama ng film preservation natin at wala tayong awareness. “Ever since, meron akong fascination for cinema heritage and film history. In fact, 1990s ko pa pinaplano ito pero ngayon lang natuloy.” Direk Raymond already worked on a short film with a similar theme that was released in 2006. “Si Pen Medina na rin ang actor ko noon na nakakulong [in his short film titled Mistulang Kamera Obskura]. Sinali ko yung short film na iyon sa Imahe Nasyon [an omnibus film comprised of 20 short films created by 20 filmmakers].” The veteran director believes the now is the perfect time for his obra. “There’s a transition now to digital; mawawala na ang film--yung celluloid cinema. Kaya nagkataon ganun na ang thinking ng mga filmmakers ngayon: paying tribute to cinema heritage and history.”
Posas Stars: Nico Antonio, Bangs Garcia, Art Acuña, Jake Macapagal, Nor Domingo Director: Lawrence Fajardo Writer: Zig Carlo Dulay
To prepare for his role in Posas, singer-actor Nico Antonio actually took instructions from a real-life snatcher on how to steal a cellphone. His character Jestoni “Jess” Biag 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.
The film shows how Jess is 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, viewers will witness how human rights violation bluntly executes, and how culture of corruption deviously perpetuates in this chain of institutions.
PO1 Damian (played by Nor Domingo) chased Jess as he ran along the streets of Manila. According to co-producer Atty. Joji Alonso, they had to reshoot the snatching scene of the film because it was very difficult shooting in Quiapo. Former Pinoy Big Brother housemate Wendy Valdez is cast as Idang, the girlfriend of Jess the snatcher. One of the most-talked about scene in the movie is the torture scene of Nico’s character. Nico Antonio endured waterboarding, a form of torture wherein water is repeatedly poured over someone's face, when his character is caught by the police. The actor temporarily developed a phobia of water because of this traumatic experience.
Mga Mumunting Lihim (Those Little Secrets) Stars: Iza Calzado, Agot Isidro with the special participation of Janice de Belen and Ms. Judy Ann Santos Writer-Director: Jose Javier Reyes
In Mga Mumunting Lihim, Iza Calzado, Judy Ann Santos, Agot Isidro, and Janice de Belen bring life to the women whose bonds of friendship are tested when they discover secrets about each other. Mariel (Judy Ann) and Carla (Iza) have been close friends since high school. When they grow up, Carla becomes a successful advertising executive while Mariel is a married woman who is actually jealous of Carla. They meet Olive (Janice de Belen) and Sandra (Agot Isidro) who eventually become part of their barkada. Judy Ann describes the movie by saying, “Pinapakita nito yung relationship ng magkakaibigan, paano na build at paano muntik magkawatak-watak dahil sa isang makabuluhang journal.” In lieu of the meek characters that she portrayed in the past, Judy Ann accepted this role, which she describes as a “slight kontrabida.” Mariel (Judy Ann) is afflicted with a terminal disease and when she died, her friends got to read her diary containing her darkest secrets. Iza says about her character Carla: “I am ambitious and career driven. Ako yung type ng babae na matibay sa lahat ng bagay pero sa isang punto sa buhay ko, nagkaroon ako ng vulnerability na nag-trigger for me to become cold and cut off.” Direk Joey admitted that Mga Mumunting Lihim is a very personal film for him. “It’s a movie about friendship. It’s about the death of a friend. I’m dedicating it to one of my best friends, Don Escudero.” The director/production designer died of colon cancer in July 2011.
‘Full force’ for Cinemalaya
Published : Friday, June 29, 2012 00:00 Article Views : 517 Written by : EUDEN VALDEZ STAFF WRITER
Cinemalaya organizing committee (seated in front) with this year’s roster of filmmakers PHOTO BY RENE DILAN
Now on its eight year, Cinemalaya 2012 will be backed with the full force of veteran and young filmmakers; indie and mainstream actors; and entries shot in provincial and international locations.
A press conference was held on Thursday at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City to announce Cinemalaya 8’s complete list of films in competition.
A grand total of 25 new digital and independent films from three different categories will be showcased from July 20 to 29—a veritable proof that the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival remains to be the biggest venue for alternative cinema.
“After eight years of producing and presenting excellent and engaging films, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival is the leader of all the indie films festivals. It also inspired the creation of other festivals that encourage new voices [and] new ways of telling stories,” said CCP’s artistic director Chris Millado in his opening remarks.
Millado’s address was followed by the presentation of the competing films, showing their trailers, and introducing their directors and actors. The honor of announcing the 25 finalists was given to competition chairman Laurice Guillen.
The 10 films from the Short Feature category featuring works of new directors are: Ang Paghihintay sa Bulong by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, As He Sleeps by Sheron Dayoc, Balintuna by Emmanuel Escalona Jr., Bohe Sons of the Waves by Nadjoua Bansil, Manenaya by Richard Legaspi, Pasahero by Mario Celada, Ruweda by Hannah Espia, Sarong Aldaw by Marianito Dio Jr., and Ulian (Senility) by Chuck Gutierrez.
The 10 films from the New Breed full-length category featuring the works of young visionaries are: Aparisyon by Vincent Sandoval, Ang Katiwala by Aloy Adlawan, Ang Nawawala by Marietta Jamora, Mga Dayo by Julius Sotomayor Cena, Diablo by Mes de Guzman, Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino by Lemuel Lorca, Oros by Paul Sta. Ana, REquieme! by Loy Arcenas, Santa Nina by Emmanuel Quindo Palo, and The Animals by Gino Santos.
Finally, Cinemalaya’s most awaited category, the Directors Showcase will showcase films from five of the country’s most established directors: They are Jose Javier Reyes for Mga Mumunting Lihim (Those Little Secrets), Adolfo Alix Jr. for Kalayaan (Wildlife), Raymond Red for Kamera Obskura, Jun Robles for Bwakaw, and Lawrence Fajardo for Posas (Shackled).
A force of ‘firsts’
Themed “Full Force,” Cinemalaya 8 goes all out in fulfilling this catchphrase. It begins by showcasing many firsts in the independent film festival.
New Breed entry Mga Dayo will be the first independent film to be screened at Cinemalaya entirely shot, outside the country. According to its writer and director Julius Sotomayor Cena, Mga Dayo tells the story of three Pinays in Guam and their continuous struggle and issues in a foreign country.
Another New Breed entry that stands out is Aparisyon. The film boasts of an all-female cast led by Jodi Sta. Maria and Mylene Dizon. Most of the characters are comprised of nuns, with almost 90 percent of the film shot inside a monastery.
Film aficionados will be taken back in time with Raymond Red’s black and white silent film Kamera Obskura. The director and producer said, “It is also very rare that silent films are created anymore. And it is my goal is to preserve our country’s heritage and history through silent films.” The film which conveys a Charlie Chaplin-feel stars veteran actors Pen Medina, Joel Torre, Nanding Josef and Lou Veloso, among others.
Other films tackle the different peoples, places, cultures: Pampanga is showcased in three films, Santa Nina, Victor, and Manenaya; the mag-tatahong of Cavite in Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino; the Badjaos in Bohe Sons of the Waves and the Bicolanons in Sarong Aldaw.
Though Cinemalaya remains to be the artistic venue of up and coming independent actors, this year’s festival will also see the brightest stars in Philippine show business.
Perhaps the most star-studded entry is Jose Javier Reyes’ Mga Mumunting Lihim. It stars Judy Ann Santos, Iza Calzado, Agot Isidro and Janice de Belen as best chums who lost one of their closest friends.
Coco Martin and Alessandra de Rossi, meanwhile, are cast in Santa Nina; Eddie Garcia and Rez Cortez in Bwakaw; brothers Felix and Dominic Roco in Ang Nawawala; and JM de Guzman is Intoy Syokoy while Dennis Trillo is the “katiwala.”
Asked to comment on the huge turnout of mainstream actors in Cinemalaya, Guillen told The Manila Times, “These actors enter Cinemalaya, so they can be in the kind of films the Cinemalaya does—alternative films. As actors, they want to prove that they can also do this kind of work.”
Indie in mainstream
Cinemalaya is certainly growing bigger every year, thanks to its continued success. Proof of this is the addition of an outside venue, Trinoma, for screenings this year. In 2011, Cinemalaya also opened in Greenbelt.
“There is more interest now in watching Cinemalaya films. That is why we are going to mainstream venues, like Trinoma and Greenbelt so that a more regular audience is reached,” Guillen added.
There will also be numerous activities during Cinemalaya’s run, including NCCA Premieres, Ani and Cinemalaya Documentaries focus on Early Indies. About 60 films, with the 25 in competition, will be exhibited throughout the festival.
Cinemalaya 8 will also pay tribute to actor, writer and director Mario O’Hara, who just passed away on Tuesday, through a retrospective of his works.
Also a highlight is a retrospective of vintage and rare Filipino film ads in the 1940s via collection of art patron Danny Dolor.
The annual Cinemalaya Film Congress is also slated. Last but not the least is an animation and gaming congress that will bring no less than Pixar Studio’s Ralph Guggenheim who produced Toy Story.
With such developments, perhaps it can be said that slowly but surely, Philippine Cinema is on the rise again, thanks to the independent film industry.
Cinemalaya will run from July 20 to 29 at the CCP and July 21 to 29 at Greenbelt and Trinoma. For more information call CCP Film Office at 832-1125 local 1704 or 05 and the CCP box office at 832-3704, or visit www.cinemalaya.org and www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.