Posts by Seymour:

    FDCP’s Cine Lokal features LGBT films from June 22 to 28

    June 20th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez


    THE Film Development Council of the Philippines celebrates Pride Month by screening four award-winning films that empower and recognize the LGBT community, in all Cine Lokal cinemas as part of PelikuLAYA: An LGBT Film Festival from June 22 to 28.

    The lineup includes the Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival 2013 drama Lihis written by Ricky Lee and directed by Joel C. Lamangan.

    Set in the 70’s during the turbulent period in Philippine history, the film stars Jake Cuenca and Joem Bascon as communist rebels bound by a similar cause to topple a dictatorship. Their characters’ relationship turns passionate amid their struggles to fight for freedom. Lihis also features Lovi Poe, Isabelle Daza, Gloria Diaz, Raquel Villavicencio, Tony Mabesa, Jaime Pebanco, Lloyd Samartino, Alex Castro, Ruby Ruiz, Jess Evardone and Chanel Latorre, among others.

    Another film featured in PelikuLAYA is the Cinema One Originals 2017 comedy film Si Chedeng at Si Apple directed by Rae Red and Fatrick Tabada.

    Chedeng (Gloria Diaz), 66, decides to come out during her husband’s wake while her best friend Apple (Elizabeth Oropesa), 63, kills her live-in partner, beheads him and stuffed his head inside her favorite Louis Vuitton bag. Together, they are on the run from the law and their children as they set off an adventure to find Chedeng’s ex-girlfriend.

    Also part of the program is Joselito Altarejos’ Kasal, which won Best Film at the 2014 Cinemalaya Film Festival. It tells the story of a gay couple, played by Arnold Reyes and Oliver Aquino, whose relationship is challenged when they attend a wedding. Providing support are Rita Avila, Maureen Mauricio, Ruby Ruiz, Rener Concepcion, Sue Prado, Ronwaldo Martin, Luis Ruiz and Ray An Dulay.

    Completing the list is Out Run, a documentary about an LGBT political party mobilizing transgender hairdressers and beauty queens. Directed by S. Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons, the film provides a unique look into the challenges LGBT people face as they transition into the mainstream and fight for dignity, legitimacy, and acceptance across the globe.

    PelikuLAYA, which is organized by FDCP in partnership with different LGBTQIA+ organizations, screens this month at Cine Lokal theaters in SM Manila, SM Sta. Mesa, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Fairview, SM Southmall and SM Bacoor.


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    Benildean filmmakers bag INPFF award

    June 19th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    A SHORT documentary made by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Digital Filmmaking students won Best Direction at the Istorya ng Pag-asa (Stories of Hope) Film Festival gala night and awarding ceremony held last June 12 at Glorietta, Makati City.

    Winning the award for their short documentary “Pamilyang Bernardo” are Anna Mikaela Quizon, Alda Dalisay and Jocelyn Frago. Two members of the Bernardo family from Looc, Romblon are suffering from ectrodactyly, a condition which causes malformation of their limbs and makes life difficult for them. Despite this, they find strength in their own home.

    Florence Rosini’s “Ang Biyahe ni Marlon,” an inspiring tale of an Uber driver with Tourette Syndrome, which manifests through involuntary movements, got the INPFF Best Film trophy, a cash prize of 50,000 pesos, a DSLR camera and a Samsung S8 cellphone.

    First runner-up winner Margaret Serranilla brought home 30,000 pesos for her entry “Tago,” which tells the story of Nelson Gonzales, drummer and owner of Tago Jazz Café, a small jazz joint in Cubao that serves as a place for budding musicians to hone their craft.

    Kelsy Lua’s “Gawilan,” about a disadvantaged Filipino swimmer named Ernie Gawilan who faced hardships that forced him to battle his insecurities before making it to the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, won second runner-up and 20,000 pesos.

    Aunell Ross Angcos’ “The Climbing Puppeteer,” about a BPO employee-cum-ventriloquist who climbs mountains to help local villagers, won Best Cinematography, while Demy Cruz, Jr.’s “Ang Gahum Sang Daku Nga Handum,” about a member of an indigenous tribe who has to face challenges to selflessly pursue her dream, got the Best Script award.

    Aside from her documentary with Quizon and Dalisay, Frago has another entry which made it to INPFF’s list of 15 finalists, “Liham Pagmamahal Para sa Kasalukuyan” (Love Letter to the Present). It tells the story of Lola Lita Vinuya and how she, and other members of Malaya Lolas, an organization composed of former “comfort women” or victims of sexual slavery, survived the cruelty of the Japanese imperial army during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II. This serves as their voice and a love letter to the present.

    Their fellow DLS-CSB film majors Matthew Pelayo and Gian Arre were also selected as INPFF finalists from among 73 submissions all over the country.

    Pelayo’s “Overdrive,” follows the life of Mel Majadas, a female Uber driver, as it shows what it is like for Mel, a mother who works hard for her family, to drive around Metro Manila.

    On the other hand, Arre’s “Mclaine” is based on the life of Mclaine Buatis, a student confronting complaints for his disruptive behavior. When his high school teacher warns him that he might get expelled from school, Mclaine reveals his innate desire to graduate and pleads for one last chance.

    The other short film finalists are “Alkansiya” by Sandra Fajardo, “Ngiti” by Rhycie Anne Custodio, “Dealing with Healing” by Alyssa Bernardino, “Liwanag” by Kimberly Ilaya, “Dibuho” by Erri Rojo and “Person with This Ability” by Tala Reyes.

    INPFF judges and organizers. including Vice President Leni Robredo (Fourth from left)

    Acclaimed screenwriter Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, Jr., Film Development Council of the Philippines Chairperson Liza Diño, award-winning filmmakers Quark Henares and Dan Villegas, and veteran actress Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino served as INPFF judges. Actor Dingdong Dantes hosted the event.

    Vice President Leni Robredo, whose office organized the nationwide film competition together with Ayala Foundation, described the entries as “extraordinary stories of ordinary people, and we are very, very proud of them. We wish that there are more that we can discover, and we vow to continue looking for them.”

    The INPFF was held to celebrate the first year of Istorya ng Pag-asa, an initiative that aims to inspire and empower the nation through extraordinary stories of the Filipino people. It seeks to promote hope and inspiration on a wider scale, with positive real-life stories that feature the triumph of ordinary Filipinos over life’s adversities.

    The winning short films are currently being screened at Ayala Malls Cinemas until June 30.

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    New “Gee-gee At Waterina” musical opens in August

    June 18th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    ARTIST Playground will stage a new original Filipino musical, based on the fictionalized retelling of the friendship between two gay men, this coming August at Arts Above in Quezon City.

    The arts and performance company turns J. Dennis Teodosio’s Gee-gee At Waterina, a bittersweet tale of an evening in the life of a flamboyant city councilor and a sentimental comfort gay, into a musical to be directed by “King of Comedy Bars” Andrew De Real.

    Actor-designer Norman Peñaflorida will play the role of Gee-gee, the politician benefactor of Waterina, to be portrayed by actor-director Roeder Camañag.

    Noted musical director and composer Jesse Lucas and dancer, choreographer and theater actor Lezlie Dailisan will provide the show’s music, with lyrics by Teodosio, and choreography, respectively.

    The original material was first read at the PETA Writers Bloc and was given the Jimmy Y. Balaquit Literary Award for Best Manuscript at the 9th Iligan National Writers Workshop in 2002.

    The straight play version was first presented at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Virgin Labfest in 2005. Lou Veloso and Paolo Cabañero shared the stage, with the direction of Roobak Valle.

    A short film version starring Veloso and Cabañero was produced for Cinemalaya a year after. Teodosio co-directed the film with Gawad Urian-winning filmmaker Mariami Tanangco.

    Artist Playground aims “to create artistic projects that reflect, celebrate and explore the bravery of Filipino artists and to create opportunities that facilitates a collaborative environment for artists from all fields of art.”

    The musical runs from August 18 to 26, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Arts Above, Artist Playground II, West Avenue Building, 112 West Avenue, QC. For inquiries, please contact Kimberly Somoza at 0975-9193179.

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    Benildean filmmakers earn Urian nods

    June 12th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    Image ©

    TWO alumni of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Digital Filmmaking program (BenildeFilm) will vie for the Best Short Film award at the 41st Gawad Urian on June 14 at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent in Quezon City.

    Kim Timan’s Caramel Child and Carl Chavez’s Sorry for the Inconvenience were nominated in the short film category along with Glenn Barit’s Aliens Ata, Keith Deligero’s Babylon, TM Malones’ Bawod, Dennis Hubag’s Empyreus, Kiri Dalena’s Gikan Sa Ngitngit Nga Kinailadman (From the Dark Depths), Carlo Francisco Manatad’s Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee of the Month, Maje Papin’s and Ef Orpiada Jr.’s Lutab, Kyle Fermindoza’s Manggagarab, Roanna Mercado’s Piko, Edmund Telmo’s Redempsyon, Christian Candelaria’s Sa Saiyang Isla and Xeph Suarez’s Si Astri Maka Si Tambulah (Astri and Tambulah).

    Set in the year 2003, Caramel Child tells the story of Katherine Kaye Jones (Angelica Ulip), or Kakay, the daughter of a call girl, Ellie Pilorin (Sue Prado), and an absent American man. A poster of the Regional Science Quiz Bee and her mother’s American client (Savino Bellini) will trigger Kakay’s curiosity and determination to look for her father.

    Caramel Child brought home Best Film, Best Director (Timan), Best Screenplay (Timan and Lino Balmes), Best Performer (Ulip) and Best Musical Score (Marcus Santos and Joseph Salcedo) at Pelikultura: The CALABARZON Film Festival 2018. The film also received the Best Screenplay award at De La Salle University’s Indie Un-film Festival 2017 and it is also one of the finalists in the short film category of Cinema One Originals Festival last November.

    On the other hand, Sorry for the Inconvenience is about a timid teenager (Ronwaldo Martin) who comes home one night after being beaten up by the school’s bully. With revenge on his mind, the teenager decides to take matters into his own hands. When things don’t go as planned, he is left with no choice but to seek help from his policeman father (Simon Ibarra).

    Sorry for the Inconvenience won Best Short Film at Cinema One Originals last year and it also competed at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

    Meanwhile, Respeto leads the Best Film race with 12 nominations, followed by Balangiga: Howling Wilderness with 10 nods, Tu Pug Imatuy with nine, The Chanters with seven, and Bhoy Intsik and Birdshot with six apiece.

    The Natatanging Gawad Urian will be given this year to jazz pianist, composer and musical director Winston Raval.

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    Award-winning FEU short films compete in California

    June 11th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    Image ©

    FOUR student films from Far Eastern University will vie for the Best Short Film at FACINE 25: The 25th Annual Filipino International Cine Festival, considered the largest and longest-running festival of its kind in North America.

    Boyet Loves You and Caterwaul, both directed by Josel Fajardo, Pua Iyam by Juan Pablo Pineda III and Touch Move by Frances Louise Giner made it as finalists in the event organized by the Filipino Arts and Cinema International in San Francisco, California.

    Fajardo, Pineda and Giner are all alumni of the FEU Film Society.

    A scene from Caterwaul

    The silver anniversary of the film festival will open with the short film competition on October 18 at the San Francisco Main Library and the SF Philippine Consulate while the main competition will be held from October 19 to 21 at the historic Roxie Theater.

    In Boyet Loves You, which is also a short film finalist in the CineFilipino Film Festival 2018 Open category, Gab (Sari Estrada) wants to introduce her best friend Mari (Kat Galang) to Boyet. The problem is, only she can see Boyet. The comedy-horror flick bagged the Best Film, Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Sound and Best Performance awards at Sinepiyu 2017’s Golden Reel category.

    Caterwaul is a film where painful secrets are revealed at two girls’ sleepover. While watching an R-rated movie, a girl (Andrei Eunice Osano) shares her first sexual experience and re-enacts it to a friend (Quennie Abuyuan), who does not know that she’s in for a dark revelation. The seven-minute drama won the Gold Prize in the Viddsee Juree Philippines Awards.

    In Pua Iyam (Coming Out), a young Filipino-Chinese student (Rowi Du) comes out to his childhood friend (Raphael Cruz). The short film brought home Best Screenplay and Best Actor in a Lead Role at the 9th Largabista Film Festival in Tacloban City, Leyte; a special citation on gender sensitivity from the first Palawan International Film Festival; Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance and Best Poster at Sinepiyu 2017’s Black Reel category; Gold Award for Best Picture, Outstanding Direction, Design Excellence and Technical Excellence awards at CineSB 7: The Main Installment’s Sibol category; Best Cinematography and another special citation from Piling Obrang Vidyo XIV; and Cardinal Bronze Film Award, Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography at CineMapúa 2018’s intercollegiate category.

    With characters as chess pieces, Touch Move depicts the difficulty of moving on. The film won Best Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Second Prize at Sinepiyu 2017’s Black Reel Category. It also garnered different awards from the Ateneo Video Open, Pelikultura: The CALABARZON Film Festival and 9th Largabista Film Festival.

    The short film finalists, which were selected out of 125 submissions to the competition, have a wide range of format, genre, style and subject, all 45 minutes and less in length, both student and professional works, including works by non-Filipino filmmakers with Filipinos as subject. The best short film will be awarded a US$100 cash prize and Certificate of Recognition. Special citations will also be awarded in any category upon the discretion of the Jury.

    Meanwhile, FACINE relaunches its main competition section with nine full-length films vying for awards in different categories.

    The finalists are 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten written by Jason Paul Laxamana and directed by Petersen Vargas, Bomba (The Bomb) by Ralston Jover, Kita Kita (I See You) by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Meet Me in St. Gallen by Irene Emma Villamor, Melodrama/Random/Melbourne by Matthew Victor Pastor, Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha (The Family That Never Weeps) by Mes de Guzman, Pauwi Na (Pedicab) by Paolo Villaluna, Tale of the Lost Boys by Joselito Altarejos, and Tu Pug Imatuy (Right to Kill) written by Arnel Mardoquio and directed by Arbi Barbarona.

    FACINE is a nonprofit media arts organization that aims to promote and develop Filipino cinema as a social document of cultural heritage, and as medium of artistic expression. Dedicated to empowering artists and audiences on films that speak about Filipino communities globally, FACINE has organized the festival for the past 25 years and it also hosts film-related events in the SF Bay Area.

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    Benilde alumni get FAMAS nods

    June 7th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez


    TWO short films made by graduates of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Digital Filmmaking program are nominated in the 66th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Gabi ng Parangal to be held on Sunday, at the Theatre at Solaire.

    This is the first time that the FAMAS is honoring the year’s best works in the short film and documentary categories.

    Carl Chavez‘s Sorry for the Inconvenience and Carlo Fajarda‘s Suerte will vie for the “historic” Best Short Film award along with fellow nominees Aliens Ata by Glenn Barit, Babylon by Keith Deligero, Dory by Beverly Ramos, Engkwento by Ryan Machado, Gikan sa Ngitngit Nga Kinailadman by Kiri Dalena, Hilom by P. R. Patindol, Link by Mike Esteves and Si Astri Maka Si Tambulah by Xeph Suarez.

    In Sorry for the Inconvenience, a timid teenager named Joshua (Ronwaldo Martin) comes home one night after beaten up by the school’s bully. With revenge on his mind, the teenager decides to take matters into his own hands. When things don’t go as planned, he is left with no choice but to seek help from his policeman father (Simon Ibarra). Cherry Malvar and Luis Ruiz also provide support.

    The film bagged the Best Short Film award at the Cinema One Originals 2017 last November. It also competed at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival last August.

    On the other hand, Suerte follows two amateur filmmakers (played by Fajarda himself and the film’s director of photography and editor Phillipe Quintos) shooting a documentary about the drug trade. While they go along with their subjects, brothers Betong (Karl Medina) and Roel (Dan Medrana), their dangerous obsession with their project forces them to cross the line between observer and creator.

    Fajarda’s thesis film competed in the Wide Angle category of the Busan International Film Festival and in the Southeast Asian short film competition of the 28th Singapore International Film Festival last year.

    Meanwhile, Nawruz Bernardo Paguidopon‘s God Bliss Our Home, Jewel Maranan‘s Sa Palad ng Dantaong Kulang and Victor Delotavo Tagaro‘s Yield also made FAMAS history as the award-giving body’s first-ever nominees for Best Documentary Film.

    Cinemalaya winner Respeto leads all films this year with 15 nominations, followed by QCinema Best Film Balanginga, Howling Wilderness with 11 and Metro Manila Film Festival Best Picture Ang Larawan, Philippine entry to the Oscars Birdshot and the documentary Yield, with six nods each. Love You to the Stars and Back, Changing Partners, Nervous Translation and Historiographika Errata have five nominations each.

    The FAMAS awards is undergoing a major facelift this year. An independent jury, which is headed by award-winning writer Ricardo “Ricky” Lee and composed of film practitioners, critics and educators as members, selected the nominees and will vote for the winners.

    Piolo Pascual, Kim Chiu and Robi Domingo will host this year’s awards night with Megavision’s Madonna Sanchez serving as the program’s executive producer.

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    Benilde films featured in Seattle

    June 6th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    SEVEN short films from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Digital Filmmaking program (BenildeFilm) were officially selected and screened as part of the Diwa Filipino Film Showcase of Seattle held at the Armory Loft 1 Seattle Center, Washington.

    John Craig de Guzman’s Amy, Christian Rae Villanueva’s Ang Mga Turo ng Gabi (The Lessons of the Night), Aleina Espineli’s Ang Pagbabalik Tanaw ni Olympia Mercado (A Look into the Life of Olympia Mercado), Kim Timan’s Caramel Child, Pamela Barrios’ Cesar & Magda, Lino Balmes’ Orlie and Dev Angeo’s and Kristine Medenilla’s Saglit (A While) were among the films about the Filipino diaspora featured in the Seattle event which took place June 2 and 3.

    Amy tells the story of Mark (Seaver Choy) who is reminded of Amy (Chloe Tabanda), a person who has just passed away in Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), as he sees her in his reverie. It earlier won Best Short Film and Best Editing at the 9th Largabista Film Festival in Tacloban, Leyte and tied for the Best Narrative Film award at the first ASEAN Biennale or ASEANnale Film and Multimedia Competition in UP Diliman this year.

    In Ang Mga Turo ng Gabi, Juanita (Sheenly Vee Gener), a teacher battling depression, teams up with her delinquent student (Dylan Ray Talon) to retrieve something important for her over the course of one night. The short film previously won Best Editing (Annie Chua) and Best Performance (Talon) at Pelikultura: The CALABARZON Film Festival 2018.

    Ang Pagbabalik Tanaw ni Olympia Mercado is about a middle-aged woman (Maddie Martinez) remembering memories of a treasured relationship triggered through her taste buds.

    In Caramel Child, which is set in the year 2003, Katherine Kaye Jones (Angelica Ulip), or Kakay, is a child of a call girl, Ellie Pilorin (Sue Prado), and an absent American man. A poster of the Regional Science Quiz Bee and her mother’s American client (Savino Bellini) will fuel Kakay’s curiosity and determination to finally be in contact with her father. It bagged the Best Film, Best Director (Timan), Best Screenplay (Timan and Balmes), Best Performer (Ulip) and Best Musical Score (Marcus Santos and Joseph Salcedo) at Pelikultura 2018. It also won Best Screenplay at De La Salle University’s Indie Un-film Festival 2017. It is a nominee for Best Short Film at the Cinema One Originals Festival 2017 and 41st Gawad Urian.

    Cesar & Magda is a film about a man who’s trying to survive his extinguished married life. Cesar (Francis Mata) tries to bring back the spark of their relationship by mimicking an ideal woman (Larissa Louise Alivio). He has yet to discover the uncertainty of how his wife, Magda (Bridge Martin), would absorb the transformation. It is one of the finalists in the short film category of Sinag Maynila Film Festival this year.

    In Orlie, after hearing about the Orlando Massacre, the lead character finds himself deeply affected. While seeking refuge in his bathroom, he comes to discover the extent of his wounds. After winning Best Supershort Film at the CineFilipino Film Festival 2018 and a jury commendation at the 12th Filminute, the one-minute film competes at Mister Vorky: 5th International Festival of One Minute Film in Serbia and the 18th Korea Queer Film Festival in South Korea.

    Finally, Saglit (A While) is about a former couple, Misha (Anna Luna) and Kai (JC Santos), who spends one last night together before the former gets married and the latter migrates.

    Diwa, a small community film festival made in cooperation with the annual Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival, aims “to celebrate the Filipino Spirit wherever it resides by exhibiting films from the Philippine islands and beyond,” according to Festival Director Adrian Alarilla.

    Pagdiriwang, which commemorates the anniversary of Philippine independence, is presented by the Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington (FCHSW) to promote better understanding of the Filipino arts and culture. Held at the Seattle Center since 1987, it has grown into the largest festival of Filipino art, craft, song, dance, music, history, literature, and culture in the Pacific Northwest.

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    Pinoy bags Best Editing award in France for “Bhoy Intsik”

    May 17th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    FILIPINO movie editor John Anthony Wong won Best Editing for “Bhoy Intsik” in the Foreign Language Film category of the 2018 NICE International Film Festival of World Cinema in France early this month.

    Wong bested fellow nominees Chang-Gyun Kim (“A Trip With Friends”), Aziz Imamoglu (“Dad Where Are You I Am Lost”), Yuji Kakizaki and Yasutake Torii (“Dai 2 Keibitai – The Second Security Unit”), Yuan Fang (“Destiny Among the Mountains”), Jose David (“Flea”), Giancarlo Escamillas and Carlo Ortega Cuevas (“Guerrero”), Takeshi Iwamoto (“Lemon & Letter”), Alex Vargas (“Rice”), Shinpei Masui (“Spit & Honey”), Maxime Aubert (“The Blogger”), Abdulla Alneyadi (“The Tragedy of the Monster”) and Sreekar Prasad (“To Let”).

    The festival ran from May 5 to 12.

    “Bhoy Intsik,” a film about two small-time felons who crossed paths and forged an uncanny friendship, stars Raymond “RS” Francisco in the title role and Ronwaldo Martin as Marlon.

    Directed by Joel Lamangan, it previously won the Special Jury Prize in the Orient Express section of the 38th Oporto International Film Festival and two acting trophies for RS Francisco at Sinag Maynila Film Festival 2017, in a tie with Kristoffer King (“Kristo”), and Star Awards for Movies 2018. It also competed at the London East Asia Film Festival 2017.

    Wong, who has been editing movies since 2000, considers the film a very interesting project to edit.

    “The challenge was to create a world where these interwoven lives would interact and counteract with each other without losing the audience in the story’s narrative. My team had to work with material that was both visually compelling and dialogue-driven.”

    The managing director of EDGE Manila Creatives Corporation (EMC2) added that it helped that he was also the film’s VFX supervisor.

    “During editing, when I felt that a sequence needed a little Visual Effects assistance to enhance the mood and tone of a scene, I just ask EDGE Manila’s VFX team to add details here and there like ‘stormy/gloomy’ clouds during a break up scene or digital prosthetics to make a pivotal scene more realistic,” he explained.

    John Wong

    Apart from Lamangan, Wong has also worked with the late Gil Portes, Mel Chionglo, Jun Lana, Quark Henares, Albert Martinez and Gino Santos, among others. His work on the 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Rosario” gave him a Best Festival Editor prize and a similar award from Gawad PASADO (Pampelikulang Samahan ng mga Dalubguro).

    He has also received a Best Editing trophy from the 2012 Cinemalaya entry “The Animals” and was nominated several times for his editing work by FAMAS, Golden Screen and Star Awards.

    Wong dedicated the win to his family, to all the hard-working Filipino film editors and to the Philippine movie industry.

    “I’m thankful to have once again been able to work with Direk Joel on one of his most important projects. It was also a pleasure to have been able to work with screenwriter Ronald Carballo, cinematographer Rain Yamson II, musical scorer Emerzon Texon and actor-producer Raymond Francisco. All of them were very hands on in the creative process. The success of the film is truly a collaborative process,” he said.

    Aside from his professional work as a movie editor, he also shares his vast post-production knowledge by teaching at the film department of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Design and Arts. He also shoots and directs short films, music videos and corporate videos.

    Wong is a graduate of Ricky Lee’s 14th scriptwriting workshop.


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    FEU short film “Pua Iyam” goes abroad after local wins

    May 15th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    Diwa Filipino Film Showcase / ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival

    AN award-winning short film from Far Eastern University will be screened as part of the Diwa Filipino Film Showcase at Seattle Center Armory Loft 1 in the United States on June 2 and will compete a week later at the nine-day ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival in China.

    Pua Iyam” (Coming Out), a film about a Filipino-Chinese student (Rowi Du) who discovers his true identity and feelings for his childhood friend (Raphael Cruz), further spreads its cinematic reach to other countries. This comes after it bagged the Best Screenplay and Best Actor in a Lead Role awards at the 9th Largabista Film Festival in Tacloban City, Leyte and a special citation on gender sensitivity from the first Palawan International Film Festival.

    Written and directed by Juan Pablo Pineda III, the film previously won several awards from different student film competitions starting from its home turf in FEU then moving on to De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, University of the Philippines-Diliman and Mapua University.

    “Pua Iyam” kicked off its victorious run last year by winning Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance and Best Poster in the Black Reel category of FEU’s Sinepiyu 2017. It won for Pineda the Outstanding Direction trophy and for the production team of IndieGo Pictures the Gold Award for Best Picture and the Design Excellence and Technical Excellence awards in the Sibol Category of DLS-CSB’s CineSB 7: The Main Installment.

    This year, the film took home the Best Cinematography award and another special citation from UP Cinema’s Piling Obrang Vidyo XIV “for being able to incorporate identity and culture in one film that meshed together tastefully.” It bagged the Cardinal Bronze Film Award, Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography in the intercollegiate category of CineMapúa 2018.

    The film was also selected as part of CineMakulay Film Festival 2017, 29th Gawad CCP for Alternative Film and Video at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Indie Un-Film Festival at De La Salle University-Manila. It was also shown as part of Eksena 2017 organized by Dalubhasaan ng mga Umuusbong na Mag-aaral ng Araling Pilipino (DANUM) DLSU.

    Pua Iyam is a film that is close to my heart. There are reasons why I should not give up – my goals and my brother, who’s in a comatose condition. As soon as he wakes up I would like to give these awards to him,” the writer-filmmaker said.

    Pineda got ample support from Du, who also line produced, edited and designed the sound for the film, and their classmates – associate producer Maria Alanna Cargullo, production manager Lyka Valerie Dela Cruz, camera team members Karla Relis, Jose Miguel Ramirez and Amiel Ona, production designers Reina Rizz Esguerra and Kyla Lodriga, wardrobe and make-up artist Mickey Ponce, assistant director Zahara Depaling and script continuity supervisor Krystel Saguit. Mentor Seymour Sanchez served as creative consultant.

    The film will be shown as part of Diwa Filipino Film Showcase’s “Queer Stories” along with “Orlie” by Avelino Mark Balmes, “Queer Transnational Love in the time of Social Media and Globalization” by Adrian Alarilla, “Act Like A Woman” and “In This Family” by Drama Del Rosario, and “Akalingwan Nang Rosa (Rosa Forgets)” by Max Canlas.

    The film festival is made in cooperation with the annual Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival, celebrating the Filipino spirit wherever it resides by sharing Filipino and Filipino-American stories to the Seattle community.

    Pua Iyam” will then vie for international recognition at the ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival, which supports emerging Chinese filmmakers and also brings cutting-edge international queer cinema to Shanghai.

    The ShPFF earlier worked with the Beijing Queer Filmfest to host film screenings and discussions before offering a wide array of events, as well as opportunities for filmmakers.

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    Navotas preparing for the upcoming 3rd Navoteño Film Festival

    May 14th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    Beyond Deadlines Culture and Entertainment writer Seymour Barros Sanchez. Photo © article author

    THE Navotas City government has started to prepare aspiring film makers with a seminar workshop on how to shoot narrative fiction entries.

    The workshop, which was organized through the Navotas City government Public Information Office, was facilitated by advocacy filmmaker and educator Seymour Barros Sanchez. The brief course aims to prepare the participants for the 3rd Navoteño Film Festival.

    Navotas City Mayor John Reynald Tiangco and Vice Mayor Clint Nicolas Geronimo delivered inspirational talks during opening of the event which was held at the NCH’s Pangisdaan Hall last May 10 and 11.

    Sanchez, who a Beyond Deadlines culture and entertainment writer, teaches filmmaking, film appreciation and video production at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts. He also teaches cinema, script writing and journalism at the Far Eastern University Department of Communication.

    He is a graduate of the 14th Ricky Lee script writing workshop for film and the first Brillante Mendoza directing class.

    Sanchez’ short film “Caretaker” won second prize in the short fiction category of the sixth CAM International Festival for Short Films in Cairo, Egypt, as well as the Golden Philippine Eagle Festival Director’s Choice and Best Actor award for Rolando Inocencio at the third Singkuwento International Film Festival, and the Audience Choice prize at the Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival, among others. He also won the grand prize for “Hiwaga” in the screenplay category of the 59th Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

    During the workshop, Sanchez discussed development, pre-production, production, post-production and distribution, and talked about scriptwriting, cinematography and lighting, production design, sound, music, editing and directing.

    Eloisa Sanchez sharing her experience with the workshop participants. Photo ©  Seymour Barros Sanchez

    Production Manager and Seymour’s wife Eloisa Sanchez imparted her knowledge in production management and producing films for Red Room Media Productions while FEU’s resident actor and short film editor Rowi Du shared some tips and advice in his fields of expertise.

    The annual project, which is organized by Navotas City PIO head Irish Cubillan, is open to all junior high school students from the city. Among those competing this year are Kaunlaran High School, La Naval Academy, Navotas National HS, Navotas National Science HS, San Jose Academy, San Rafael Technological and Vocational HS, San Roque National HS, Tangos National HS and Tanza National HS. Only one entry per registered school will be accepted.

    All members of the production team (maximum of eight students per school) must be officially enrolled in the school they are representing. A certification from the school principal must be submitted to PIO prior to production. They must also submit a written parental consent endorsed by the teacher-adviser/s and principal to PIO prior to the shoot.

    The film festival, which has tourism as its theme this year, serves as a platform for the city’s future filmmakers to develop and harness their craft and showcase their works, as well as a means to discover young and talented Navoteños for the city’s art scholarship program.

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    Benilde film “Kaming Mga Nakakulong” bags GEMS Best Short Film award

    March 14th, 2018

    By  Seymour Barros Sanchez

    A CAPSTONE project from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde won the Best Students’ Short Film at the Guild of Educators, Mentors, and Students (GEMS) Hiyas ng Sining awards night.

    The awarding ceremony was held last March 2 at the Center for Performing Arts, DLS Santiago Zobel School, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City.

    Kaming Mga Nakakulong (We Who Are Trapped), written and directed by DLS-CSB Bachelor of Arts in Digital Filmmaking graduate Michael Joshua Pagaduan, tells the story of Leonard (Matt Daclan), a man who is having recurring nightmares of a childhood memory.

    Seeking help from his grandmother (Lui Manansala), he finds out the devastating truth about his dreams. He attends a support group to help him face the horrors of his past and finally have the courage to find peace. Apart from Manansala, Jill Palencia-Ibuyan also provides support to Daclan as Leonard’s girlfriend-turned-wife.

    Pagaduan or MJ, as he is fondly called by his friends and family, showed interest in writing stories as early as 2007. He also acted and directed in stage plays before he honed his craft in film school. For his capstone project, he was ably supported by director of photography Jeariel Mira, production designers Jacky Collins and Isabella Caja, sound recordist Tashana Rivera, musical scorer Patricia Lasaten and editor, the late Mich Garcia.

    Kaming Mga Nakakulong director MJ Pagaduan with family and BenildeFilm thesis mentor and Beyond Deadlines writer Seymour Sanchez.

    MJ joined fellow film category winners Ronaldo Valdez, Natatanging Hiyas ng Sining sa Pinilakang Tabing; High Tide (Universal Harvester Incorporated), Natatanging Pelikulang Pangkalikasan; Changing Partners (Cinema One Originals), Natatanging Pelikulang Pangkasarian; Respeto (Dogzilla and Arkeofilms), Natatanging Pelikulang Pangkarapatang Pantao; Ang Larawan by Loy Arcenas (Culturtain-Musicat Productions Inc.), Best Film and Best Director (Indie); 100 Tula Para Kay Stella by Jason Paul Laxamana (Viva Films), Best Film and Best Director (Mainstream); Paulo Avelino (Ang Larawan), Best Supporting Actor; Jasmine Curtis-Smith (Siargao), Best Supporting Actress; JC Santos and Bela Padilla (100 Tula Para Kay Stella), Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively.

    Through his film, MJ wants to show that “no matter how dark our past is there is still hope and that we aren’t slaves of our past, our traumatic experiences, and the lies of the world. It also hopes to show everyone that even if our earthly fathers abandoned us literally and figuratively, we still have a Father. And that Father loves us unconditionally to the point of sending His own son to die for us and freed us from the clutches of our past.”

    Kaming Mga Nakakulong previously won Best Film and Best Director awards in last year’s CineMapúa student film festival organized in Mapúa by the Film Arts and Media Enthusiasts (FAME). It also won Outstanding Performance by an Actor for Daclan in the Maningning category of CineSB7: The Main Installment.

    The short narrative film also competed at the SinePiyu 2017 intercollegiate category, 29th Gawad CCP Independent Film and Video Festival, 3rd Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival for Health, 8th Pelikultura: The CALABARZON Film Festival, first ASEANnale film and multimedia competition, 9th Largabista Film Festival in Tacloban, Leyte, and was part of the Luzon delegation at Cinema Rehiyon 9.

    GEMS, a non-profit group and academe-based award-giving body, is made up of academicians from different schools, professionals from private institutions and sectors of our society, and students from prestigious colleges and universities.

    Headed by its president Henry Leen A. Magahis and founding president Norman Mauro A. Llaguno, the organization is on its second year of handing out trophies and certificates to their top choices in the field of print media, theater, radio, television and film.


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    Yolanda-inspired film wins back-to-back at ASEANnale 2018 and the 9th Largabista festival

    March 8th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    A SHORT film on grief, memories, past experiences and a loved one, “Amy,” scored consecutive victories in the ASEAN Biennale or ASEANnale 2018 at the Asian Center in UP Diliman and at the 9th Largabista Film Festival in Tacloban, Leyte.

    Written and directed by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Digital Filmmaking student John Craig “Jaig” de Guzman, Amy tied for the Best Narrative Film award with Mission Accomplished by Eidref Kristin Faith Magpayo of Centro Escolar University-Malolos at the first ASEANnale Film and Multimedia Competition awarding ceremonies held last March 2.

    De Guzman’s entry also won Best Short Film and Best Editing at the Largabista Film Festival awards night held last March 3 onboard the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, which is docked at the Tacloban City port as part of its climate justice ship tour in Southeast Asia. It will be recalled that Tacloban is “ground zero” of the devastating typhoon that left over 7,000 people died last November 8, 2013.

    Chloe Tabanda plays Amy, who now lives in the mind of her boyfriend Mark after dying from the havoc caused by Typhoon Yolanda, while Seaver Choy essays the role of Mark, who tries to seek answers to his existential questions while living in a state of delirium.

    Jaig de Guzman accepts his ASEANnale trophy and cash prize from BenildeFilm internship coordinator and Beyond Deadlines writer Seymour Sanchez who represented him during the program.

    GMA news reporter John Paul Soriano, who represented the UP Film Institute, brought home the ASEANnale Best Film and Best Documentary Film for Recto while the ASEANnale Special Jury Award went to Pipo by Richard Legaspi of University of the East-Caloocan.

    Gilbert Baldoza, also from UPFI, won the top prize in the animation category for Kinalimutan Natin ang mga Bata while Edmund del Rosario’s Beautiful Soul and Donnie Ray Ipan’s Kapit, both from the University of Makati, took honorable mention.

    Hide and Seek by Nur Anis Zulaikha binti Ahmad and Che Mat Ruzinoor bagged the Best Interactive Multimedia prize. Dr. Ahmad Hisham bin Zainal Abidin of Universiti Utara Malaysia received the trophy and cash prize on their behalf.

    Meanwhile, Che de los Reyes of the Ateneo de Manila University and Jerald Yucot of the University of Makati bagged honorable mention awards in the documentary film category for Who’s Behind the Trump’s Effigy at the ASEAN Summit in Manila? And Puti(White), respectively.

    Diwa by Ma. Daniella Louise Borrero from the UP College of Mass Communication and En-Route by Anna Ma. Elizabeth Cañas-Llamas of UP Los Baños also got honorable mention certificates in the experimental film category.

    In the public service announcement category, Nancy Galang and Lynda Garcia of Upholding Life and Nature won honorable mention for their PSA PWD Sensitivity Video.

    ASEANnale gathered academics, experts, filmmakers, multimedia artists, and scholars celebrating the unique ASEAN perspectives and narratives. The three-day event centered on the theme Capturing the Spirit of ASEAN in the Digital Times and the sub-themes Diaspora, Disasters and Democracy.

    ASEANnale 2018 Film and Multimedia Competition Director Arminda Santiago, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) International Affairs Staff Director Lily Milla and ASEANnale 2018 Organizing Committee Chair Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso facilitated the awarding of trophies, certificates and cash prizes.

    Dubbed by Dr. Alfonso as “a festival of ideas in multi-modal and multi-textual spaces,” ASEANnale is a composite of activities that showcases the creative and research works of higher education students and faculty from ASEAN member countries. It is a project of CHED, UP Open University, UP Asian Center, UP College of Mass Communication, TVUP and the UP System in collaboration with the UP Open University Foundation Inc. and the Philippines Communication Society.

    Another Benilde film, Auntwo Susan, directed by Andrea Arias and Mia Rosero, won Best Cinematography for director of photography Yves Jamero and Best Actress in a Lead Role for Sherry Lara, who plays the title role. The short film tells the story of a 50-year old woman (Lara) who reconnects with her former neighbor (Kate Alejandrino) and together they settle problems about home.

    Other Benilde films which made it to Largabista’s list of finalists are Kaming Mga Nakakulong by Michael Pagaduan and Obra ng Maestro by Anna Francesca Coronel. They competed with eight other short film finalists.

    Aaron J.P. Almadro, editor in chief and creative director of 8 Magazine, spearheaded the film festival along with fellow organizers Greenspeace Southeast Asia-Philippines, led by its country director Amalie Obusan, and Sinerangan, co-founded by film director Gianfranco C. Morciano.


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    Far Eastern University short film competes at ASEANnale after Active Vista win

    March 2nd, 2018

    By  Seymour Barros Sanchez

    FRESH from its victory at the Active Vista Short Film Competition, a satirical film on Martial Law represents Far Eastern University this week at the first Film and Multimedia Competition and Exhibition of the ASEAN Biennale.

    ASEANnale 2018 will culminate with an awarding ceremony on March 2 at the University of the Philippines Asian Center in Diliman, Quezon City.

    Retrospektib, which was made by FEU communication students as a project for their Cinema Production or CNM2 class, recently won third prize at Active Vista “for taking the audience into a brave harrowing yet comical journey through the nightmares of dictatorship.”

    Written and directed by Daryll Jameson Apaga, the short film focuses on three male activists who try to escape the atrocities of the Narkos regime. Jay (Julio Garcia) persuades Boyong (David Paul Farma) and Ramon (Renz Silverio) to travel through time with the help of Mang Jun (Andres Balano), a local quack doctor. However, Boyong is hesitant about Jay’s plan on running away from it all. They will soon discover a life-changing scenario in the present time.

    Apaga got the able support of director of photography Nathan Olid, production designers Enna Sarmiento and Jaimie Del Rosario, costume designers Wency Bautizado, Pau Latoza and Dominique Fausto, soundmen Mark Ordiz and Davey Clemente, production managers Clarinette Cariaga and Gesma Rebagay, and producer Ira Locnen for Malayang Paskilan Productions. Apaga and Locnen teamed up with Elijah Gador in editing the film.

    Dr. Grace J. Alfonso, ASEANnale Organizing Committee Chair, said that the three-day conference seeks to encourage cultural and academic dialogue grounded on the concept of students and faculty as co-creators of knowledge and works.

    Apart from showcasing select creative and research works from the 10 ASEAN countries, ASEANnale seeks to promote a community of scholars through film and multimedia, poster exhibition, paper presentation, and international symposium on three sub-themes shared by numerous parties in the region: Diaspora, Disasters and Democracy.

    The event is envisioned to be a space for the sharing of voices, collaboration and networking of ASEAN higher education students and faculty.

    Apaga believes that “art can be a space of dissent and resistance.” For him, freedom of expression is significant as it “gives the oppressed a voice in the public sphere.” The filmmaker, who hails from San Mateo, Isabela, warns Filipinos not to be complacent during this period in our history.

    Wag nating ‘takasan’ o kalimutan ang kasaysayan specifically ang mga nangyari noong panahon ng martial law. Sa panahong kalat na ang fake news at kabilaan ang mga apologists at revisionists, kailangan natin ng kamalayan tungkol sa pinakamadilim na bahagi ng ating kasaysayan. Pwedeng mangyari ulit to kung hindi tayo magiging kritikal sa nangyayari sa lipunan,” he reiterated.

    Retrospektib previously won Best Screenplay, Best Production Design and 2nd Best Picture at the 2017 Sinepiyu and Outstanding Ensemble at CineSB7. It was also exhibited at Pineapple Lab in Barangay Poblacion, Makati City as part of FRINGEMNL 2018 and at UPLB REDREC Auditorium at the recent Pelikultura: The Calabarzon Film Festival.

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    PH Film Development Council honors University of the East professor for internationally recognized film

    February 12th, 2018

    Richard Legaspi

    THE Film Development Council of the Philippines named University of the East College of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design (UE CFAD) advertising professor and filmmaker Richard Soriano Legaspi as one of the honorees when it recognized recent international film festival winners and other achievers during the second Film Ambassadors’ Night held at Sampaguita Gardens in Quezon City last Friday.

    FDCP recognized Legaspi’s short film Pipo, which tells the story of a boy who wants to have a picture of his family taken for a school assignment. Starring Maliksi Morales in the title role, the film also features Lou Veloso and Chanel Latorre, among others. It won the viewer’s choice award during the Asian and Middle Eastern Film Night of the fifth Gatffest Film Festival in Kingston, Jamaica last year.

    Pipo has been selected to compete in more than 35 international film festivals around the globe so far. It also previously won the grand prize in the professional section of AnakTV’s Sinebata (children’s films) competition, 8-12 fiction category (based on target audience).

    The film pays tribute to manual film cameras and photographers who people often fail to acknowledge for documenting precious moments in their lives. It was produced by Red Room Media Productions through the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Università delle Idee and Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto.

    Legaspi is a graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts, major in Advertising Arts at the then UE College of Fine Arts in Caloocan. He eventually ended up teaching in his alma mater. He is a Gawad CCP awardee in 2010 and 2011, a recipient of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2012 for his screenplay Primera Bella and a Cinemalaya winner and Gawad Urian nominee for his short film Manenaya.

    He is also a graduate of Ricky Lee’s 14th scriptwriting workshop, a directing fellow at the Asian Film Academy in Busan, South Korea, and a recipient of the UNESCO-Aschberg Laureate Artists of 2013, a scholarship program that offers residencies to artists worldwide. He was invited last year by the Taoyuan Cultural Department to stay in the heritage village of Sianguang 2nd Village for his socially engaged art projects.

    Dubbed as “an evening of celebration, thanksgiving and gathering of award-winning Filipino films and filmmakers,” the Film Ambassadors’ Night was first launched last October 2016 to cite those who continue to bring not only prestige to the country but has also raised the level of awareness to the craft and art of filmmaking.


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    PH Film Development Council to honor outstanding Filipino films, filmmakers and actors

    February 5th, 2018

    THE Film Development Council of the Philippines will pay tribute to Filipino films, filmmakers and actors who made waves internationally in the second FDCP Film Ambassadors Night to be held at the Sampaguita Gardens in Quezon City this coming Friday.

    FDCP Chair and Chief Executive Officer Liza Diño said that the event is “the best way to start the year. It’s a special night which celebrates the triumphs of our Filipino filmmakers, especially those who brought honor to our country by winning awards various international film festivals last 2017. This is our small way of showing our appreciation for their passion and hard work.”

    Among those to be cited are the documentary films Sunday Beauty Queen by Baby Ruth Villarama and Two Way Jesus by Jet Leyco, television documentaries Warmer by Atom Araullo, Front Row‘s Bata sa Bintana produced by Joseph Conrad Rubio, Reel Time‘s Maling Akala produced by Jayson Bernard Santos, and Reporter’s Notebook‘s Pasan-Pasang Pangarap produced by Ian Simbulan. The last three are all GMA Network programs.

    In addition, FDCP will also recognize short films, namely Jared Joven’s and Kaj Palanca’s Contestant #4, TJ Collanto’s Diliman, Carlo Francisco Manatad’s Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25 and Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee of the Month, Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s Imago, JP Habac’s Maria, Richard Legaspi’s Pipo, Phil Giordano’s Supot, and Joella Cabalu’s and Milena Salazar’s Do I Have Boobs Now?

    Also to be given honors during the event are the full length films 1st Sem by Allan Michael Ibañez and Dexter Paglinawan Hemedez, 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten by Petersen Vargas, Across the Crescent Moon by Baby Nebrida, Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) by Lav Diaz, Ang Araw Sa Likod Mo by Dominic Nuesa, Area and Laut by Louie Ignacio, Baboy Halas by Bagane Fiola, Baka Bukas by Samantha Lee, Birdshot by Mikhail Red, Dagsin (Gravity) by Atom Magadia, Huramentado (Oath to Die) by Noriel Jarito, Ignacio de Loyola by Paolo Dy, Imbisibol by Lawrence Fajardo, Paglipay by Zig Dulay, Pamilya Ordinaryo by Eduardo Roy, Jr., Patay Na Si Hesus by Victor Kaiba Villanueva, Pitong Kabang Palay by Maricel Cabrera-Cariaga, Sikreto sa Dilim by Mike Magat and Ramon Roxas, Singing in Graveyards by Bradley Liew, Tale of the Lost Boys by Joselito Altarejos and Women of the Weeping River by Sheron Dayoc.

    FDCP will also hand out awards to filmmakers Brillante Mendoza, Diaz, Ignacio, Dayoc, Red, Gutierrez, Fritz Silorio, Sari and Kiri Dalena, as well as actors Tommy Abuel, Sandy Andolong, Mary Joy Apostol, Joem Bascon, Dina Bonnevie, Iza Calzado, Ana Capri, Gabby Concepcion, Ricky Davao, Ai Ai Delas Alas, Matteo Guidicelli, Hasmin Killip, Christopher de Leon, Lotlot de Leon, Angel Locsin, Anna Luna, Ronwaldo Martin, Leon Miguel, Carlos Morales, Arnold Reyes, Charo Santos-Concio and Laila Ulao.

    Apart from those to be honored for their global achievements under the creative, technical and performance categories, FDCP will also award the A-listers and recipients of the Camera Obscura, the highest Artistic Excellence Award given by the council to outstanding filmmakers from last year. Previous Camera Obscura awardees include directors Mendoza and Diaz, and actors Jaclyn Jose, Allen Dizon and Teri Malvar.

    FDCP hopes that the event will also be an opportunity for filmmakers and industry movers of different backgrounds to come together to strengthen collaboration among the creative industries.


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    Three Benilde films to defend CineMapúa title

    January 22nd, 2018

    THREE short films from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Digital Film making program will attempt to duplicate last year’s success of their fellow Benildeans when the annual CineMapúa student film festival kicks off this week at the Mapúa University in Intramuros, Manila.

    Karla Urquiaga‘s Healing, Jaig de Guzman‘s Amy and Regina Aceron‘s and C.J. Villa‘s Binihag are among the ten finalists of the CineMapúa 2018 Intercollegiate category.

    Last year, Benilde film graduate Michael Pagaduan‘s Kaming Mga Nakakulong won Best Director and Best Film while Martin Mayuga‘s Babuyan, another Benilde entry, brought home Best Actress for Cataleya Surio, Best Supporting Actor for Jomari Angeles and three other minor awards.

    Healing takes on the reality of a traumatized girl who tries to find her psyche. The film features Larissa Louise Alivio, Fe Saligumba, Erick Samonte and Matthew Seaver Choy.

    Amy tells the story of Mark, a college student from Tacloban who can’t help but see his girlfriend Amy who presumably died in the devastating typhoon Yolanda. He reaches out to a person who lives exclusively in his mind. Choy top bills this film opposite Chloe Tabanda.

    Binihag is about a hitman who finds his way to redemption as he interrogates a captive. Tracy Quila, Tere Gonzales, Dino Mercado, Lian Gonzales and Bongjon Jose star in this action-drama.

    The three Benilde thesis films will compete with Akalingwan Nang Rosa directed by Max Canlas from University of the Philippines-Diliman, Ang Sabi Ni Madam by Ed Paulo Villanueva from De La Salle-Lipa, Dapithapon by Nyle Libranza from Asia Pacific Film Institute, Hahahahuhuhu by Delano Vinci Agapito, also from APFI, Mission Accomplished by Eidref Magpayo from Centro Escolar University-Malolos, Pompoms by AJ Amar from Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Manila and Pua Iyam by Juan Pablo Pineda III from Far Eastern University-Manila.

    Meanwhile, Nixs Bernal’s two short films Nik-Nik and Uwi, Faustino Abante’s Ang Mga Burloloy ni Ella, Jev Romuel Gamboa’s Margo, Stephanie Dumayas’ Munting Tahanan, Emmanuel Chino Mutia’s Sa Mundong Aming Ginagalawan, Michael John Tuclaud’s Scripted, Fernando Manalo’s Toilet Trobol, Jay Carlo Magboo’s and Gadriell Gem Sol’s Uwian Na and Eugene Torres’ Yujin compete in the All Mapúans Category.

    The finalists for the Animation Category, which was introduced this year, are Southbound by Zaira Daradar and Rhadney Reyes, Imahe by Marc Lorenzo Tolentino, A113 by Keith Altares, Pood by Gio Sallena and Ugat by Calvin Hernandez, all from Mapúa’s Multimedia Arts and Sciences.

    CineMapúa, organized by Film Arts and Media Enthusiasts, aims to showcase students’ skills in producing short films and animation as well as their appreciation of the value of making films. It is headed by Festival Director and School of Media Studies officer-in-charge Benny Agapito.

    Screenings are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., every two hours, at Audio-Visual Rooms 1, 2 and 3 from January 22 to 27, as part of Mapúa’s 93rd founding anniversary celebration.


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    FEU short film wins first prize in Manila Student Film Festival

    January 18th, 2018

    A SHORT film made by third year college students from Far Eastern University won first prize in the 19 to 21 age group (Further/Higher education) category of the Manila Student Film Festival held last Tuesday at the International School Manila (ISM) Fine Arts Theater, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

    Fat You, written and directed by Ronnel “Thirdy” Rivera III, tells the story of a fat girl who is afraid to show up in her class reunion after being bullied by her former classmates because of her physical appearance.

    In his acceptance speech, the winning filmmaker thanked the organizers for initiating the event as he reiterated his film’s message.

    “It lets us express ourselves through films. Our film ‘Fat You’ is for all the fat people not only in the Philippines but all over the world. Let’s fight fat-phobia,” Rivera stressed.

    The Plus Size Production film stars among others Marry Grace Yagi and Lexcel Quina, with support from Robby Delgado, FEU Theater Guild actor Ron Christian Alos and FEU UAAP Season 80 courtside reporter Sydney Allison Crespo.

    Rivera also got the able support of director of photography and editor Pj Muñoz, production manager Jamilla Chua, production designer Winter Delos Reyes, assistant director Diana Manguiat, associate producer Neo Torres and location manager Roselene Ariola.

    Fat You bested three other finalists in its category, namely Batang Hamog by Eluigi Macalintal from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, To Be Determined by Lukas Fiechter, Brian Molloy and Alejandro Minana from ISM, and Ligaya by Migui Baluyut, Jahia Roces and Risa Murayama from Singapore School Manila.

    Meanwhile, the public service announcement World of Plastic by Roland Swank, Julian Benedict Alguno and Miguel Caballero from Cebu International School bagged the top prize in the 8-11 age group (Junior/Elementary).

    In addition, the short animation Fresh by Eve Hartley from ISM won in the 12-14 category (Middle/High school) while Sorry I’m Late by Agnes Roche, Carmel Limcaoco, Reed Santos and Bruno Cote Rodriguez, also from ISM, topped the 15-18 age group (Senior/High school).

    The MSFF aims to celebrate “the creativity of young filmmakers in the Philippines by providing an audience for upcoming talent and inspiring the filmmakers of tomorrow to create films now.”

    Manila-based Italian director, cinematographer and editor Andrea Capranico and Filipino director, animator, film editor, sound recordist and art director Ricky Orellana served as judges.

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    Shortest Day Film Festival set at the Ayala Museum

    December 18th, 2017

    ON DECEMBER 21, the winter solstice and shortest day of the year, Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the cultural center of the Embassy of Spain, and Ayala Museum will offer a free screening of four multi-awarded Spanish short films – Elena Asins-Génesis, Pulse, Luchadoras and Consulta 16 – as part of El Día Más Corto/The Shortest Day, a short film festival celebrated simultaneously in more than 300 places worldwide.

    The Shortest Day is an idea that was set in motion by the French Short Film Agency in 2011, in which more than two million people from all over the world participated.

    In 2012 the initiative was emulated by other countries and in 2013 it grew into a truly international event, with the affiliation of a total of 12 European countries, as well as Canada.

    El Día Más Corto took place in Spain for the first time in 2013. It was organized by the Spanish Association for short films,, with 100 selected short films distributed in 20 recommended programs.

    The main idea was that everyone can organize a film festival for friends and neighbors in order to celebrate short films everywhere: schools, hospitals, streets, bars – every place is welcome to screen.

    Several television channels (TVE and Canal+) aired special short film programs, and Instituto Cervantes created a playlist of short films for its centers worldwide. The National Film Board and all regional film boards and cinematheques also joined the event.

    Instituto Cervantes joined this Festival in 2015, with the aim of showcasing the creativity of Spanish and Filipino short film productions. As an indicator of the vitality of the medium in Spain, the short film Timecode, directed by Juanjo Giménez Peña, was chosen Best European Short Film at the European Film Awards 2017, celebrated last December 8 at Dublin.

    By joining the worldwide screenings, Instituto Cervantes and Ayala Museum will help put the Philippines in the map of the said film festival. In 2017, the Philippines will be one of almost 50 countries worldwide that will celebrate together the love for short films.

    El Día Más Corto is brought to you by Instituto Cervantes, the Embassy of Spain, Ayala Museum and the Film Development Council of the Philippines. All films will be shown in their original version with English subtitles.

    The screenings will take place at Ayala Museum. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. For those who register at AMlectureRegistration, there will be free popcorn courtesy of Instituto Cervantes. For more information please check out their Facebook page ( InstitutoCervantesManila) or the El Día Más Corto website ( internacional).


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    Lone musical in Manila Film Fest got an “A” grade from evaluation board

    December 16th, 2017

    ANG Larawan, the lone musical entry in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, received a grade of “A” from the Cinema Evaluation Board.

    The musical written by National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio and composed by Ryan Cayabyab is the only film this year wherein all eleven CEB members who previewed it gave the highest grade. The CEB summation stated, “It is seldom and rare that the members of the Board give a unanimous A to a film.”

    Based on the play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, Ang Larawan tells of how financially troubled Marasigan sisters Candida and Paula hold on to their father’s masterpiece in spite of great interest and attractive offers from potential buyers.

    West End star Joanna Ampil plays Candida while multi-awarded pop singer/host and entrepreneur Rachel Alejandro portrays Paula. Urian Best Actor Paulo Avelino takes the role of Tony Javier, the boarder who is persuading the sisters to sell the painting to an American buyer.

    The rest of the cast features a stellar ensemble composed of OPM stalwarts Celeste Legaspi, Dulce and Nanette Inventor; stage and film luminaries Robert Arevalo, Nonie Buencamino, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Noel Trinidad, Jaime Fabregas, Leo Rialp and Bernardo Bernardo; and young stars Sandino Martin, Aicelle Santos, Cris Villonco, Cara Manglapus, Jojit Lorenzo and Rayver Cruz. OPM icons Ogie Alcasid and Zsa Zsa Padilla have very special roles.

    Culturtain Musicat Productions is the production outfit behind this film directed by Loy Arcenas.

    The CEB praised the various aspects of production with one member citing that the movie is “enthralling, captivating and beautifully helmed!” The board described the performances by the leads and supports as “excellent.” Another member reiterated that, “Larawan is a brilliant, fabulous production with great acting and excellent technical elements.”

    As soon as CEB grade was released, the filmmakers took to social media to express their gratitude and joy.

    “Wow! What a blessing!” said Alejandro while Legaspi declared, “Very proud!” Ampil, who is touring as part of the international production of Cats, wrote on Facebook, “All the hard work is paying off.”

    Ang Larawan is Ampil’s first starring role in a film and she began preparing for it way back in 2014.

    The CEB recognition is the latest of a string of accolades that Ang Larawan has been receiving ever since its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival last October.

    Variety’s Richard Kuipers said, “This musical adaptation of a beloved Filipino play is a class act.”

    Local press and writers who have watched the film at an advanced preview are predicting Ang Larawan will be embraced by music-loving moviegoers and will be a strong contender for MMFF awards.

    The film has also gotten endorsements from the Commission on Higher Education and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, among others.

    Noting that Ang Larawan is a period movie, not a formula film, and that the musical genre remains untested, the CEB commended the production outfit for taking a risk.

    “So, kudos, congrats, and thanks to the brave, intrepid band of producers and their fearless funders for this film. May their tribe increase and may this movie reach as wide an audience as possible.”

    Furthermore, the CEB made a clear call to the moviegoers “to see this film and spread the good word: go out and see Filipino films!”

    For updates and information, check out the film’s website and Facebook page.

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    PH dance major wins in Malaysia

    December 14th, 2017

    Olivia Bugayong

    OLIVIA Bugayong, a third year dance student from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, recently won the bronze medal in the senior category of the second Malaysian International Ballet Grand Prix.

    The competition, which ran from November 26 to 30, was divided into three stages — preliminary, eliminations and final. Participants were judged based on both classical repertoire (80%) and contemporary pieces (20%).

    After the total score was accumulated, Bugayong was among the ten finalists who got into the final round of her category. She eventually became the first Filipino who made it to the top three of the said competition.

    The DLS-CSB scholar is grateful to dance faculty Nina Anonas, her coach for ballet who joined her in Malaysia; dance chair Christine Crame, her mentor for contemporary; and associate dean Dr. Sunita Mukhi for her support to the Benilde’s Arts and Culture Cluster.

    The MIBGP organizers, witnessing the growth of ballet and the performing arts scene, worked with the HELP College of Art and Technology to launch the competition in 2016.

    The event aims to provide opportunities for all dance enthusiasts globally, boost the status of dancing, build integrity and friendship among dance enthusiasts, and share the knowledge of ballet.

    Bugayong started her classical ballet training when she was just three years old at the Vella C. Damian School of Ballet, Inc. where she learned the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet Syllabus under the tutelage of Damian herself.

    The dance major previously won the gold medal at the 2016 Hong Kong Challenge Cup Dance Competition. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts named her one of its Ani ng Dangal awardees the following year for her achievement.

    She performed the role of Black Swan in Crame’s contemporary choreography of Swan Lake with the Saint Benilde Romançon Dance Company and also played the part of Ina in Brillante Mendoza‘s Ang Pagtatapos which aired on TV5 last April 22.

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    Award winning film “Maestra” set to be shown on selected theaters

    December 5th, 2017

    MAESTRA, an award-winning film which pays tribute to teachers as modern-day heroes, will be shown at Cine Lokal in eight SM cinemas — Megamall, Mall of Asia, North Edsa, Southmall, Manila, Sta. Mesa, Fairview and Bacoor — starting Friday.

    The film, directed by Lemuel Lorca, features three generations of courageous teachers who will share significant lessons in life as they cross paths in a journey of dreaming to achieve, struggling to succeed and pursuing to find life’s greater meaning — as teachers.

    Maestra recently won Best Actress for Anna Luna and Special Mention for Best Screenplay for Archie del Mundo in the feature films section of the Five Continents Film Festival at Puerto La Cruz in Venezuela.

    Luna, who previously won Best Supporting Actress trophies for Paglipay at the 2016 To Farm Film Festival and for Bendor at the 2013 Cinema One Originals, essays the role of Iah Seraspi, a poor dreamer from Looc, Romblon who passionately pursued her studies to reach the top.

    The story of Seraspi, who managed to place second in the nationwide Licensure Exam for Teachers, became viral on social media and was featured on television.

    Gawad Urian Best Actress Angeli Bayani plays Gennie Panguelo, an Aeta-Ilocana parateacher who dreams of passing the LET exam. Panguelo, more popularly known as Ma’am Gennie, defies the odds by walking four hours everyday to school just to teach young Aeta students. She helped build the Tarukan Elementary School for children who mostly have slim chances of completing a school year.

    Queen of Visayan Movies Gloria Sevilla portrays the character of Esperanza Bautista, a respected teacher and most outstanding principal. Bautista, or Ma’am Espie to her students, can also compose and deliver poems on the spot as part of her inspirational talks. Now more than 80 years old, she still refuses to retire from teaching.

    The veteran actress was able to relate a lot to her role as a tireless educator.

    Kahit may edad na ako, gusto ko pa ring mag-artista dahil kaligayahan kong maging artista. I want to enjoy myself. I want to make people happy. Kahit may edad na ako, nandito pa rin ako. Kapag nasa dugo mo ang isang bagay, go for it,” she said.

    I really like the story. This is about the plight of teachers na hindi masyadong napapansin ng mga tao. Ang mga teachers ang siyang nagmo-mold ng utak ng mga kabataan,” she added.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Carl Balita, who runs 94 branches of his review center nationwide, produced his second advocacy film after the success of his first production Nars, a film about Filipino nurses.

    I want to pay forward to the teachers’ community who has helped me a lot. I realized that they’re really the unsung heroes of our generation,” the popular educator said.

    Balita, who is also an entrepreneur and media personality, revealed that he knows of several other inspiring stories of teachers.

    There’s so much to say. There’s so much to tell. Beyond three is probably too crowded. It’s blending three different stories in one harmonized script.”

    Maestra also stars Lou Veloso, Lui Manansala, William Martinez, Yayo Aguila, Suzette Ranillo, Karl Medina, Bong Cabrera, Paul Salas, Star Orjaliza and Balita as himself. A co-production with the Carl Balita Review Center and Spotlight Artists Centre, the film also competed at the Sydney World Film Festival, Warsaw Avenue Film Festival, 24th annual Filipino International Cine Festival and NPS International Children’s Film Festival in India.

    Balita explained why he also decided to take the festival route.

    I believe in the movie. I got the right people. I got the right production team. I got the right artists. I know we got a good story. I’ll let it speak for itself.”

    The film was Graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board.

    Cine Lokal is a cinema line that houses independent, award-winning films and Film Development Council of the Philippines programs in select SM Cinema branches across the country. The CBRC branches will be in charge of further local distribution of the film.


    Watch MAESTRA trailer:

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    Ballet Philippines takes on The Nutcracker but with added Filipino flavor

    December 2nd, 2017

    THIS month, Ballet Philippines, the country’s preeminent classical and contemporary dance company, takes on the timeless Christmas ballet The Nutcracker and sets it apart by adding its own unique Filipino flavor.

    The show runs from December 1 to 3 and from 8 to 10 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Fridays – 8 p.m., Saturdays – 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sundays – 2 p.m.).

    Edna Vida‘s reinvention of the Tchaikovsky ballet classic is set in the Philippines in the 1920s. The young heroine Clara receives an enchanted Nutcracker Doll from her godfather, the toymaker Don Alfonso Quintero, at her family’s noche buena. Her sister gets the Sugar Plum Fairy Doll and her brother, the Rat King Doll.

    When midnight strikes, all the toys including her beloved Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Rat King come to life, and a battle between Rats and Toy Soldiers ensues. Her Nutcracker valiantly leads the soldiers, but is soon overpowered by the evil Rat King.

    Just as the Rat King delivers his final blow, Clara comes to the Nutcracker’s rescue and the Rat King falls.

    As the rats scurry off with their king, Don Alfonso appears and reveals the true identity of her doll — he is the Nutcracker Prince! He and the Sugar Plum Fairy have been trapped in a spell which only a person pure of heart can break.

    To thank Clara for her act of courage, the Nutcracker Prince whisks her away to the Kingdom of the Dolls. A feast is celebrated in her honor as she is surrounded by dolls from all over the world, dancing flowers, and the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy.

    A holiday treat for the whole family, The Nutcracker is a tradition all over the world, with professional dance companies and schools doing their own version of the beloved full-length ballet, especially during the Christmas season.

    What makes BP’s version of The Nutcracker different from the rest is how the late National Artist for Theater Design Salvador Bernal integrated Filipino design elements into the sets. The turn-of-the-century grand ballroom features art nouveau arches with anahaw leaves and framed capiz shells. It also showcases additional choreography by National Artist for Dance and BP artistic director emerita Alice Reyes.

    Nobuo Fujino, former principal dancer of Hong Kong Ballet, is guest artist, portraying the role of the Nutcracker Prince. He will partner with BP’s Denise Parungao who plays the Sugar Plum Fairy.

    Alternating with Fujino and Parungao are the tandems of Lester Reguindin and resident guest artist Candice Adea and Victor Maguad and company member Jemima Reyes. The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, with Gerard Salonga as conductor, will play live on select performances.

    Edna Vida’s The Nutcracker is made possible by ABS-CBN, The Japan Foundation Manila and Tan Yan Kee Foundation.

    For tickets, call Ballet Philippines at (632) 551-1003, the CCP Box Office at (632) 832-3704, or Ticketworld at (632) 891-9999 or Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks: Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


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    Belle Kay Loyola’s Dalit” ruled the Negros Island Film Festival

    November 30th, 2017

    BELLE Kay Loyola‘s short film Dalit (Poison) on Wednesday ruled the open category of the inaugural Sine Negrense: Negros Island Film Festival awards night held at SM City Bacolod Cinema 4.

    Dalit, which tells the story of a man who has healing abilities and how these affect his personal life, won Best Film, Best Director for Loyola, Best Production Design for Noel Armocillo, Jr., Best Actor for John Arceo and Best Supporting Actor for Louie Dormido.

    Loyola’s thesis film at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Digital Film making Program beat Adobo by Val Vestil, Alibungan by Matthew Piodena, Five Sorrowful Mysteries by Shannan Gonzales, Happy Birthday by Gkie Erebaren, Hawud by Paul Venzi Florendo, Kaasab by Vince Divinagracia and Handuraw by Gilbert Basilio for the top prize.

    Vestil and Florendo are from Negros Oriental while the other filmmakers are from Negros Occidental.

    Alibungan took home the Jury’s Choice, Best Screenplay and Best Editing awards. Denli Chavez received the Best Actress trophy as Jane, a girl with a traumatic experience, in Happy Birthday while Kaasab bagged Best Musical Score and Best Supporting Actress for Kim Agnes. Five Sorrowful Mysteries won Best Cinematography while Hawud won Best Sound Design.

    Loyola, who was inspired “by cultural and historical stories as well as Filipino beliefs” in making the film, wants to show how it is like to live in a place where people depend on faith and folk healers.

    I feel so happy that I was given the chance to share my film to my very own hometown and to the people I (once) left behind while studying Film making in DLS-CSB,” the recent Benilde Film graduate said.

    It’s funny how this film was once just a concept on my mind and for the past months I have proven that it’s not about who you are as a person — it’s about the perseverance and positivity that you would apply on it and the rest will just flow,” Loyola added. She won 20,000 pesos for her victory while Piodena got 10,000 pesos for winning the Jury’s Choice Award.

    Meanwhile, Singgit sang Nalisdan by Carlo Navarrete from Silay Institute won Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actress for Lorince Gonzales in the Intercollegiate Category, which are for student works from schools within the region.

    Asu by Lorenzo Dilag from Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod got the Best Director and Jury’s Choice awards. Navarrete and Dilag brought home 10,000 and 5,000 pesos, respectively.

    Kuebiko by Lourdes Antenor from University of St. La Salle bagged Best Production Design, Best Editing and Best Supporting Actor for Charles Ea. Kapit, helmed by Gemma Acaling from the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College of Talisay City, won Best Cinematography and Best Actor for Herbert Montero. Landong by Joaquin Angelo Alpas from CSA-B won Best Musical Score while Pangalap, directed by Jessie Soberano and Mark Labrador of the Department of Education Division of Sagay City, brought home the Best Sound Design prize.

    The other student entries are Nene by Stephanie Marie Aliday, Bihag by Franklin Latriz, Hustisya Diin Ka? By Kathy Rose Magan and Hangkat sang Kapigaduhon” by Renz Osianas, also from CHMSC like Acaling, and Paglas-ay sang Kalamay by JJ Guilaran from USLS.

    Sine Negrense is a venue, a platform for local filmmakers to hone their craft. It’s a good way to promote local talent,” festival director Tanya Lopez said.

    The film festival hopes to bring out a new generation of filmmakers and enthusiasts, as well as cultivate an informed public on the importance of cinema and storytelling in terms of national identity, culture and heritage.

    Lopez got the able support of program director Adrian Torres and co-festival director Rodolfo Banjo Hinolan in organizing the event, with the help of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Negros Museum, Design Brewer and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

    The film festival opened last November 27 with the screening of Peque Gallaga‘s Sonata, which was shot in Negros Occidental. A film forum, led by NCCA Committee on Cinema officers Patrick Campos, documentary filmmaker Babyruth Villarama and film critic Tito Valiente, was held at the House of Frida on the second day.

    Sine Negrense entries and exhibition films directed by Erik Matti, Lawrence Fajardo, Borgy Torre, Manny Montelibano, Rosswil Hilario, among other Negros-born filmmakers, were also screened at the USLS and CSA-B campuses.

    The screenings continued at CHMSC Talisay Auditorium on the third day, culminating in the awards night, where a total of 31 awards were given.

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    Last round of Philippine-Spanish indie concerts set on Saturday

    November 24th, 2017

    INDIE bands Manel and Sleep Kitchen take center stage for the last round of Philippine-Spanish indie concerts Posporo(s) 2017 at 20:20 Bar in Makati City on November 25.

    Organized by the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes de Manila with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Posporo(s) is a series of concerts featuring the best bands in the Spanish and Philippine indie music scene.

    For the last two years, 16 groups from Spain and the Philippines and several prestigious local DJs have ignited the best live music venues in Metro Manila with these bilateral music matches. Posporo(s) aims to promote indie music talents from Spain and the Philippines, giving the artists themselves an opportunity to experience the music of their counterparts.

    Manel is undoubtedly one of the most relevant contemporary bands in the Spanish scene for their exquisite variety of musical repertoire, navigating between pop and folk along with deep narrative wit.

    With their four records, the Barcelona band is already part of the great tradition of excellent music sung in Catalan, where the big names of the cançó have always operated as popular craftsmen, offering a message that reaches all social layers, generational fringes and geographical origins. The great narrative flow of their compositions transits by the daily emotion, the nostalgia and the future at hand, in a universe full of characters that move between the real and the imagined.

    After becoming the first pop act ever to reach the #1 of the Official Spanish Charts singing in Catalan with 10 milles per veure una bona armadura (2011), the band did it again two more times: in 2013 with the release of their third album Atletes, baixin de l’escenari (2013) and then, in April 2016, with their fourth, Jo competeixo.

    With Jo competeixo, Manel made a clear turn towards the contemporary pop that the band will offer at their Manila concert.

    Sleep Kitchen will join Manel in this last concert of Posporo(s) 2017. The Filipino quartet has, by accident, combined folk, soul, and rock in what was only supposed to be a garden variety telling of Tao Aves‘ everyday sadness.

    In the course of the group’s relatively new standing, each of the members have already established their individual musical ventures and careers, especially Aves. The band’s collaborative work has been on for more than a year now and their music sends vivid pictures of the stories they intend to share.

    From the narratives of the lyrics, the powerful fluid riffs, and the enchanting voice of Aves, Sleep Kitchen has made its mark on their chosen musical genres.

    As with the first season of Posporo(s) concerts, this edition culminates with Philippine DJs playing the latest in electronic music.

    Growing up in a musically inclined family, counting singing and playing instruments as early forays, it isn’t hard to imagine that Mafia Escasinas would eventually pursue a career in music as a DJ.

    Starting in 2014 at Today x Future, she found comfort in house and electro music, but was later challenged to embrace hip hop and R&B where she has since thrived. Spinning a signature sexy vibe, she is also one half of The Grrs (with James Go), a DJ duo that also hosts Bed Squeaks, a hip hop and R&B party at Finders Keepers in Black Market, as well as an electro/indie night at Today x Future called Oh No!

    A versatile DJ, she currently plays a range of genres, including house, techno, hip hop, R&B, electro and disco.

    Miss Badkiss a.k.a. Christina Bartges is a half German DJ that plays an impeccable array of electro and techno mostly from her home country Germany. She got musically inspired hanging out her favorite club Erste Liga in Munich, watching the club’s residents Munk.

    When she started using the decks, Munk were nice enough to give her a bunch of records. Munk is now a popular artist who have releases by the label Gomma who have on its roster, Headman and Princess Superstar.

    Today, Miss Badkiss is the resident DJ of Elektro Disco, Soundsgood’s Friday nights at M Café. Her DJing skill has brought her all around the country. Her collection of vinyl is constantly updated as she plays the latest in minimal techno, hiphop, groove, discopunk and anything funky enough to make anyone dance.


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    BenildeFilm alumnus wins C1 Originals Best Short Film

    November 22nd, 2017

    CARL Chavez’s Sorry for the Inconvenience bagged the Best Short Film award at the Cinema One Originals 2017 awards night held last November 19 at the Dolphy Theater in Quezon City.

    The short film tells the story of Joshua (Ronwaldo Martin), a timid teenager who comes home one night after being beaten up by a bully in school. With revenge on his mind, the teenager decides to take matters into his own hands. When things didn’t go as planned, he is left with no choice but to seek help from his policeman father (Simon Ibarra).

    Cherry Malvar and Luis Ruiz provide support in the film which also competed at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival last August.

    Chavez, a graduate of the Digital Film making Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, also made it to Cinema One Originals last year with Yes Mami, a short film about a young boy who dreams of getting the role of Mary for their high school theater club’s annual nativity presentation. Not Applicable, his BenildeFilm thesis, previously won third best short film at the 2016 CineFilipino Film Festival.

    Sorry for the Inconvenience edged out Big Boy by Jethro Jamon, Bilang by Edsel Uy, Caramel Child by Kim Timan, Diskarte by Agu Crisostomo and Mich Cervantes, Ina N’yo by Mary Evangelista, Mga Paro sa Dulo ng Lupa (Lords at the Edge of the Land) by Paulo dela Paz, Suerte by Carlo Fajarda and Supot by Philip Giordano for the Cinema One Originals prize.

    Timan, dela Paz and Fajarda are also BenildeFilm alumni like Chavez while Crisostomo and Cervantes are from the school’s animation program.

    Chavez is currently in Indonesia as one of the finalists of the ASEAN-ROK Film Leaders Incubator: FLY 2017 program along with fellow Filipino filmmaker Jean Cheryl Dizon Tagyamon and 20 others from Brunei, Cambodia, Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the host country.

    The workshop runs until December 3.

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