Saturday, December 15, 2012

Two Princes

Kakaiba ang alas-kwatro y medya na iyon para sa'yo. Aksidente mong napindot ang kantang 'Two Princes' ng Spin Doctors sa tinatangi mong iPhone. At nagbalik sa iyo lahat ang mga image ng kabataan na akala mo noon ay panghabambuhay.

Hindi nga ba't 90's baby ka? Ang panahon kung kailan isang malaking kahihiyan ang malaman ng crush mo ang pagtingin mo sa kanya, ang panahon na nagsisimula pa ang mga mall at arcade, ang panahon ung kailan umusbong ang alternative rock at grunge, ang panahong ang tanging pinapangarap mo lang sa buhay ay maging DJ sa radyo at magkaroon ng mic at karaoke.

Naluluha ka kasi iniisip mong halos dalawampung taon na ang nakakaraan at hinahanap mo kung nasaang posisyon ka na ng buhay mo at kung ano'ng puwang sa mundo ang kinalalagyan mi. Napapaisip ka sa mga bagay-bagay na dati hindi mo binibigyan ng bigat katulad ng kamatayan. Isang katotohanan na kailangan harapin dahil nakikita mong unti-unti nang nalalagas sa harap mo ang mga dating kaklase, kaibigan, kalaro ng tumbang-preso na napaikli ang buhay dahil sa sakit, aksidente o pagpapatiwakal.

Alas kwatro sinkwenta y dos ng madaling araw at nararamdaman mo ang katotohanang ika'y matanda na at ang mga taong noo'y nasa edad mo ngayon ay tinitingala mo dahil sa kanilang tinamasang tagumpay o pinanggigilan mo dahil hindi ka nila naiintindihan bilang teenager.

Ngayon, ngayon na ikaw na ang nasa lugar nila at sila, sila ay tumanda at lumipas na, naiisip mo kung anong kanta kaya ang magpaparamdam ng nostalgia sa mga bata ngayon kapag umabot sila sa edad mo ngayon. At dalawampung taon magmula ngayon, ano uli ang kantang magiging sanhi ng pagkalikot ng mga alaala mo. O kung mapalad ka ba na mabigyan ng pagkakataong mabuhay pa at namnamin ang mga alaalang ito.

Pareho lang ang 'Two Princes' na pinapakinggan mo noon at ngayon. Pero iba na ang kahulugan nito para sa'yo ngayon.

Noon, isa itong kantang sabay-sabay niyong kinakanta ng mga kaibigan mo sa college habang masayang lumalabas ng gate ng eskwelahan, ninanamnam ang oras na maagang natapos ang klase dahil tinatamad ang titser. Ngayon, isa itong kantang naglalagay ng perspektibo sa pananaw mo sa buhay at iyong mga alaala.

Alas singko trese ng umaga. Hindi ka pa rin dinadalaw ng antok. At iniisip mo kung ikaw pa rin ba ang dating 90's teenager na nangangarap magkaroon ng romantikong pag-ibig. O ang taong binago dahil hindi mo nakuha ang pangarap na iyon.

Napangiti ka ng may pait. 'Two Princes' lang 'yan, andami mo nang drama, sabi mo sa sarili mo.

Akala mo kasi, iba ka na sa kung ano ka noon. Malaking bahagi pa rin pala sa'yo ang hindi nagbabago.
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Beautiful Images of Christmas

Despite a humid Yuletide Season in the Philippines this year and the 'anxiety' of an impending end of the world (if you believe in the Mayans' prediction), the presence of the spirit of Christmas is still apparent in the country. Everywhere, the joy of the season makes people smile because they just received their bonus, children excited to see what Santa have in store for them, yuppies worrying about eating too much at company parties, old-time friends and classmates finding a reason to get together for a reunion.

Though the disastrous effects that Typhoon Pablo had in our neighboring Compostela Valley makes me rethink about spending a lavish Christmas celebration and helping the victims instead, I reckon it's not that bad to enjoy the sights, sounds and colorful symbols of the season that brings out the kids in all of us.

Here are some pictures I was able to capture during my wandering in Manila and Davao.

Parol, the Pinoy version of Christmas lanterns are sold along the sidewalk of Gilmore in Quezon City, Philippines.

As early as November, this giant Christmas tree is already displayed in the middle of the Gaisano Mall of Davao, Philippines.

Belen or nativity scene, a tableau depicting the birth of Jesus Christ is on display at the lobby of Marco Polo Davao.

Large balloons adorned with Christmas decors are hanging inside EDSA Shangrila Mall in Mandaluyong, Philippines.

Japanese lanterns are the mas piled to make a giant Christmas tree in Binondo, Manila.
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

8th Mindanao Film Festival Nominees & Winners


More than 30 plus narrative and documentary short films with running time of 5 to 40 minutes each had to be screened by me and my Mindanao Film Festival (MFF) co-jurors, Arnel Mardoquio (2010 Netpac awardee (prestigious award in Asian cinema), Urian Best Screenplay in 2011, Pandayang Lino Brocka award for best regional short film, Cinema One Jury Prize 2012 and winner of Cinemanila International Film Fest Jury Prize 2012)* and Maria Victoria "Bambi" Beltran (Cebuana filmmaker with Butuanon roots, co-producer of Cinema One’s Dili Ingon Nato, and actress in Confessional and Aberya. She was also the writer of Damgo ni Eleuteria, directed Agokoy, Ugma na Ko Moasoy, a segment of the omnibus Bisayan film Biyernes, Biyernes. She also helmed Pigadagit, a soon-to-be-released Butuanon short film, an execom member representing Visayas at the NCCC Cinema Committee)* with MFF Director Rudolf Alama assisting us last December 8.

We spent more than 10 hours watching the films, indiscriminately screen every detail and making sure nothing was missed. We rated each film according to individual categories. By past midnight, we decided to go somewhere else to grab some beer and started shortlisting the highly-rated films based on the category.


Shorlisting the films over beer with Bambi and Arnel. Photo courtesy of Rudolf Alama.
Shortlisting films for each category left us with around 10-13 films and another round of cuts and deliberation had to be done to finally come up with the nominees. Then after determining the final nominees for each category, the real work began: deliberation.

I think we sifted through each and every aspect of judging. Not all films deserve to be cited to be honest. While some films were excellent, some were short of technical polishing, weak storytelling, telenovela-inspired treatment, careless direction and other traps young filmmakers get into. However, most of the filmmakers for this batch are promising enough, given they learned something from their participation in this year's festival and I hope they will be encouraged to join next year, hopefully submitting more polished works. 

So given what we had to go through judging the competition, I believe we made the right choices. Here are the nominees and winners of the this year's MFF:


BEST FILM 2012
Nominees:

Sintunado-WINNER (Davao City)
El Pundido Luz de Casa - Special JURY Citation (Zamboanga)
Masaligan (Davao City)
El Sentimiento del Maga Quieto (Zamboanga)
Damgo (Misamis)
Bantay (Davao City)

The filmmakers of "Sintunado".
This group is a product of the Guerilla Filmmaking Workshop, the first win after a couple of years.
Photo courtesy of JKR Multimedia.

I think Zamboangueno films had good entries in the festival. (I heard last year's winner was also from Zamboanga). It was so romantic to listen to Chabacano being spoken in a film.


BEST DOCUMENTARY
Nominees:

Under the Purple Sky – Nef Luczon - WINNER (Cagayan de Oro)
Sino – Xeng Epanto (Zamboanga)

BEST STUDENT FILM
Nominees:

Me - WINNER (Davao City)
Puzzle (Davao City)
Salamin (Davao City)
Coffeeshop (Davao City)
Artroom (Davao City)
Labo-Labo (Davao City)

I have to say that I didn't fancy the use of English or Tagalog in these nominated films by students from Philippine Women's College Davao. Somehow, I felt like I was watching films made by non-Davaoenos.

MFF participants receiving their Certificates of Participation.
At far right is Dax Canedo, the one who started it all. 

BEST WORKSHOP FILM
Nominees:

Sintunado - WINNER (Davao City)
Ang Pagpedal ni Elias (Davao City)
Medalyon (Davao City)
Candelario (Davao City)

BEST GUERILLA FILM
Nominees:

Sintunado - WINNER (Davao City)
El Pundido Luz De Casa (Zamboanga)
Bantay (Davao City)
Ang Pagpedal ni Elias (Davao City)
Medalyon (Davao City)
Candelario (Davao City)

Filmmakers receiving their Certificates of Participation

BEST DIRECTOR
Nominees:

El Sentimiento del Maga quieto- Xeph Suarez WINNER (Zamboanga)
Bantay – Gary Bengil Bautista (Davao City)
Puzzle – Lew Andrew T. Avila (Davao City)
Damgo – Mark Gio Amoguis (Misamis)
Sintunado – CJ Liamzon (Davao City)
Me – Alex Angelo Lara (Davao City)

BEST ACTRESS
Nominees:


Somnolence (L.A Subido)- WINNER (Davao City)
Gugma ni Pilo (Jona Gegremosa) (Davao City)
Flora Mae: Ang Biktima – Rosmyra Bacus (Davao City)
Candelaria- Poncia Glaiza Acharon (Davao City)
Pukot – Marilyn AvanceƱa (General Santos City)

With Fe "Ging" Hyde, Gawad Urian Best Actress for "Sheika".
She was the presentor for the MFF "Best Actress".
BEST ACTOR
Nominees

Bantay (ensemble cast)- WINNER: (Davao City)
- Kenneth Ian Chong, Donn Ahl Catre, Leo Jeorge Bautista, Ferdinand Mesias, Ronald Gary Bautista
Gugma ni Pilo (baby ghost)- Special Jury Citation – Lance Segfried Estellore (Davao City)
Masaligan (Mikael Corro) 
(Davao City)
Migo Nino (Joshua) 
(Davao City)
Treynta (James Labrigas) 
(Davao City)
Pukot (Perry Dizon) (General Santos City)
Flora Mae: Ang Biktima - (Death) – Vergel Bustamante 
(Davao City)
EL Pundido Luz de casa (father of the gay) – Julius Caesar Alejandro (Zamboanga)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Nominees:

El Pundido Luz de Casa- Aedrian Deniel Araojo -WINNER (Zamboanga)
Migo Nino- Special Jury Citation - Sonny Campaner; Warred Julian 
(Davao City)
El Sentimiento del Maga Quieto – Vanessa Fate Mora (Zamboanga)
Damgo – GioJoe Amoguiz (Misamis)
Sintunado – CJ Liamzon 
(Davao City)
Me – Alex Angelo Lara 
(Davao City)

The Jury decided to cite the screenplay of Migo Nino for capturing the unique Visayan humor by using witty vernacular terms. If the film was edited tighter, it could've been nominated in the Best Film. I heard it received the warmest audience reception during its screening.



From left to right: Jesse Boga, Mindanao Times journalist; Co-Juror Bambi Beltran and Urian Best Actress Ging Hyde before the start of the Awards Night.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Nominees:

Sintunado- WINNER (Davao City)
Coffee Shop (Davao City)
Pagsaha (Zamboanga)
El Pundido Luz de Casa (Zamboanga)
Labo-Labo (Davao City)
El Sentimiento del Maga Quieto (Zamboanga)

Cinematography Coicoi Nacario who presented the award for Best Cinematography.
His recent work was as DOP of the Cinemaone Originals 2012 entry
"Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim" by Arnel Mardoquio.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Nominees:

Sintunado- WINNER (Davao City)
Gugma ni Pilo (Davao City)
Coffee Shop (Davao City)
Art Room (Davao City)
El Sentimiento del Maga Quieto (Zamboanga)
El Pundido Luz de Casa (Zamboanga)
Bantay (Davao City)

BEST EDITING
Nominees:

Damgo- WINNER (Misamis)
Sintunado (Davao City)
El Pundido Luz de Casa (Zamboanga)
Masaligan (Davao City)
Puzzle (Davao City)
El Sentimiento del Maga Quieto (Zamboanga)

Presenting the Best Editing award.

BEST SOUND
Nominees:

El Pundido Luz de Casa - WINNER (Zamboanga)
Masaligan (Davao City)
Damgo (Misamis)
El Sentimiento del Maga Quieto (Zamboanga)
Sintunado (Davao City)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Nominees:


Ang Pagkamatay ni Wonder Woman- WINNER (Cagayan de Oro City)
Pagsaha (Zamboanga)
Somnolence 
(Davao City)
Goyak (General Santos City)
Nene 
(General Santos City)

BEST MUSICAL SCORE
Nominees:


Pagsaha- WINNER (Zamboanga)
Masaligan (Davao City)
El Sentimiento del Maga Quieto (Zamboanga)
Damgo (Misamis)
Sintunado 
(Davao City)
El Pundido Luz de Casa (Zamboanga)
Memo 
(Davao City)


Presentor for Best Sound, Maki Serapio, who also did the sound for "Ang Paglalakbay...".
He also did additional dubbing for "The Thank You Girls".
SPECIAL AWARDS (NOT DECIDED BY THE JURY)


Memorable Line in a Film - Gugma ni Pilo (Davao City)

Most liked trailer (online voting) - Memo 
(Davao City)

Best Shoutout Film - Somnolence 
(Davao City)

I have high hopes for MFF being the only film festival in Mindanao that showcases the films about the region and made by Mindanaoan filmmakers. Hopefully next year, more entries from the other provinces will participate. 

*Source: Mindanao Times
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

8th Mindanao Film Festival

The recently concluded Mindanao Film Festival, which ran from December 4-11, is an annual festival in Davao City showcasing short and full-length films shot and made in Mindanao by Mindanaoan filmmakers. This year, more than 30 short films and documentaries are in competition.

This is a special event for me as I was tapped to be one of the festival's jury. Also, my first feature "The 'Thank You' Girls" (2008) was exhibited in the festival, a chance for DavaoeƱos to watch the film again on the big screen.

One of the featured filmmakers on the wall outside the Gaisano Mall of Davao Cinema 5 where the films were  shown.



Outside Gaisano Mall of Davao, the festival venue.
"The 'Thank You' Girls on screen.

Denise, the actor on the screencap above, after the Dec. 10 screening of TYG.

Arnel Mardoquio's Crossfire.

Digital projector at Gaisano Mall of Davao Cinema 5.

Some of the staff, crew and actors after the Dec. 5 screening. (From left to right) Willie Apa, Davaoeno film editor, JD, who played the emcee, SunStar Davao columnist Yen Oledan, TYG's Production Coordinator, Sheng, Mindanao Film Festival Saff, Joan Mae Soco who played Adora Gracia, Mindanao Times journalist Jesse Boga, me and Yam Palma, TYG's Assistant Director.   

Friends Fritz and Dan who watched the Dec. 10 screening of TYG.
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