Cinemalaya Week! It is the season wherein independent filmmakers and supporters are united to watch some of the best Pinoy movies produced within the year. Now on its sixth year, Cinemalaya offers new categories that will surely make every moviegoer confused on which film to watch first.
The opening night happened last July 9, 2010 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Being a part of the print media (in a way LOL) has its perks, and I was able to get a pass from the Pinoy Parazzi office. I arrived in the venue at 7pm and was able to catch the trailers of the different movies competing at the New Breed, Shorts and Director’s Showcase category. The directors of the films featured this year were also introduced, and a lot of people were interested with the different themes presented (although most of them tackle political and social issues).
The main reason why I went there is for the screening of the opening film. If last year Martin and Alix collaborated with Piolo Pascual and other mainstream artists to produce the Brocka tribute film Manila, three lady directors joined forces for a film for women by women titled ‘Ganap na Babae’.
Actually, I almost became a part of the film but I will not disclose in what way 😛 The film is directed by Rica Arevalo (ICU Bed #7), Ellen Ramos (Selda, Walang Hanggang Paalam) and newcomer Sarah Roxas.
Before the film started, i think majority of the people sitting at the CCP Main Theatre thought that the film will be presented in the usual trilogy way. But we were wrong. Kudos to the editor of the film for presenting the three stories as if it was weaved to present a real full-length movie. IF i’m not mistaken, it is a first in Philippine cinema.
Now let’s go to the different stories:
The first part is entitled ‘Minsan May Isang Puta‘. If you’re a regular Peyups or PinoyExchange forumer, most probably you’ve read the short story with the same title. The whole segment is inspired from the short story. In the story, a documentarist interviews interviews a mother who works as a prostitute in order to live and support her children’s needs. The said character was portrayed by Mercedes Cabral, who is very much visible in the indie scene nowadays. She is perfect for the role primarily because she exudes the real look of a Filipina Beauty – morena skin, expressive eyes among others. She is also not exaggerated in showing her acting skills. I somehow believe that the prostitute is one of the most favorite character in Filipino movies, and how the female stars portraying it tends to exaggerate everything. Her eyes speaks and her acting is just right. I admire her for the courage of taking this role. It;s not an easy one since it has a number of ‘suggestive’ scenes, and the lines are quite long. The script was also well-written by Sarah Roxas and the scenes were executed well. Actually, she surpassed my expectations. I never thought a newbie director like her can produce something this good! I bet she really embraced the whole story with all her heart thus the wonderful output.
The second part is simply called ‘Camote‘. The story revolves around two sisters portrayed by Sue Prado (as Milagros) and newcomer Jam Perez. This part is written and directed by Ellen Ramos. I am a fan of Ellen Ramos’ ‘Selda’ and it is one of the most disturbing yet beautifully-made movie i’ve ever seen. Camote tackles more on the real life ‘Farmville’ situation in the province. Ang magtanim ay ‘di biro lalo na kung wala kang aanihin. It is a tale of two sisters situated in a remote place in the province. They have two kids under their custody and i think in the whole duration of the film, they only ate camote for dinner. The segment shows the daily hardships of a Filipina woman residing in such place. It also shows that women can do the tasks men usually do (pag-igib, pagsasaka etc). Temptation led to the death of one of the two sisters thus leaving one hoping for a ‘miracle’ to take place. Newcomer Jam Perez is quite a revelation, though i feel that her character should have more exposure too. I am a fan of Sue Prado since I saw her in Himpapawid. She didn’t fail to amuse me once more.
The third episode is features veteran actress Boots Anson-Roa and deaf actor Rome Mallari in “Eos“. I think this segment is the most-favorite one by the female crowd. Why? The simple May-December love affair that happened between the characters of Boots and Rome is simply kilig. Although it is an unlikely match, Direk Rica was able to bring out the simple yet kilig to the bones element that every girl can relate to. I salute Rome Mallari in his effective performance in this film. As a fan of his debut film ‘Dinig Sana Kita’, I was able to differentiate the two characters he portrayed and was loved by many. Thumbs up!
All in all, i can say that the film was able to bring out the ‘Ganap na Babae’ in the metaphors shown thru the characters. The prostitute is willing to sacrifice even her own dignity and happiness just to find ways to feed her beloved children (even if they leave after). The two camote girls are willing to do tasks and take risk for their future’s sake and a widowed woman is willing to give up her chance of venturing into a happy relationship due to the closed-minded views of the society.
Anyway, I was able to go to the after-party celebration of Hubo Productions and I was able to take a few pictures and talk to Direk Will Fredo, Sue Prado and Mercedes Cabral. 😀 Special thanks to Ms. Ida Tiongson! 😀