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Sunday, August 5, 2007

TONDO BOYS WIN BIG AT THE CINEMALAYA

Tondo boys win big at the Cinemalaya
By Jose Angelo D. Cantera, THE MANILA TIMES
Special to the Times




NON-ACTORS from Tondo made the biggest splash at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival awards night last weekend by winning the award for best actor. The jury decided to give an ensemble acting award this year to honor the wonderful performances of the young male cast of the Jim Libiran entry, Tribu.

Tribu won Best Full-Length Feature Film at the glittering rites attended by artists and supporters of independent cinema at the Cultural Center of the Philippine's Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, hosted by Agot Isidro and Sid Lucero.

The Cinemalaya jury declared Tribu as best film "for its grand and graphic depiction of contemporary Tondo, Manila, its raw passion and searing violence, its terrible social conditions and conflicting social mores, and its people's coruscating embrace of both the sacred and the profane, the filial and the tribal, the tender and the vicious." As Best Full-Length Feature Film, Tribu received a grant of P200,000 from the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the Balanghai Trophy and a P1-million Post Production grant from Roadrunner.

Tribu also took home the Best Sound award for Mark Laccay for "its masterful rendering of the noise and hum of the inner cities, the racket and resonance of the asphalt jungle."

Upon receiving the award, Libiran, who is a proud resident of Tondo, got sustained ovations from the jam-packed hall when he gave a message to the law enforcers of Tondo, reminding them to not harm these kids as they might very well be dealing with the next National Artists of the Philippines.

Jade Castro's Endo won the P50,000 Special Jury Prize "for its revealing take on the lives of "end-of-contract" casual workers in the retail and services sectors, and for its subtle and moving rendering of a love story amid an otherwise deprived social milieu, pitting romance against economics, drawing out both winners and losers, gainers and losers, hope and heartbreak." Endo's Ina Feleo, daughter of Cinemalaya executive Laurice Guillen won Best Actress.

The highly regarded Auraeus Solito of Maximo Oliveros fame won as Best Director for Pisay, about the stories of students enrolled at the Philippine Science High School. Best Screenplay went to Dennis Marasigan, Nikki Torres and Mara Paulina Marasigan for Tukso; Rodolfo Aves Jr. was so deserving to win the Best Cinematography award for his amazing photography of Batanes in Adolfo Alix's Kadin.

Other technical and creative winners were: Best Production Design - Martin Masadao, Regie Regalado, Dante Garcia and Endi Balbuena for Pisay; Best Editing - JD Domingo for Endo and Best Original Music Score - Jerrold Tarog for Kadin.

In the Short Feature category, the Best Film award went to Rolyo by Alvin B. Yapan. Rolyo was cited for "its lyrical depiction of the idyllic life of a young girl in the province, its rich symbolism, and its effective counterpoint of images that pit the materialistic with the simple, the pure and the pastoral."

As Best Film in the Short Feature category, Rolyo received P100,000 from FDCP, the Balanghai Trophy, and a One Term Training of the filmmaker's choice and P25,000 from the International Academy of Film and Television.

Special Jury Prize in the Short Feature Category went to Nineball by Enrico Aragon. It was cited for "its hilarious and satiric take on the national pastime, billiards and its engaging characterization."

The 2007 Cinemalaya jury was composed of National Artist Salvador F. Bernal; Jeremy Segay, Asian specialist of the Cannes Film Festival Directors' Fortnight section; Joselito "Lito" B. Zulueta, writer, critic, teacher and editor of the Arts and Culture section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer; Max Tessier, film critic and expert in Japanese and Asian films; and Marianne "Ma-an" Beloso Hontiveros, media practitioner, film critic, environmentalist and writer.

A new award – the Audience Choice - was launched this year in Cinemalaya. Pisay won for the Full-Length Feature Category and Doble Vista won for the Short Feature category.


(Jose Angelo Cantero is a student of the Manila Times School of Journalism.)


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