Alben meng manyaman, boy!

July 17, 2007

2 Kapampangan films in 20 Best Indie Films list

The Young Filmmakers of the Philippines (YFMP), a group of young filmmakers from different colleges and universities names the 20 best Filipino independent films for the past three years (2004, 2005 and 2006). Their criteria for selecting the best films are the quality of the screenplay and the subject matter.

"We look for something new," they said. "The script should be somewhat unconventional and unpredictable. The film depicts Filipino historical and/or cultural values and exemplified artistry, creativity, technical excellence, innovativeness and thematic values."

Two "Kapampangan" films--both by Brillante Mendoza--are included in the list.

Number 13
Kaleldo (Summer Heat)
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Cast: Johnny Delgado, Cherry Pie Picache, Angel Aquino, Juliana Palermo, Allan Paule, Criselda Volks, Miguel Faustmann, Liza Lorena, Ama Quiambao

The story is set in Guagua, Pampanga a decade after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which ravaged the province with lahar. It follows the lives of Rodolfo "Mang Rudy" Manansala, a woodcarver, and his three daughters and their relationships with the people close to them in the span of seven summers.

Grace, the youngest daughter, marries the mama's boy Conrad, and has to face the reality of leaving the ancestral house, to which she is deeply rooted, to go and live with her in-laws. Much against her will, to the point of staging a escape, she yields to the dictates of tradition. Yet she manages to cope with married life, and on the fourth year of her marriage gets pregnant with her second child.

Lourdes, the middle daughter and married to the weakling Andy Pineda with whom she has a daughter, goes into an illicit affair with a bank manager, for which reason Mang Rudy succumbs to a heart attack and
becomes bedridden..

Jesusa, the eldest daughter, is an out-of-the-closet butch-type lesbian, who contributes to family expenses by selling atchara. Despite her admirable deeds and her undying concern for her homophobic father's health, she suffers neglect and discrimination because of her sexuality.

The story is told in three segments: Angin (air), Api (fire), and Danum (water), with each segment told from the point of view of the three daughters. Attached to each segment are social occasion popularly observed in Pampanga, with a symbolic motif for each, represented by the elements sun, fire, water, air, blood, moon and earth. With Rowena's wedding at the end of the film, as in Grace's wedding at the start, a full cycle of life transpired.

International/ Local Awards/Exhibition:

-1st Rome International Filmfest
-Best Actress winner 28th Durban International Film Festival in South Africa
-Cinemavvenire special award in Torino International Filmfest

Number 16
Manoro (The Aeta Teacher)
English title: The Teacher
French title: Le Professeur
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Cast: Jonalyn Ablong

It’s presidential election time once again and like the rest of their fellow Filipinos, the Aetas of Sapangbato, Angeles City are required to vote. But how could is it possible if most of the Aeta elders do not know how to
read and write?

A young Aeta girl has the answer.

International/ Local Awards/Exhibition:

-Torino International Filmfest
-Cinemanila 2006, Best Director

The greatest work of the competition, then, was the only film that found the finest balance between those poles, who knew that, in the end, it’s all about telling the truth of and with that which is right there, the world: Brillante Mendoza’s Manoro (The Teacher, 2006)."

You may read ini to see the whole article of a film critic of the 24th Torina Film Festival had to say about Manoro.

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