It’s a great Sunday!
Our short film “Ang Biyahe Ni Marlon” has been chosen to be part of the Viddsee Philippines online showcase. The film is eligible for the Audience Choice Award. Voting is from September 7 to September 21, 2018.
Last month, I was delighted to know that I’m part of the Hidden Cinema exhibit curated by no less than the multitalented filmmaker and film historian, Nick Deocampo. The Ayala Museum is kind and generous enough to devote a space for alternative filmmakers like us! Aww. Thank you so much! Also to the Filipinas Heritage library and to other sponsors like CNN Philippines, Samsung and Center for New Cinema, big thank yous!
The installation features mostly alternative Filipino filmmakers. From big names such as Cannes Film Festival winner, Raymond Red and Berlin Film Festival awardee, Kidlat Tahimik. And then to a nobody like Florence Rosini.
That’s why I’m deeply honored to have been chosen as one of the filmmakers that make up the first cycle of the exhibit, also dubbed as CineRhizome. To be alongside these distinguished luminaries is a very mindblowing experience! Of course, I don’t want to take all the credit. Everybody from our team made a huge effort to put it altogether. For us to be featured, all it took was an online submission of a one minute excerpt of our film called ‘Ang Biyahe Ni Marlon.’And then we left it all to… fate. That was July 6.
Last Monday, August 13, was the Hidden Cinema Congress, and later that day, we formally welcomed the second wave of filmmakers that made up “Cycle 2.”
I thought the event was only for established filmmakers who would discuss their filmmaking experiences to us amateurs. And it was… but it was waaay more than that. Because it was an avenue for a healthy and insightful discussion of the PhilippineAlternative Cinema movement.
I keep on saying Alternative or Alt, but what is it anyway? Sir Nick defined this as:
“espousing or reflecting values different from those of the establishment or of mainstream culture”. See photo below.
Sir Nick said that the last time a Congress of such intention was held in the 80s! Wow, 30+ years ago!! From then on, nada. So with this initiative, Sir Nick and his friends gathered everyone for an afternoon to start a dialogue about the current situation of Alt cinema in the Philippines. Alternative cinema includes but are not limited to: student films, short films, advocacy cinema, experimental films, among others.
The independent cinema or alternative cinema in the country has been on the rise in the last thirty years because of the popularity of digital filmmaking, which is accessible to the youth, and the millenials. It’s evident in the proliferation of student films that join festivals and those short films that circulate online. Alt Filmmakers (and boy, were there many of us in in the ground floor of the Museum) made a declaration that day: to continue making alternative films and support the Movement.
It was overwhelming for me. I didn’t think that was going to be a monumental day for alternative cinema in the Philippines! And I was there to witness it. Also present were members of the academe, teachers and students who are film enthusiasts and film lovers, aside from the filmmakers and film historians.
What made this historical? First, the Congress coincided with the centennial celebration of Philippine cinema. Second, we formalized the Movement by gathering everyone through the Congress. We called it the Philippine Alternative Cinema Movement. We defined it, as shown above. Third, we had an open forum where we discussed our action plans, even as welcoming suggestions of institutionalizing the Movement! Thanks to the encouragement of Sir Nick, the support of the community and the assistance of government instutions like NCCA,FDCP and CHED.
Also present in the event to discuss their experiences in alternative filmmaking are filmmakers: Elvert Bañares, Raymond Red, Jag Garcia, and NCCA Commissioner Teddy Co.
Indeed, I’m sure there will be more reasons to celebrate aside the the Centennial mark of Philippine cinema. And I’m glad to watch history unfold right before my eyes!
Thank you so much to the organizers and the speakers of the Hidden Cinema Congress for creating a space for dialogue and encouraging alternative filmmakers to continue on making waves and movie-making! Salamat po sa inyong lahat! 🙂
Truth be told, I’m still overwhelmed. Although it’s almost been a week, it feels like yesterday.
While I’m still trying to compose a decent letter to share my gratitude for the big blessing that came my way last Tuesday (it was Independence day, too!), let me just get the ball of gratitude rolling through this post.
My documentary short entitled, “Ang Biyahe Ni Marlon“, would have never been what it is without the bunch of kind and generous people in my life.
So here goes my big thanks to the following:
To Mariannel Crisostomo, Jonnie Lyn Dasalla, Clare Yee and Meika Catog for being ever supportive and encouraging in the making of the short film. To Meika, who has mentioned the festival in passing during one of our talks in a coffee shop, I’m glad, somehow, the info slipped your tongue because the Istorya ng Pag-asa Film Festival (INPFF) would have never reached my radar. With barely five weeks ’til the deadline, the thought of giving up never really crossed our minds. I’m glad we’ve always embraced positivity early on! Thank you, ladies!
To Ms. Hazel Alvero, Mr. Marlon Barnuevo and most especially, to Sir Marlon Fuentes, maraming maraming salamat po! Salamat sa tiwala at sa pagsuporta. You’ve been very generous with your knowledge and time, and that’s something I was never really expecting since I was, at that time, a stranger to all of you.
Ms. Hazel, it was you whose Facebook post I read, and you were very accommodating in answering my private messages. It was so easy to ignore them, and yet you took time to reply and from there, I got a hold of the contact number of Sir Marlon Barnuevo, who is the president of the Philippine Tourette Syndrome Association (PTSA).
Kay Sir Marlon Barnuevo, from the start, you’ve been very trusting of us, to the point of even welcoming us to your music studio in Quezon City. There, we learned so much about your advocacy, the PTSA, the association’s members and their struggles and victories. And it was you who connected us to Kuya Marlon Fuentes.
Kuya Marlon, ikaw ang tunay na lodi! You’re a walking symbol of hope. Ni minsan, kahit sa ikling panahon na nakasama namin kayo, ay hindi niyo naiparamdam sa amin na nahihirapan na kayo, o napipikon kayo sa mga basher niyo. I’ve always felt like you were genuine to share the positivity that you had in you. And it was unmistakably contagious. Na-bless po kami sa good vibes na dala-dala niyo parati. Salamat!
Sa production team na nakasama ko, ang galing niyo! Salamat Mark Badillo at Bennel Canlas for the sound design. Bennel, inentertain mo pa rin ang request ko kahit di kita nakita ng personal. At Sandro, kahit last minute, pumayag kang sumama sa project na ito. Maraming salamat sa inyo!
Kay John Julian Muniz, we’ve gone a long way. Nangarap tayo noon, heto na tayo ngayon. Cheers to more projects! Mabuhay ang mga mangingibig!
To Jenry Ann and April Grace, salamat sa pagtulong na mag-transcribe.
I will always be grateful for Ma’am Ludz Labagnoy, my former professor in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, who’s a good friend of mine now. Ma’am, matagal na natin itong pinangarap. I’m lucky I got to share this blessing with you.
Of course to my family. Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan? 🙂 Ever supportive and understanding! I’m extremely lucky!
I know I’ve said this many times. But thank you to the Office of the Vice President for spearheading this campaign! Maraming salamat, her excellency, VP Leni Robredo. Thank you to Ayala Foundation. To Cindy and Korinne, big thanks for your warm welcome.
At sa lahat ng tumulong, sumuporta at nagtiwala, sa mga kaibigan ko nung college na mga kasamahan ko rin sa student publication, sa mga Ang Pamantasan people, kina Macky Macarayan, Cherry Aggabao at Lem Santiago, salamat!
Sa fellow finalist ko na miyembro rin ng PLM- Film Society na si Kimberly Ilaya at Adele Oqueriza.
Thanks din kay Ran Perez for designing the official poster.
Maraming maraming salamat po sa inyo.
Our film will be screened in Ayala cinemas starting this Wednesday. 🙂
Ang Biyahe Ni Marlon is our official entry to the first-ever Istorya ng Pag-Asa Film Festival organized by the Office of the Vice President and Ayala Foundation.
This is a documentary short featuring Marlon Fuentes, a driver with Tourette Syndrome (T.S). Instead of being discouraged by people who look down on his condition, Marlon is motivated to continue working to support his family and to serve as an inspiration to the people who have T.S. This film aims to raise awareness about Tourette Syndrome in the Philippines. It’s a movie sponsored by TOSS Travel and Tours.
Below is our teaser poster! This is made by my friend, Ran Perez, who is a brilliant graphic designer! I’m excited to share this with all of you. It’s going to have its premiere on June 12 at Glorietta Cinema. I’ll keep you guys posted! 🙂