ISA SA ANIM na mga entries sa unang Subic Bay International Film Festival (SBIFF) na nagkaroon ng launch last Friday evening sa activity center ng Harbor Point Mall sa loob ng SBMA , ang pelikula ng dating OFW na si Cia Hermosa-Jorge na Old Skool ang nakaagaw ng atensyon ko. Iba ang texture na pakiwari ko ay pinagsama ang genre ng drama at konting komedya.
Bukod sa ispeling na imbis ‘Old School’ ay iba ang ispeling ng tituto ng pelikula niya na pinagbibidahan ni Tessie Tomas.
Dating OFW sa Singapore si Direk Cia bago niya pasukin ang pagsusulat at paglikha ng mga obra pampelikula.
Kuwento ni Direk sa amin over messenger chat recently:” In SG nagkaroon ako ng existential crisis, I was not happy with my job and decided I wanted to do something else. Something for the soul. So slowly I took classes in filmmaking. Buried myself in watching films from all genres and periods until we decided to go back here in Manila so I can fully pursue the arts.
“Luckily, I got a scholarship from Marilou Diaz-Abaya Film Institute (MDAFI) which got me started in film. At first, I wanted to be a writer or focus on documentaries. But after directing my first narrative short film for my thesis, I started to love directing too. It woke up something inside me and I’m really in my element when I’m on set. In 2011, I finished the course and worked my way in doing as much work in film as I possibly can.
“In 2014, I got my break from the Manila Film Financing Forum to produce OLD SKOOL. I wanted OLD SKOOL to be my first film because I wanted to do an inspiring film about dreamers like me. A friend of mine shared a news article to me when we got back in Manila about a Lola who went back to school. I thought, it is never too late to pursue your dreams. Similar to my journey of going to film school at the age of 30 and trying to achieve my dream of making a film,” pagkukuwento niya.
First time ko napanood ang trailer ng pelikula kung saan si Tessie ay ipinagpatuloy ang kanyang pag-aaral sa elementarya kahit matanda na ito.
Pagpapatuloy pa ni Direk about her film: “I thought of Tessie Tomas because she can do both comedy and drama. I needed someone who can hack that.
“She is also a relative which made it easier for her to say YES when I offered her the role but of course she needed to read the script first. And our relationship had to transform too, me as director and not just her niece which was a tricky situation but I’m glad we were able to work together. I learned a lot from her experience.
Sa SM Cinema lang daw muna ipinalabas ang kauna-unahang pelikula ni Direk Cia.
”Old Skool was just locally released. First at SM. Then it had school tours. Unfortunately, we didn’t have budget to go and join festivals abroad since our financial situation after the theatrical release was already challenging. OLD SKOOL was nominated in Star Awards (Indie Film Category) and won a Catholic Mass Media Award back in 2016. SBIFF is its first film fest,” pagmamalaki ni Direk Cia.
“I used to produce plays, commercials prior to OLD SKOOL. I also worked on a couple of short films as writer/director/producer before doing a full-length feature,” pagse-share ni Direk tungkol sa karanasan at background niya as part of the film industry.
Sa kasalukuyan ay ginagawa niya ang pangalawa niyang pelikula: “I’m working on my 2nd film at the moment which is about depression amongst teenagers. I’ve heavily researched on the medical side of it for months. Now I’m exploring the spiritual side of healing. I’m taking my time to develop my story this time so I can do a better job. I really want to tell this story right since it’s a topic that needs to be explored and discussed asap. It breaks my heart that a lot of young people lose their lives to suicide. Something needs to be done.
“The challenge for me is reaching these young kids so the tone must be appropriate while still entertaining so that they don’t feel like I’m preaching to them.
Other than that, I’m involved in the producing side of films and directing commercials for various media (digital etc.).
Kasama na rin sa bagong project ni Direk ang pagiging producer niya ng isang indie film para sa QCinema. “I’m excited about the project as producer. I’m not writing and directing the film,” pahayag pa niya.
Excited ako mapanood ang Old Skool sa pagsisimula ng SBIFF sa darating na June 22 to 24 na magaganap saisa s amga sinehan ng Harbor Point na libre mapapanood ng mga taga-Subic. Ang awarding ceremony naman ay magaganap on the last day of the festival (June 24) at libreng matutunghayan sa activity center ng naturang shopping mall.
By RK Villacorta