SINAG MAYNILA, the independent film festival celebrating its fifth year this 2019 was established by Solar Entertainment producer Wilson Tieng and Cannes Best Director Brillante Mendoza.
Naging daan ang Sinag Maynila para matulungan ang mga Pinoy indie filmmakers para maihatid ang kanilang mga obra sa mga manonood. Maliban sa cash prizes na incentive para sa mga winning competition films, naipalalabas ang mga napiling entries sa mga sinehan sa mga mall at microcinemas. Sa ganitong pagkakataon mailalahad ng mga filmmakers ang kanilang mga kuwento at mabibigyan ang mga manonood ng mga kakaibang mga pelikula.
Heading the list of Sinag Maynila competition films are five full-length features : “Akin Ang Korona” directed by Zig Dulay, “Jesusa” directed by Ronald Carballo, “Jino To Mari,” directed by Joselito ‘Jay’ Altarejos, “Pailalim” directed by Daniel Palacio and “Underground” directed by Ralston Jover.
Sa full length feature, na- impress kami ng mapanood namin ang teaser ng bawat indie films na kalahok. Masasabi namin lahat sila deserving. Naaliw kami sa “Akin Ang Korona” ni Direk Zig Dulay. A comedy about a small local gay beauty pageant show that becomes the center of attention when the organizers and the participants take things too far.
Magagaling ang mga artista nagsiganap. Natural ang ipinakitang performance ng mga actors. Very confident ang director na magugustuhan ng manonood ang kanyang pelikula kahit wala ready script on the actual shooting. Katwiran ni Direk Dulay, “Ang importante alam ng writer ang gusto niyang mangyari sa bawat eksena. Alam niya ang takbo ng istorya, opening, middle at ending. Hindi naman sa pagmamalaki, nasa utak ko lahat ang eksena gusto kong mangyari sa pelikula. Thankful ako at magagaling ang aking mga artista. Nakukuha agad nila ang gusto kong mangyari, nagampanan nila ng tama ang character na pino-portray nila kaya hindi ako nahirapan i-direk sila. Lahat kami happy sa kinalabasan ng aming pelikula.”
Kakaiba naman ang takbo ng kuwento ng “Jino To Mari” ni Direk Joselito Altarejas. Two sex workers, a seventeen years old boy, Gino and a young mother, Marie are hired to do a pornographic film. The day before All Saints’ Day, the two travel to a far-flung travel for the shooting during which they are made to do acts that were not previously agreed upon. Feeling trapped and isolated, the two will be pushed to the edge of their dignity.
“Hindi pala ganu’n kadali kapag bold scenes ang kukunan mong eksena, maraming anggulo, posisyon, rehearsal etc. Kailangan in good taste, artistic ang mga eksena, hindi siya dapat malaswa sa paningin ng manonood kahit may nudity ang movie namin,” say ni Direk Altarejas.
More on drama ang indie film ni Ronald Carballo ang “Jesusa” na pinagbibidahan ng award-winning actress Sylvia Sanchez. The film is about a woman named Jesusa and how she sinks into the mire. It is set in a rundown community where she leads a normal life until circumstances drag her to be swallowed by the low lives of her neighbor.
Competing in the short film category are “Bisperas” by Ralph Quincena, “Dana Jung” by John Rogers, “DudePare Bro” by Lora Cerdan, “Kiss” by Harlene Bautista, “Kilos” by Marjon Santos, “Marian” by Brian Patrick Lim, Memories Of The Rising Sun” by Lawrence Fajardo, “Nagmamahal, Sal” by Jeff Subrabas, “Ngiti” ni Nazareno” by Louie Ignacio, and “Panaghoy” by Alvin Baloloy.
Sa documentary category, anima ng napiling kalahok. Ito’y ang “At Home” ni Arjanmar H. Rebeta, “Entablado” ni Lie Rain Clemente at Nori jane Isturis. “Hope Spots” ni Joseph Dominic Cruz “Hyatt: Mga Kuwento, Lihim at katotohanan” ni Jayvee V. Bucsit, at “Tata Pilo” by Dexter Macaraeg.
Sinag Maynila 5 opens on Wednesday April 3, 2019 with “Lakbayan” a three-part omnibus film by Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz and national Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik – all of whom are awardees at the Berlin International Film Festival and have made their marks in several international film fests.
Magkakaroon din ng forum on Saturday, April 6 with guest speakers Ms. Joanne Goh, Chairman of the Malaysia International Film festival, and Young-woo Kim, Programmer for the Busan International Film Festival. Winners of the competition will be announced at the Gabi ng Parangal to be held on Sunday, April 7. FDCP will be hosting a Fellowship Night for all the filmmakers and Sinag Maynila guests.
Where will also be on environmental film screening and forum with resource speaker Fiona Faulkner, Environmental and Community Development Officer of the Plastic Solution. This year, there will be a Film Editing workshop to be conducted by Mr. John Anthony Wong, Managing Director of Edge Manila Creatives. Sinag Maynila closes with film “Journey,” an Asian Three-Fold Morror project by the Japan Foundation.
by Eddie Littlefield