2012 Cinemalaya: The things we have to thank for

The 8th Cinemalaya of the Cinemalaya Foundation, Inc. and the Cultural Center of the Philippines has ended but it has left lasting impressions, imprints and wonderful memories for its organizers, the local film community and the public at large.

No matter the controversies and miscalculated steps and decisions its prime movers had treaded and rendered before its recent and previous showings in the past editions, the 2012 Cinemalaya deserves commends and accolades.

Because, one, the last version of the festival was particularly a tribute, without the organization’s consciously knowing it, to the senior stars, the veterans, the underrated actors and actresses who are vital elements of the local film industry for without them, the business couldn’t flourish because how could an industry survive with only the contemporary filmmakers, particularly the youth, making up the productions?

Truly, the new has also fresh ideas to offer but surely, interaction and brainstorming with the old folks can help a lot to check and balance each other.

At this, we are tempted to believe former Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino member Justino Dormiendo who said that films of the young have many loopholes “because they still have so many things to experience as human persons.”

In the same vein, film production as commerce isn’t a monopoly of the young because other areas like booking, marketing, advertising, sales and distribution are required of the more experienced and the more connected which one acquires in a relatively long, competitive and tedious process.

Although it’s possible that a company of all young people, mostly in their early twenties, can turn up a film but there are still insights and wisdom an older person contributes to the success of a project especially in team playing and artistic showing.

Film is also a sum total of many elements—a multifarious view of things lumped together to eventually unite and cohere for a common goal manoeuvred by the director.

Film is ideational as well, more so, should be logical, to make it believable and plausible in any genre employed, even if the ideas don’t come directly from an elderly but those handed down by a well-meaning older hat in any form to the younger generation of filmmakers.

The young learns from the masters, from the old ones because it is the generational order of things.

The awards of 2012 Cinemalaya, through its judicious members of the jury, did just a great service to the veteran thespians of various ages by proclaiming them the bests from this year’s harvests.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that if one is a star or a celebrity of yesteryears, he or she is outstanding in acting and other departments in the band.

What made the veterans shine in this year’s fest was that the films assigned to them were short of masterful and the roles given them were well-crafted, consistent and challenging their breathing life to them made the pieces more stimulating and compelling.

Eightyish Eddie Garcia won the Best Actor plum for his arresting performance as a closet gay in Directors Showcase section in Jun Lana’s “Bwakaw” while octogenarian lady Anita Linda romped away with the Best Supporting Actress trophy for her realistic rendition

of an Alzheimer’s in New Breed category in Emmanuel Quindo Palo’s “Sta. Niña.”

It wasn’t surprising, though, why underrated actress Amable Quiambao, also known as Ama Quiambao, won the Best Actress award, hands down, in the New Breed division for her effective portrayal of an ageing matriarch who wants to save her shattered family from complete decay and eventually, loss.

Quiambao has been in the film business for nearly five decades and she’s such an excellent and illustrious actress.

She has an impressive filmography that spans nearly all types of screen personas, a wide gamut of emotions running in her thespic tank.

We need very good calibre senior performers like them not only as supports to the younger ones but mainly, to nurture and enhance if not only to influence other actors of cross-sectional eras.

Independent or indie filmmaking isn’t only for the new blood but it is also for the seasoned artists.

It is the essence of Cinemalaya that is why it put up the Directors Showcase however launched only on its sixth year which features filmmakers who have already commercially exhibited three full-length films.

Although one of the objectives of Cinemalaya is to discover new filmmakers with novel ideas at the same time to uphold artistic integrity in the craft, experienced artists are also its concerns and recipients of support.

We don’t necessarily subscribe to Hollywood’s vision of engaging the veterans, foremost of which are actors but our own employ means recognition of their talents and the continuing sense of purpose of their existence to inspire, teach and liberate other people and society.

Two, the 8th Cinemalaya had given us again new aspiring and deserving actors worthy of their art to put our premium and expectation on for them to carry the torch of

advancing their skills and fostering the rest of their aesthetics objectives to excellence as they mature.

Thanks for giving us Ananda Everingham (in Adolf Alix, Jr.’s “Kalayaan”) even if he’s a Thai but his entry to the local film scene can refresh a trite and adapt a multi-cultural population of actors; Irene Gabriel (in Raymond Red’s “Kamera Obskura”) for her innate talent and glamorous presence; Nico Antonio (in Lawrence Fajardo’s “Posas”) for his captivating performance; Annicka Dolonius (in Marie Jamora’s “Ang Nawawala” for her fit to T  tailored character and Kristoffer Martin (in Paul Sta. Ana’s “Oros”) for his believable sense memory characterization.

These actors are God-given to the local film industry to be nurtured and appreciated and not to be sidelined only as indie actors quite a discriminating attribution but because they are also ingredients, human resources and vital components of a film as a cultural product.

Three, relatively young actors were bestowed honors by the jury like Kristoffer King who took home the Best Actor honor in the New Breed category in Sta. Ana’s “Oros.”

Joross Gamboa, known to be an erstwhile popular matinee idol brought home the Best Supporting Actor bacon in the New Breed segment in Lem Lorca’s “Intoy Syokoy sa Kalye Marino.”

Four, the 2012 Cinemalaya is a collection of gems in Philippine cinema because here is a diversified compendium of inspiring fruits of labor of our aggressive and world-class film artists.

There is a dearth of quality and versatile films and filmmakers in the country that could be at par or more talented than the foreign film artists and Cinemalaya provides the consistent supply of wonderful viewing fares.


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