Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
July 21, 2012 Saturday morning, there were advisories by LGUs from Makati to Marikina of heavy rains and flooding. My instinct was to call CCP and find out if the Cinemalaya screenings were cancelled and I was assured that it was all systems go. It’s hard to imagine audiences wading knee deep in water just to watch the latest batch of Cinemalaya films. And yet when I got there I was greeted with hundreds of people in nearly every floor. There was no time to decide where to go I had to shoot pictures right away or miss a lot of shots. Boboy Garovillo, Marc Abaya and Kelly Mangahas of Kjwan were already attracting fans and photographers in the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo main lobby.
Eli Buendia was having a discussion with Darwin Hernandez of Soupstar. It seemed like the biggest rock and roll figures came out for Marie Jamora’s “Ang Nawawala”. A toweringly hot Sanya Smith walks in and hugs female lead Annicka Dolonius and they look like sisters. The premiere gala was a huge success. After the screening Buboy Garovillo and Dawn Zulueta waved at the crowd from the second floor almost like a royal couple.
The crowds just kept on coming. Immediately after “Ang Nawawala” was “Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino” by Lemuel Cambal Lorca. Young female fans started to scream when JM De Guzman walked in. Hordes of girls asked to have their picture taken with him with their cellphones. In a picture I took from above, one fan grazed JM’s cheek and then smelled her hand.
The last gala of the night was Raymond Red’s “Kamera Obskura”. The energy did not wane. It was the film auteurs, filmmakers, writers, going gaga for the movie. Among them is the lovely producer Arleen Cuevas was with Adolf Alix Jr. Cuevas not only pdoruced Alix’s “Kalayaan” but also “God, Church, Pills and Condoms”. The latter is a part of the new documentary category showing on July 25. Initially screened in Fully Booked, Jay Abello’s “Pureza” a documentary on the sugar industry of Negros will also be shown.
Raymond Red during the presscon said “Cinemalaya is not about the compeititon, it’s about creating an audience for Filipino independent film.” During the gala he shared that he addressed bigger crowds in Berlin, Telluride and other film fests abroad. But he was more nervous talking here because the inspiration for making his film is the Filipino audience.