my cinemalaya entries
let me share to you my two film concepts that were chosen among the 20 finalists among 190 entries at this year's 1st cinemalaya film directing contest. ipagdasal niyo, ipagtirik ng kandila, ipag-pray over, at kung anu-ano pa para makapasok sa magic 10 at mabigyan ng P500,000 each na grant para makabili na ako ng ford expedition ko (hehehehehehehe...). salamat sa lahat ng suporta at pagtitiwala at sa mga paparating pa lang. pampatibay ng loob kayong lahat. para sa atin ito at sa rebolusyon na nais nating matamo para mabago ang takbo ng pelikulang Pilipino. mabuhay ang independent cinema! para sa ikakalaya nating lahat!
“ang mga kidnapper ni Ronnie Lazaro”
para sa panulat at direksyon ni SIGFREID BARROS-SANCHEZ
official entry sa Cinemalaya 2005
A FILIPINO independent film is never complete without one of the characters being played by actor Ronnie Lazaro. He is the ultimate Pinoy indie actor. Short films, student films, experimental films for competition here and abroad, chances are Ronnie Lazaro will be in one of them. You just can’t imagine an indie festival without a Ronnie Lazaro. Even Cinemalaya is not complete without a Ronnie Lazaro. So, what happens if at the height of an indie film competition like the Cinemalaya, Ronnie Lazaro gets kidnapped. What will happen to the works of indie filmmakers? Will these filmmakers push through without Ronnie Lazaro? Will they panic? Will their films ever get through pre-production stage? Is it still safe to call an indie film competition an indie film competition even without Ronnie Lazaro? Who the hell kidnapped him? Why did he, or they, do so? What could be the real reason behind? Where is Ronnie Lazaro?
Spoofing and trying to make a parody of the whole Cinemalaya contest and similar indie film festivals, this black comedy pokes fun at the very serious indie film community, as if telling each one to lighten up. It also aims to have everyone work on the film like one big community with indie actors and filmmakers doing cameo appearances and candid spots on the film. It will also star indie actors who will slug it out with the real Ronnie Lazaro. The story goes that a group of aspiring filmmakers, who don’t know a thing about filmmaking and were just tempted to join a local filmmaking contest because of the cash prize, have time and again tried to lure Ronnie Lazaro to act on their film. Problem is, Ronnie’s too busy as he already gave nod to a dozen other filmmakers who wanted him to act on their entries. Adding more, the group are a bunch of losers who not only has the worst screenplay ever written but also has an alternative script that is a complete rip-off of Lazaro’s first film, “Boatman” by Tikoy Aguiluz. Sdensing that they cannot make Ronnie Lazaro appear on their film, they decided to kidnap him instead and take him to their “hideout” wherein they will try their best to persuade him to> take a look at their story once more.
The kidnappers are a bunch of losers. Ordinary guys who are victims of the country’s poverty situation. Soliman is a former OFW in Iraq who on his first day back to work, gets the boot back to the Philippines after the height of the Angelo dela Cruz crisis. He is currently out of work and is left by his family and has a pile of debts. They are now using his place to keep Ronnie Lazaro and are planning to shoot their film using his low-end Video Cam which he bought during his last stint in Saudi. Hector, on the other hand, is a former stuntman who lost work with the sudden slump of action films. He claims to have doubled for Cesar Montano and, sometimes, even Sunshine Cruz. Because he has been jobless for a few years now, he became fat and lazy but can still tumble. Third guy, Raul, is a false prophet. He’s that guy you see in Quiapo who goes around looking like Jesus Christ and proclaiming that the world is nearing its end. He is the scriptwriter of the group’s entry to the contest.
And it’s about the end of the world. Abdul, on the other hand, is the group’s film expert. He should be. He is a Muslim who sells pirated DVDs and VCDs in Quiapo. He knows every film there is. Problem is, he cannot construct a straight story. It’s always a mixture of a lot of films that has an ending that leaves everyone at a lost. He is the co-writer of Raul but they always have arguments when the religious part of the film is being tackled. They couldn’t agree what religion the lead actor and the bad guys should have. Each suggestion offends the other’s spiritual belief. Then there’s Nunuy, an Ilonggo homosexual who is color-blind. He wants to be the film’s cinematographer that has everyone still not making up their minds. Last of the group is the aging prostitute Mimi who lost work when Odeon Theater in Recto Avenue was ordered closed for good recently. She works there as one of the prostitutes who offer “jobs” to male moviegoers. She is currently Hector’s girl. She takes care of make-up and wardrobe and production design of the group. With these odd characters, Ronnie Lazaro still can’t make up his mind. At first, he feels that he will never, never work for these losers. He feels violated and a prisoner. But when he hears each’s personal lives, he connects with them little by little and sees beyond them. He sees them as more passionate than those who are working in the commercial film industry because they have nothing to lose. He begins to help them out and revises their stories. With the world outside in panic as everyone has been looking for him, plus the fact that Joel Torre is behind bars because he is the prime suspect for the fact that next to Ronnie Lazaro he’s the next most in demand actor for indie productions, Ronnie Lazaro begins to shoot the film for the group with the help of other players who joined in like Raul’s female “followers”. In the end, the film gets finished and as part of the deal, they let Ronnie Lazaro free to the delight of the waiting indie filmmakers who can finally shoot their film. Come awarding, the film loses to a Joel Torre-starred production. All the other films kasi has Ronnie Lazaro as their actor. Down, the group gets consoled by Ronnie by telling them that his experience with them is the best he has ever encountered compared to his commercial even indie and foreign films. He promises to act in their next production. The budget for their next movie is solved by Abdul who is already selling pirated copies of their film in the streets of Quiapo. The title of their next film? “Ang Mga Kidnapper ni Ronnie Lazaro”.
para sa panulat at direksyon ni SIGFREID> BARROS-SANCHEZ
official entry sa Cinemalaya 2005
LASPONGGOL. Ito ang tawag sa kahuli-hulihang take ng> buong shooting ng pelikula. Sa pelikulang Pilipino, ito ang pinakaaabangan ng lahat ng staff dahil tapos na rin sa wakas ang trabaho at kadalasang nagpapainom ang producer at namimigay ng mga souvenir ang mga artista sa crew gay ng mga T-shirts na may pangalan o kaya’y larawan ng mga ito. Ito ang simpleng kaligayahan ng mga maliliit na trabahador sa showbiz. Dito lang sila naaambunan kahit paano. Ito ang araw ng mga maliliit na tao sa pelikulang Pilipino.
Ang pelikulang ito ay isang black comedy sa takbo ng Pelikulang Pilipino, lalo na sa mga nasa mababang antas ng paggawa nito. Sabi nila, ang maliliiit na tao daw ang salamin ng industriya. Kung ano raw ang state nila, ito raw ang state ng industriya.
Trabahador sa pelikula sina EMMAN at DADO. Clapper si Emman samantalang dakilang utility boy naman si Dado. Together, they have been in various movie productions at nakita na nila kung paano tumakbo ang produksyon. Alam na nila ang istilo ng bawat director. Alam na rin nila ang quirks at toyo ng mga ito. Madalas rin ay nangangarap silang makakaupo rin sa kani-kanilang directors’ chairs balang araw at gagawa ng kanilang sari-sariling pelikula. Ito ang madalas nilang napagkukuwentuhan at naisi-share sa isa’t isa. Ngunit malabo nilang marating iyon dahil sa alam nilang malabo talaga. Isa pa, ang tingin sa kanila ay mga “punggol” o mga “tanga”.
They get a crack at their dreams nang minsan, matapos ang isang “laspunggol” ng isang pelikula na ginawa sa isang malayong probinsya, ay nautusan silang sumabay sa isang unit van ng production sa pag-uwi at naipit ang mga ito sa isang engkwentro. Napatay ang mga kasamahan nila at dahil sa takot ay minaneho nila ang unit hanggang sa abot na makakaya ng gas nito. Kasama nila sa unit ang ilang mga gamit sa paggawa ng pelikula gaya ng mga camera, ilaw, at film stocks. They end up sa isang liblib na barrio na mukhang hindi pa inaabot ng progreso dahil kakarampot lamang ang alam ng mga ito tungkol sa pelikula.
Magpapanggap sila na mga kilalang director sa mundo ng pelikula na kunwa’y magsu-shooting sa lugar na iyon. Kunyari ay ang isa sa kanila ay si Direk Erik Matti (isa sa mga hindi madaling ma-recornize na director) at ang isa ay ang cinematographer na si Larry Manda (hindi rin kilalal). Paniniwalain nila ang mga taga-roon na sila ay naghahanap ng mga artista para sa kanilang produksyon. Maraming mag-aaply. Ang barrio ay magmimisulang microcosm ng film industry. May mga nanay na ibubugaw ang kanilang mga anak para lamang maisali sa produksyon, mga babaeng magpapagamit ng katawan, mga pulitikong magpapalakas at magpapapogi points in hope na maging next action star, mga baklang may mga ireretong “alaga”, mga magdudunong-dunungan na mag-apply sa kanila bilang mga production designers, cinematographers, at scriptwriters. Halos lahat ay gustong maisa-pelikula ang buhay nila. May kani-kanilang kuwento at kani-kanilang pagbibida. Igigiling naman nila ang kamera.
Everyone from the village idiot to the village head force their way to be included in their supposed to “film”, even if it takes the casting couch route. Dado and Emman experience in between the same experiences in making a true film. One of the aspirant actresses, MIRA comes out as very true among the others. She’s the typical barrio lass na mapipilitang isugal ang sarili dahil ang lolo na pintor ay malabo na ang mga mata. Sa una ay titingnan siya nina Emman at Dado na prize catch at katulad lang ng iba na gagamitin ang katawan para lamang mapansin. But later, she seems to be the truest and the purest sa barrio. Her grandfather even suspects na hindi talaga mga director ang dalawa dahil nakapagtrabaho ito minsan bilang art dept sa isang film production sa Maynila bago ito ma- disillusioned din.
When they finally see how much the whole barrio has put their hopes on them and their “supposed” project, they will have a change of heart. Magtatalo pa nga sila sa simula dahil mabubulag pa sa pangraraket si Emman sa simula. They are treated as gods kasi. But when they finally see how much of these people’s soul they have stole from them, they decided to really get down to their craft. Especially with the moralists of the barrio watching them now more strictly. The supposedly village idiot supplies them with the story and the barrio folks supply them with whatever they need like self-made cranes and dollies. In the end, what’s left is the final editing of the film.
However, the attackers that were after them earlier caught up with them and burned their filmstocks. It so happened that during the filming of the lasponggol, a real transaction between a popular actor and a syndicate was captured in reel. The attackers have to burn them to get rid of the evidence. Emman and Dado are left with nothing until Mira discloses that her grandfather took the reels where they captured the villagers’ auditions. Emman and Dado brought them to Manila and pieced them altogether to make one of the most outstanding documentaries in Philippine cinema. It is about how one small barrio encapsulates every Pinoy’s dreams to become part of moviedom.
In the end, the teary barrio folks watch their film unfold at a special premiere. The audiences applaud and gives them an standing ovation. Emman and Dado’s dreams are fulfilled. Hindi na sila mga “punggol” (stupid). They are now, like they always dreamed, filmmakers.