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Sanglaan “The Pawnshop”

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Philippines | Drama | 2009 | 95 minutes | Filipino (with English subtitles) | PG | $10

Director: Milo Sogueco

Premieres 6th August 2010

The pawnshop is a vital part of Filipino life, so important that there are over 12,000 pawnshops in the entire Philippines.

Nowhere are life’s realities more apparent than in this place where people entrust their most cherished possessions. It thrives on people’s misfortunes, yet it offers hope, even the possibility of redemption.

In one pawnshop in the middle of the Pritil Market in Tondo, Manila, we meet:

Olivia, the stern pawnshop owner who stubbornly holds on to a losing proposition;
Amy, the idealist who not only rediscovers a lost love but more importantly herself;
Husband-and-wife Kanor and Esing who eventually face the challenge of multiple tragedies;
David, a charming seaman in search of a father figure and another ship to sail on;
and Henry, a loan shark and a persistent suitor.

Sanglaan (The Pawnshop) is a reflection on financial disasters, romantic mishaps, angst and desperation. It is a light but serious look on permanent interests and fleeting fortunes. It is about holding on and letting go, about endings and new beginnings.

About the Director: Milo Sogueco

Milo Sogueco is a Filipino independent filmmaker and commercial photographer who has produced works both in video and print for various multinational companies and advertising agencies in the Philippines and other countries. He regularly takes photographs for the Philippines’ biggest magazine publishers such as Summit Media and ABS-CBN Publishing.

He was majoring in Political Science at the University of the Philippines (Diliman) when he took a photography course that changed his life. His professor commented that the images he shot looked more like motion picture stills than just photos.

His first foray into filmmaking was in war-torn Jolo in Mindanao where he served as sound recordist and production assistant on Sari Dalena’s documentary Memories of a Forgotten War.

At 20, he became a director of a computer information show on the local network ABC 5. A little later, he took on assistant director (AD) duties for director Gil Portes’ Markova, Comfort Gay, his first project that had a full production budget and known Filipino actors.

One challenging film project that he did was the documentary Groovy: The Colors of Pacita Abad, the biography of Filipino painter Pacita Abad. When production began, Pacita was ill but very optimistic. In mid-production she passed away, leading to a re-conceptualization of the entire project. This documentary commissioned by the CCP is now commercially released in video in the Philippines, Singapore and the US.

Today, Milo continues work as a lifestyle/portrait photographer under his own Studio M. He still directs commissioned audio-visual presentations for clients in the Philippines, Singapore and the US.

In 2009, he directed his first full-length feature entitled Sanglaan (The Pawnshop), a film that has won the following awards: Best Actress for Ina Feleo and Best Supporting Actress for Tessie Tomas at the 5th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, 2nd Prize New Asian Cinema and 3rd Prize Grand Prix du Public at the Lyon Asian Film Festival, and Inalco Institute Jury Prize Award at the 16th Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema.

Sanglaan will be screening at Sinema Old School from 6th August 2010.

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