Freedom in cinema
MANILA, Philippines – A fish springs forth from the loins of a woman who loves it as a true son; the quest for a healing balm for a young woman afflicted with painful wounds; a Christmas eve made unholy when thieves leave a home and family in shambles; and the struggle of a townspeople caught in the crossfire of armed conflict to keep their children in school ““ these are the tales told by film directors Adolfo Alix Jr., Auraeus Solito, Jeffrey Jeturian and Joel Lamangan, all raconteurs of the first order, in their entries to the Directors’ Showcase of this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and Competition on July 15-24 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Greenbelt 3.
These are stories that would never have flickered to life in the regular movie circuit. Adolf Alix Jr., director of “Isda,” believes that his film would have been very difficult to do as a commercial film. “I knew it would be a difficult project to find a financier for.
We took the chance of entering it in the Directors’ Showcase category because we thought Cinemalaya might be interested and daring to choose such a unique material. Stories like this are not mainstream but it needs to be told, I think. Hence, the freedom that Cinemalaya offers is a refuge for alternative stories like these.”
Alix could very well be a poster boy for Cinemalaya’s success. He marks Cinemalaya as the spot where he started his career as a director with “Donsol” (2006), which was a Cinemalaya finalist in the New Breed Full Length Feature category, the main competition category of Cinemalaya for new directors. Donsol, a story of love and healing set in the idyllic seaside town of Donsol in Sorsogon province where whale sharks frolic, became the Philippines’ first official entry to the Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards.