BUZZBLAST! Scheduled from May 15 to 26 this year, the Cannes Films Festival is waiting for the submission of Ekstra/The Bit Player to the in Competition section. It is even willing to receive the incomplete full-length feature. But it is earmarked as an official entry to the Directors Showcase of the 2013 Cinemalaya Film Festival from July 23 to Aug. 4. The Vilma Santos starrer had its first-day shoot on Jan. 25 in front of Jollibee Monumento.
To understand the wordplay of the 15-minute film, TheRapist, the viewer must be ready to wait, focus, think, think some more, and most importantly, be ready to be surprised by the Alfred Hitchcock-type twist.
Diane Ventura, the filmmaker behind TheRapist, explores the issue of rape filtered through psychoanalysis. Released last year and starring Cherie Gil and Marco Morales, the maiden offering got recognition in the recently concluded International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) in New York for being one of the Top 3 Most Popular Films and was also one of the three movies that was up for Best Short Film. The work was competed against 42 other short films from countries.
Hailed by many for its compelling storyline, intelligent camera work, the attention to detail, the cinematography and the superb performance of the cast, the TheRapist follows the story of a man suspected of rape, who undergoes psychiatric evaluation. In recalling what transpired from his point of view, the motives of those involved in the case get blurred and even the supposedly set roles between client and therapist are put on shaky ground.
It would be absurd to expect anything less from someone like Diane. She, who has done acclaimed music videos and creative production in the Philippines, has managed one of the most groundbreaking artists in the Philippines, the Eraserheads, along with Domino, Pupil and Ely Buendia for his solo career.
Before these, Diane took up Art Studies at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and took a course in Advertising Management at the De La Salle University. She also took Filmmaking course in the summer of 2009 at the New York University Tisch. She is currently taking up Film Studies at the New York Foundation for the Arts.
And get this: While other directors take years off getting experience and education to come up with decent work, Diane did so — and how! — after just finishing a short filmmaking course in New York. She is currently writing her next film and is said to be preparing herself to do a feature length.
Diane, who owns and runs DVent Productions, is not the type who'd shy away from taking risks if it means ensuring the best for her outputs. She is not the type who'd pander to anyone's approval. When released, the TheRapist was criticized for being “pro-rape.” But Diane silenced them by saying, "I understand how this movie could be misconstrued as condoning the vile act of rape... It's about female empowerment and not allowing to be put in situations that they do not want to be in or get themselves to a position where their decision-making capabilities are vitiated."
A family that connects together
The hip PLDT commercial dubbed Harmony Family that shows a family of musicians jamming to dance anthem “Party Rock Anthem,” albeit in whimsical, classical mode, drives home a point especially to those who feel that technology has been a divisive factor in society. On the contrary, as the ad demonstrates, many more these days have become digitally connected families, thanks to the convenience that technology such as the Internet provides.
In the commercial, we see a father (Jong Azores) conducting his orchestra of a brood playing their musical instruments together, but from different parts of the house. Because they are jamming online, even extended members of the family (the yaya in the kitchen and grandpop on his way home) are able join in the merriment. The flawless and fun rendition and choice of music suggest that every member is in sync with one another.
The campaign to further underscore interconnectedness among people via technology kicked off a few days ago, coinciding with the launch of the new PLDT group called HOME.
On Jan. 3, PLDT Group released an illustration of the core strength of its new brand via a logo of four overlapping screens. On Jan. 5, at the re-staging of Regine Velasquez's Silver Rewind concert, the PLDT Group established a strong presence. On Jan. 6, PLDT was on Party Pilipinas to do a special segment for HOME for the benefit of TV audiences. A similar appearance followed on Eat Bulaga where, besides Harmony Family's performance and viewing of the new TVC.
"While other brands flaunt stats — we have the fastest this, we have the biggest that — with HOME, we already have those long before they've even thought about it. What we will focus on is family, how technology can be relevant to family," said PLDT vice president and head for Broadband Gary Dujali. More activities and events are coming to HOME from the PLDT Group subscribers soon. For details, visit www.pldthome.com.
The Final Judgement starts Jan. 31
The Final Judgement, the Japan-made film with dazzling Hollywood-style special effects and Pilipino subtitle, screens at SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, Isetann, Robinsons Galleria and Robinsons Ermita starting Jan. 31!
With an absorbing plot filled with intertwining themes of peace versus war, love versus hatred, democracy versus dictatorship — all heading toward an inevitable and unexpected climax, The Final Judgment is produced by Ryuho Okawa, founder of the Happy Science. The film premises its conclusion expected to draw controversy amid the regional uncertainties resulting from the current territorial disputes plaguing Asia.
Kota Miura, Ken Kaito, Ryo Tamura, Umali Thilakarathna and Joe Shishido star in this timely, thrilling drama under the direction of Masaki Hamamoto (Special Awardee, Sao Luis Film Festival, Beyond the Crimson Sky) where man's faith in God and country is tested amid the brutal rule of the new overlords of Japan.
In the movie, the unbelievable happens: Japan is defeated, invaded and occupied by a neighboring superpower, Ouran. What would its hardy residents do? Seek a deal with the invaders? Join an underground rebellion?
IN/SIGHT! Wowowillie pilot rates high!
Lasting five and a half hours, Wowowillie was easily the winner in the three-cornered competition. Eat Bulaga seemed not to mind the new competition by staging a regular Saturday show. Showtime, on the other hand, staged a celebrity edition featuring a dance number by Anne Curtis and the special appearance of Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez. From start to finish, Wowowillie maintained the upperhand with its phenomenal opening number. Based on AGB National Urban Television Audience Measurement, Wowowillie received 27.9 percent share, It’s Showtime, 21.4 percent, and Eat Bulaga, 38.85!