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Story of Inquirer lensman in Mae Paner’s movie on EJK to premiere in Cinemalaya 2021


Scenes from the films (clockwise): “He Who Is With out Sin,” “Highest Peak,” Mae Paner in “Tao Po,” and “Love and Ache in Between Refrains”

Whereas the annual Cinemalaya fest won’t be showcasing full-length options in competitors this 12 months due to the pandemic, its organizers made positive to incorporate within the lineup 4 movies which have by no means been screened domestically underneath its Premieres part, pageant director Chris Millado introduced on Wednesday.

One among these is Mae Paner’s (aka Juana Change) social monologue “Tao Po,” which options 4 people who, in some unspecified time in the future of their lives, have skilled or witnessed extrajudicial killing (EJK). One is a photojournalist, whose story Paner mentioned she primarily based on Raffy Lerma (previously from Inquirer, which printed his now-viral picture titled “Pieta”).

“One other character is Nanay Rosing, a Zumba teacher, who witnessed 14 uniformed males enter their home and shoot her husband and little one. The third character is a policeman who was a vigilante. He’s satisfied that whereas his job as a police officer permits him to feed and look after his household, he has an even bigger accountability with regards to conserving his group protected. The final character is called Vanessa, whose dad and mom had been killed proper in entrance of her.”

‘Mindless deaths’

In line with Paner, “Tao Po” was once a stage play she cowrote with Maynard Manansala in 2017. “I had a tough time sleeping as a result of I used to be seeing all these mindless deaths within the information. I’ve reached some extent after I now not felt something about it. As an artist, this scared me much more, so Maynard and I did analysis on extrajudicial killings and tagged together with what are known as night time crawlers, or those that exit each night time to answer information of killings,” she defined.

Paner mentioned it was good that she was capable of flip the stage play into a movie when she had the prospect as a result of this enabled her to point out it to an even bigger viewers, even whereas throughout the pandemic. “This was first screened at CCP (Cultural Heart of the Philippines). It has joined a pageant in Australia, and was screened in six international locations in Europe,” she beamed. “Tao Po” will begin streaming on the Cinemalaya on Sept. 3.

The three different full-length options are: Arnel Barbarona’s household drama “Highest Peak,” Jason Paul Laxamana’s dramatic movie “He Who Is With out Sin,” and Jay Altarejos’ noir movie “Love and Ache in Between Refrains.” Requested to share one thing about his movie “Highest Peak,” Barbarona mentioned: “Round 75 % of the movie was shot in Mt. Apo (in Davao del Sur). It’s the first feature-length movie made on the tallest mountain within the nation.

“Its theme, just like most of what I’ve accomplished earlier than, is about our lumad brothers. It is usually about how they can coexist peacefully with different settlers and people from different cities. The characters on this film are traumatized due to an accident. This will likely be tackled all through the movie, which depicts their journey as they ascend Mt. Apo.”

Screening from Aug. 7 to 14, the movie stars Dax Alejandro, Mara Lopez, Henyo Ehem, amongst others.

Earlier than the lockdowns

In line with Laxamana, “He Who’s With out Sin” is particular to him as a result of it was the final one he shot earlier than the pandemic lockdown. “I’m glad it can lastly be screened in a pageant that shapes me to be the filmmaker I’m now, Cinemalaya,” he declared.

The movie is about Martin (Elijah Canlas), an aspiring broadcast journalist who lastly received to satisfy his idol reporter (Enzo Pineda). “Throughout their assembly, nonetheless, a number of questionable issues occurred. The movie is kind of an examination of Martin’s thought course of on the time when the individual he appears to be like as much as probably the most finally ends up not being the respectful man he thought. It reveals Martin’s numerous reactions within the totally different levels of denial, anger and self-blame.”

“He Who Is With out Sin” streams from Aug. 15 to 21.

In the meantime, Altarejos’ “Love and Hate in Between Refrains” is a romantic movie “bonded with music and violence.” The director defined: “It offers with the psychology of the abused and the abuser, within the cycle of violence. It doesn’t dwell a lot on why they proceed to like one another however on the cyclical nature of violence; in addition to on how we turn out to be hooked on this explicit form of relationship.”

Altarejos additional mentioned: “Because the subject may be very sophisticated and delicate, we’ve determined to inform the story in a really ‘minimalist’ approach. The photographs are form of claustrophobic however are framed fantastically. The colours in each scene is our allegory to the sensation once we are in love—our environment can look blindingly colourful. On the similar time, the story is advised in a nonlinear solution to present the cycle of abuse and violence in a relationship. It is sort of a chorus that’s all the time being repeated in a music.”


The movie, which streams from Aug. 22 to twenty-eight, options Oliver Aquino, Elora Españo, Richard Quan, Natileigh Sitoy, amongst others.

“If it wasn’t the pandemic, we might have been at our properly lit and really scenic Silangan Corridor [of the CCP], sharing a easy buffet and assembly our filmmakers face-to-face. As you already know, on this seventeenth version of the Cinemalaya we proceed to be on-line due to the various challenges we’re dealing with in relation to manufacturing and public gatherings,” Millado defined to reporters throughout a digital media gathering.

This 12 months’s version will showcase 13 quick movies within the competitors part.

“Our finalists had been slated to display screen their competitors movies final 12 months, together with this second batch, however they’ve determined to postpone their shoots till there’s a higher time. So I hope by 2022, Cinemalaya can have not solely 10 function movies in competitors however 20. That’s the reason these premieres of full-length options are particularly vital this 12 months, together with the 13 quick movies, which we take into account our spotlight,” he mentioned.

Tickets for the Premieres are priced at P250. You will get them at

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