“I CLIMBED THE DESK TO REMIND MYSELF THAT WE MUST ALWAYS LOOK AT THINGS FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES. AND THE WORLD LOOKS DIFFERENT FROM UP HERE.” — (Robin Williams’ character said on the classic film Dead Poets Society)
It was the night of the awarding rites of the Cinemalaya X (10) 2014 Independent Film Festival. I was looking for Mr. Don Gordon Bell (a veteran film actor who hobbies as a photographer) who should have been at my side that night, but I couldn’t see him. Oh, where could he possible be? He never stood me up, ever, in any commitments before.
I was inside now the Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo) of the CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) and I could stare at all those glittering stars twinkling upon me on that very eventful night. Lots of handsome faces- beautiful, young and new, smiling on everyone and anticipated a great outcome of honors.
Suddenly, I looked up. And I saw Mr. Don Gordon Bell on the edge of the Balcony section above. Oh, gosh. There he was! How could he be there, while the rest of the event photographers kick legs and rub elbows just to get more candid and clearer shots? Oh, my… But I saw him holding a wide-lens Cannon camera. Impressive. I felt, he was shooting frames and scenes FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.
Cinemalaya X was the most unforgettable Cinemalaya encounter I’ve ever been to. Because I looked at it now from a different angle and a totally more widening perspective. Unlike before, that all I thought was to socialize, have fun and bring home some little bacons, – this time around, it was indeed, DIFFERENT. And, SEPARATE.
I was already preparing myself for it, and thanks to a lady named Ms. Trixie Dauz, for convincing me to let go of any resentments I felt at the start. I was planning a “boycott”, because I thought, in the past Cinemalaya years, no one seemed to care. No smiles from any new breed film makers, no friendly ways from any Cinemalaya people. Only the people & staff of the Cultural Center of the Philippines were the ones being so nice to me…. But, anyway.
“This time, I will look at things in a separate view”, I told myself as I prepared to attend the 4th day of screenings at the Cinemalaya X fest. “I won’t care if nobody smiles, as long as I watch the films and feel delighted, I will be happy.”
Cinema has always fascinated me. Ever since I was young, I would skip class just to watch a film or two. I would sit at the very first row of the cinema interior audience space and stare at the gigantic screen as the actors played their parts and the music and sound overwhelmed the scenes I saw. It was a heavenly feeling watching those films, and most of the times, I would repeat the same film over and over again and I would leave the cinema with reddish eyes and profound feelings.
Now that I’m in my first year of being a 50 year old guy, It’s still the same. I still felt like a kid on shorts and white shirt as I watched this year’s best entries for me at Cinemalaya x- namely, #Y, Sundalong Kanin, S6parados, K’na, The Dreamweaver, Asintado, Children’s Show, Ronda. They’re the best for me, in order. No offense meant to the other films I didn’t mention here. I’m sorry.
The “Shorts” were also all fabulous. Shorts A and Shorts B short film entries really astounded me. And I looked-up upon the short film makers more after I saw their films competed. Here’s the coming New Generation of a more challenging breed.
Before, I looked at Cinemalaya as just like a social event that I had to attend to for one long week. But this time around, I was feeling it on a more personal level. A deeper relationship had now existed between me and Cinemalaya.
On one afternoon while I was gallivanting at the CCP Complex area, I decided to stop for about half an hour at the Harbour Square, just to view the BAY. Again, I remembered a dream, a lingering dream… and I paid my respects to the liquid bay- that looked so calm, mysterious but lively.
I felt so light as I walked back inside the CCP interiors, as if I was not touching the grounds. And I saw more faces- day to day for four days- as I watched more film entries. Faces old and new, students, aspiring film artists, mediamen, and more.
I saw Cinemalaya coming more alive. I saw the CINEMA being seen in a new light.
This is CINEMA. Not the commercial thing, but CINEMA, the ART.
And this is, CINEMALAYA X.
Flourishing, nurturing… virginalizing anew.
Looking life and things from a different and separate perspective, made my “CINEMALAYA X HANGOVER” worthy to be remembered.
(as the words were written, by robert manuguid silverio, august 14, 2014).
MANY THANKS TO MR. ERICKSON DELA CRUZ’ PHOTO VID BELOW COVERING THE MANY EVENTS AT THE CINEMALAYA X FILM FEST!