mr. ronald arguelles: the man behind CINEMA ONE


ronald: on the wings of a greater and flying CINEMA ONE
ronald: on the wings of a greater and flying CINEMA ONE

Cinema One is now celebrating its 21st year (samantalang si Ronald naman ay 28 years na sa movie industry), alongside the 10th year of Cinema One Originals Independent Film Festival. Walang nag-akalang tatagal ito ng husto, na nagsimula sa pagiging isang cable channel, pero dahil sa na-uplift niya ng husto ang standards of Philippine Cinema, nagkaroon ito ng sarili niyang film festival- ang Cinema One Originals Independent Film Festival.

Kaya naman isang great accomplishment ito para sa isang taong naghirap talaga upang maisakatuparan ang tunay na mga mithiin ng CINEMA ONE. Siya’y walang iba kundi si Mr. Ronald Arguelles, ang pinaka-head ng Cinema One.

“Every year is a new year for us, every year is a new challenge”, bungad na wika ni Mr. Arguelles over a cozy early dinner treat for a blogger at Almon Marina restaurant in SM Megamall. “Kaya every year din, pabago-bago ang concept namin, walang regularity at walang kaparehong mga tastes o panlasa sa pelikulang napipili namin. Mas mainam ito para mas maging malawak pa ang horizons na tatahakin namin.”

Nuong nakaraang Cinemalaya 2015 Independent Film Festival, ipinalabas roon ang ilang piling-piling mga pelikula buhat sa Cinema One. Ito ang mga pelikulang Lorna, Violator, Esprit de Corps, at iba pa. At naging very succesful ang mga screenings doon ng mga pelikula sa Cinema One.

“Cultural Center of the Philippines is a good venue”, sey pa ni Ronald. “Actually, ang ganda ng mga naging feedbacks ng mga screenings namin doon. Full house lahat ang mga screenings namin. Ibang-iba kasi at very appreciative ang audience ng Cinemalaya.”

RONALD with this blogger. good friendship.
RONALD with this blogger. good friendship.

Pero ‘yun nga, hindi puwedeng gamitin ng Cinema One ang Cultural Center of the Philippines as their official venue sa pagpapalabas doon ng mga movies sa Cinema One. Kasi, laging fully-booked daw ito at may Cinemalaya na itong sarili nilang film festival.

“Maybe, we can just use CCP as a venue for our awards night, mas puwede iyon”, dagdag na sabi ni Ronald. “Baka sakaling mangyari iyon this year, who knows? Kung papayag ang CCP.”

Anyway, ang magiging official venues pa rin sa darating at papalapit nang Cinema One Originals Independent Film Festival ay ang Ayala Cinemas, SM Megamall at Trinoma Cinemas. At tipong mas exciting ang magiging film fest nila this year.

ronald: "every year is a new year for cinema one."
ronald: “every year is a new year for cinema one.”

“Magdadagdag kasi kami this year ng Documentary Films”, sabi ni Ronald. “Actually, sila ang mas naunang natapos na ngayon at nag-deadline. Yung mga feature films namin, they’re about to shoot pa lang and we are all confident na matatapos silang lahat before the start of the festival on the month of November.”

Ilan sa mga direktor na makikilahok this year sa Cinema One Originals film fest ay sina Sari Delena, Keith Sicat, Lhoy Larcenas, Raymond Red, Joey Ferrer, Ralston Jover, Sheron dayoc, at iba pa. (Makikita ang official list sa isang separate blog feature.—sssip*)

ronald: "honest ang intentions ng cinema one".
ronald: “honest ang intentions ng cinema one”.

“At iba-iba ang magiging tema ng mga pelikula namin- may horror, may love story, may melodrama, may comedy, may suspense, may classic story-telling, at iba pa”, sabi pa ni Ronald. “At mayroon din kaming mga foreign Asian films na ipapalabas, plus yung mga digitally-restored classic Filipino films natin na nai-save natin sa pagka-extinct o tuluyang pagkasira.”

“You see, Robert, we have a role to portray to all film lovers”, muli pang dugtong ni Ronald. “Kahit maliit na festival lamang itong aming ginagawa, we put all our hearts and souls into it. Kaya bonus na lang talaga iyong commercial success ng mga movies namin. Parang hulog na lang ng langit iyon dahil sa mga sakripisyo namin. And it happened sa pelikula naming That Thing Called Tadhana. So far, it’s the most succesful of all Cinema One movies- it earned so well and we are so proud of it.”

Kaya naman kamakailan lang, nagkaroon pa ng book launching ang screenplay ng pelikulang That Thing Called Tadhana. Nagkaroon din ito ng film showing sa Raffles Hotel at ilo-launch na rin officially ang video rights ng film na ito very soon.

“Ang dami naming sponsors na nakuha dahil sa pelikulang That Thing Called Tadhana“, masayang kuwento ni Ronald sa muli. “And it’s helping a lot in the growth of our festival. Kaya heto, inspired ako sa padating na naming festival this coming November.”

Ano namang masasabi ni Ronald sa nagdadagsaan na ngayong mga bagong film festivals?

“Ang hirap mag-survive! Hahahaha!!!”, mabilis na tugon ni Ronald. “Basta ako ngayon, wala akong sasabihin. Kasi baka sabihin pa nila, nagyayabang ako. In the long run naman, masasabi mo naman kung sino talaga ang may honest at good intentions. Hindi yung pera lang ang habol. Kami dito sa Cinema One, we only have the purest intentions of helping young and new film makers.”

What about the mainstream and veteran film directors, wala ba silang puwang sa film festival na tulad ng Cinema One?

“Mayroon naman, Robert”, sagot muli ni Ronald. “We have no limitations or restrictions. We are very open on  that idea. As long as they submit their material and film projects on time. Mas maganda sana kung personal films nila ang gagawin nila. Yun bang walang takot at walang magbabawal sa kanila. Yeah, we are very open on that idea.”

And last question, what’s the secret behind the success of Cinema One?

“There’s no secret, Robert”, huling sagot ni Ronald. “It’s a continuing learning process for all of us. We need to evolve. It’s what you call evolution. We had many mistakes in the past, but now, we have built-up a good reputation to everyone. Yun lang ang masasabi ko.”

Yes, CINEMA ONE and Mr. Ronald Arguelles made it. And they will leave a good legacy to every cinema lover. That ART can withstood the test of time.

“Perhaps, forever”, huling sambit pa ni Ronald.

 

(sinulat ni robert manuguid silverio)

ra8

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