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Golden age of indies


GOLDEN IMAGE – The ‘30s, ‘50s and ‘70s are called the golden age of Philippine cinema.

Now it’s the golden age of indie cinema. Actually, it started more than a decade ago, when independently produced movies made waves in international film festivals. From the majors like Cannes, Berlin, and Venice to the small ones scattered all over the world.

Sure, many of them do not make money. But then, they bring honors to the country. They still do. Think of the two most distinguished directors: Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz.

IN PRAISE OF – Indie filmfests are all over. New Wave, Cinema One Originals, Sinag Maynila, Quezon City, CineManila, FDCP, among others.

Of course, there’s the premier indie filmfest: Cinemalaya, now on its 11th year.

Young and new filmmakers owe a lot to Cinemalaya, which opened the doors to them. Now many of them are already established names.

Laurice Guillen, Mel Chionglo, Tonyboy Cojuangco, Nes Jardin, Chris Millado are behind Cinemalaya, which opens at the CCP on Aug. 11.

Ten full-length films and as many short features will be shown, with trophies and cash prize at stake.

STAR STUDDED – Then, mostly unknown actors starred in Cinemalaya entries.

Now it’s a different story. Major stars consider it an honor to be cast in Cinemalaya and other indie movies.

Think Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Allen Dizon, Jake Cuenca, Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Joel Torre, Epi Quizon, Paulo Avellino, Jaclyn Jose, Lovi Poe, Dingdong Dantes, Judy Ann Santos, Janice de Belen, Rocco Nacino, Jericho Rosales.

In this year’s Cinemalaya, an entry, “Tuos,” stars Tommy Abuel and Nora Aunor and daughter Lotlot de Leon and granddaughter Janine Gutierrez.

SPEEDY NOTES – Heard that Angel Locsin might end up playing “Darna,” after all. Is she well enough to do it?

Remember she suffered a back ailment and had to fly to Singapore for treatment…

There are negotiations to cast Cesar Montano in the filmbio of Gen. Miguel Malvar, the last to surrender to the Americans…There are talks that Atty. Toto Villareal might be retained as chair of the Movie & Television Review & Classification Board. Why not? He’s doing a good job.