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‘Patintero’ a film for kids


JUST A THOUGHT: “Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.” – Brion Dyson

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A FILM FOR KIDS: There aren’t too many films for children in the indie scene, crowded as it were by poverty porn or movies about sex and violence, mostly adult concerns. Mihk (for Michael) Vergara’sPatintero is one of them.

Premiered in 2015 as one of the standout entries in the Quezon City Film Festival, Patintero is a fun, family oriented film about a young girl who learns to overcome life’s challenges through the help of her friends. Rife with coming-of-age themes of friendship, teamwork and sportsmanship, the film also carries a strong anti- bullying message.

Vergara says the film’s theatrical version is an expanded edition of what was shown last year.

‘We didn’t change the story. We found out that kids responded really well to the movie, so we made it more palatable to them by adding more action scenes and anime- inspired graphics,’ he says.

It helped that Patintero has been picked up by TBA, a consortium made up of Tuko Films, Butchi Boy Entertainment, and Artikulo Uno Productions), the same team that produced the 2015 blockbuster hit, Heneral Luna.

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HOMAGE TO YOUTH: Vergara says he conceived Patintero as a homage to youth. It’s also his own small way to contribute to the rediscovery and continued growth of native Filipino games.

Casting mostly unknown child actors, Vergara, who has a degree in Film from the Ateneo, says he chose NafaHilario Cruz for the role of Meng for her determined stance during an audition. ‘She never backed off even when I did a scene with her. She kept fighting back,’ he said.

Patintero has been rated G by the MTRCB.The movie also stars Suzette Ranillo in a lola-tic role. (NESTOR CUARTERO)