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A new Zaijan shines in ‘Hamog’

By: Nestor Cuartero

JUST A THOUGHT: “Competition is a painful thing, but it produces great results.” – Jerry Flint

BAND OF YOUNG THIEVES: and One of the films we were fortunate enough to watch in the comfort of a Vertis North cinema recently is “Hamog.”

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Directed by Ralston Jover, “Hamog” is a moving reality-based account of the lives of youths in the lower sections of society. The four-member gang of young thieves led by former child actor Zaijan Jaranilla (Santino in “May Bukas Pa”) preys on cars along EDSA on the side of Guadalupe, Makati in their daily attempt at survival.

Much has been reported about the presence of these young thieves in the area, yet despite actual complaints to authorities, they remain at once visible and invisible as the need dictates. Jover has expertly captured the realities of low life in Metro Manila through “Hamog,” which is vaguely reminiscent of the works of Lino Brocka in his time (“Maynila: Sa Kuko ng Liwanag”).

The child actors in “Hamog” are uniformly good, acting out their roles in the most natural manner. Applause goes to, aside from Zaijan, Teri Malvar, Sam Quitania, and Bor Lentejas.

Am I glad that “Hamog” is finally showing before a wider audience as a participant in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, running from August 16 to 22.

“Hamog” joins 11 other notable entries chosen by the FDCP as featured films in the festival scheduled during the country’s Buwan ng Wika celebration. The films will be shown in more than 700 theaters nationwide.

‘HAMOG’ AWARDED ABROAD: “Hamog” was part of Cinema One Originals’ 2015 edition that went abroad and brought home honors for the country.

“Hamog” (Haze) tells real-life scenarios of four street children who cannot help but resort to the routine of crime to survive daily life. Two unexpected events soon occur that will challenge and push the kids to make tough choices.

It is the only local film so far that competed in two International Federation of Film Producers Associations or FIAPF A-list film festivals and won in both. It earned the Outstanding Artistic Achievement award for Ralston at the 19th Shanghai International Film Festival, and the Silver St. George Best Actress Award for lead actress Therese Malvar in Moscow International Film Festival, making her the country’s youngest A-list film festival best actress.

Aside from the FIAPF recognitions, the film also won the Russian Critics Choice Award for Best Film.

Therese’s performance in “Hamog” also earned her the New York Asian Film Festival’s Rising Star award.

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