Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
The concept seems to be at odds, making films that more of our kababayan (countrymen), more Filipinos will watch. And giving the reigns to the filmmakers, directors rather than profit-oriented producers, outfits, even networks. But this is exactly what the HORROR PLUS Film fest attempts to do. It will run from October 29-November 4, 2014 in all SM Malls and Walter Mart Cinemas. Galas of the movies will have a free entrance from October 20 to 23, in SM North Edsa & Megamall where cast members like Judy Ann Santos, Solenn Heussaff, Michelle Madrigal will make personal appearances. Please check gala schedules here: official FDCP site.
The films participating in the festival include T’YANAK by co-directors Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes, HUKLUBAN by director Gil M. Portes, BACAO by director Edgardo “Boy” Vinarao, and SIGAW SA HATINGGABI by director Romy V. Suzara. The film fest is composed of four entries so that the films may have more screening dates.
During a press conference outspoken director Peque Gallaga discussed the efforts of the FDCP (Film Development Council of the Philippines) and why they participated in it, “We’re very grateful to FDCP for doing these things. Sa totoo lang the budget is really, really, really low. Pero Lore and I feel, I think the same goes for Romy for Boy and Gil. It’s a pleasure to work for zero than people who tell you what to do. FDCP actually believes in artistic freedom. And I think what’s happening is FDCP has already produced 51 Pinoy indie films believe it or not.”
Gallaga believes the HORROR PLUS Film fest is a way of attracting audiences to the work of Pinoy directors without having the pressure of pleasing producers who don’t necessarily share the same vision, “Ang nangyayari with the Horror Film Festival, the FDCP has recognized that we have to go back to the middle ground. Dapat we should be making films, this is not a judgment of indie films I am an indie filmmaker, but we have to start making films for the Filipino people. This is a burgis person talking I am a Regal baby. It’s time that people go back to watching our films, not only for festivals. I think the Horror film festival is a good attempt to go back to the middle ground.”
The middle ground according to him is being able to give directors and writers greater creative control, “What’s happening now and I’m not insulting anybody. The big industry is getting people, getting really good, good, good artists in the form of directors. But its like you’re hiring sculptors to do carpentry work. It’s time to return movies to the artists. (Applause) Thank you for the few who agree with me. Still I think the combination of indie and mainstream is going to be wonderful for Filipino movies to go back to the Golden age.”
Gallaga’s horror flick TYANAK with Janice De Belen defined what the monster truly is. He went on to explain that it wasn’t clearly defined or identified prior to that in film, “Ang nangyari sa TYANAK it’s a reboot. Reboot means we’re doing the original story but it’s been 30 years. Ang nangyari doon we were Regal babies we were with mother. And one of my favorite directors si Charing Carlos, I don’t know which one he did na may tyanak. The tyanak were the Gutierrez twins when they were 4 years old. Hindi yon tyanak those were Santa’s Elves. Sabi ko Mother hindi yan tyanak. When I worked with Richard Gutierrez way after I told him the same thing. Hindi yan tyanak. We’ll make a movie for you, Mother didn’t know what the tyanak was. When we did TYANAK the movie we went back to Philippine folklore.”
Mother Liliy Monteverde of Regal had a very specific scene that she wanted Gallaga to do. He relates, “All that Mother asked us to do that’s why I respect Mother a lot. Basta dapat si Lotlot is running with the baby na may ulan. She would fall in the putik. She would look at the baby and say ‘Why God?’ And tama si Mother people loved that.”
The invitation to make a horror film came from FDCP chairman Briccio Santos. “When we did the first TYANAK we wanted to show what a tyanak was. Now everybody knows what a tyanak is. Ang ginawa namin this time, we maintained the Janice and Lotlot characters. But we went deeper into what a tyanak does. Briccio said do you want to make a horror film? Sabi namin we want to do TYANAK again. Why? Because it’s the original Filipino monster. Mananaggal the Indoensians have that, the Thais have the manananggal. In all of the universe only the Philippines has the tyanak. The tyanak is a monster that hides behind compassion, it hides behind pity. In other words yung power ng tyanak you cannot kill him.”
Gala Pemiere Schedules
Bacao – October 20 (Monday) / SM Megamall / Cinema 7 / 7:00pm
Hukluban – October 21 (Tuesday) / SM North Edsa / Cinema 1 / 7:00pm
T’yanak – October 22 (Wednesday) / SM Megamall / Cinema 7 / 7:00pm
Sigaw sa Hatinggabi – October 23 (Thursday) / SM North Edsa / Cinema 1 / 7:00pm
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