First-time actor and director Jerrold Tarog was recognized
for his work on the mockumentary Confessional, which tackles corruption.
This film won as Best Film in the First Features Section of 10th Osian Festival
of Asian and Arab Cinema in New Delhi, India.
In Confessional, Jerrold was tapped to play Ryan
Pastor, the filmmaker who uncovers a complex world of politics and corruption.
While shooting scenes in the colorful Sinulog festival of Cebu, the young man
meets a politician (played by Publio Briones III) who promises to give him the
scoop of a lifetime or what could possibly be a big hoax.
According to Jerrold, they deliberately chose not to cast a
celebrity in the role of the filmmaker to maintain the illusion that the movie
is a documentary. He actually had someone else in mind to play the part of the
filmmaker but due to time constraints, he agreed to go in front of the cameras
to be the lead star. Ruel Dahis Antipuesto was the film's cinematographer and
is considered as Jerrold's co-director in the movie.
What made Confessional stand out among the 200 films
that participated in the international film fest?
"Basta ang alam ko lang
talagang sinadya namin iwasan yung usual na elements ng mga films na pinapadala
sa ibang bansa, palaging may poverty, sex, gay sex," explains Jerrold during
the July 24 press conference of Cinema One at the ABS-CBN compound. "Basta
nag-isip lang kami ng ibang way para makapagkuwento. Although, aaminin ko, hindi ko ineexpect na magugustuhan ng people
from another country but at least we made sure na wala yung usual elements na
What was the reaction of foreigners to his film?
"After ng screening [sa India], madaming nagsalita, madaming
nag-comment. Pero ang pinakasummary ng
sinabi nila, sobrang nakakarelate sila dun sa mga themes ng pelikula at saka
kung ano yung mga nangyayari dun, kung anong nangyari sa pelikula, nangyayari
dun sa India, particularly corruption.
Nagustuhan nila yung fact na although mabigat yung subject matter, yung
treatment magaan. Hindi ko inexpect yun na makakarelate sila."
It might come as a surprise but Jerrold is actually a
graduate of the College of Music. He took up film theory courses while working
on his Music Composition degree at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
He also enrolled briefly in the International Academy of Film and Television in
Critics have observed that a lot of indie films being shown
today tackle sex and homsexuality but Cinema One Originals project head Ronald
Arguelles observed that Jerrold's film was able to shine abroad even without
resorting to these themes. "We're happy that Confessional broke that
mold—walang sex and walang poverty," says Ronald, who served as the executive
producer of Confessional.
For winning in the Osian Film Fest, Jerrold took home a cash
prize of $5,000 and a film grant of $20,000 for a future film. Confessional
will be screened at Robinsons Galleria IndieSine starting August 13.