Award-winning writer-director Dennis Marasigan competes in the 6th edition of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival with his full-length entry titled Vox Populi (Siya ang Meyor Ko!).
Direk Dennis’s indie film reflects the election concerns of the Filipinos and offers insights on the way local elections are conducted.
ENSEMBLE CAST. "I am very happy with the cast that I have assembled," said Direk Dennis, whose film Tukso won Best Screenplay during the 3rd Cinemalaya Film Festival in 2007.
Just like his debut film, Dennis’s actress-wife, Irma Adlawan, is cast in Vox Populi in the female lead role. She plays Connie, a mayoralty candidate in a rural Philippines town.
"Irma Adlawan is Irma Adlawan, what more can I say?" direk Dennis enthuses. The other cast members are also noted actors in Philippine television, cinema, and theater.
Dennis enumerates them, with a brief description of each role. "Julio Diaz brings gravitas to his role as Tony, the campaign strategist. Bobby Andrews, who plays Ricky, Connie’s brother, is doing his first full-length indie and he brings enthusiasm, talent, and presence to the screen.
"Suzette Ranillo is ever so accomodating," notes direk Dennis further. "belying the fact that she is an award-winning actress." Ranillo is unforgettable in National Artist Ishmael Bernal’s classic drama on urban prostitutes, Aliw (1979).
Another important actress in Marasigan’s new indie film is LJ Moreno, whom the director describes as somebody who "adds luster to the cast, despite previous knowledge that she’d be playing a supporting role, in the company of equally competent actors."
Not to be outdone are the other reliable actors who make up the supporting cast. "They are friends I have known for years," says Dennis, "but they are veteran actors in theater, film, and television. Among them are Jose Mari Avellana, Tony Mabesa, Dido dela Paz, Gabe Mercado, Simon Ibarra, Flor Salanga, Ces Aldaba and Cris Mojica."
REAL-TIME APPROACH. Asked about Vox Populi’s narrative scope and the directorial style and treatment he employed, in comparison with his first film, Tukso, director Dennis Marasigan points out : "Vox Populi is different in scope, style and treatment from Tukso. Where the latter had different perspectives and played with time, the current project takes a real-time approach, with all the events in the film happening in one whole day, the last day of the electoral campaign.
"It is also seen from the perspective of Connie [Irma Adlawan’s character]," adds Direk Dennis. "Because of the material, we are also using largely hand-held camera movements, as we follow Connie in her campaign."
Ang 6th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival ay gaganapin mula July 9-18, sa Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.