Brillante Mendoza's Foster Child,which had its world premiere at the last Cannes International Film Festival,will open in cinemas across the country starting September 12.
Featuring the award-winning performance ofCherry Pie Picache (Best Actress, 9th Osian's Cinefan International Festival inIndia), Foster Child depicts the emotional struggles of Thelma, a fostermother from the slums who receives a meager P1,500 monthly, and a basic supplyof milk, diapers and vitamins for every child placed in her care.
Osian's Cinefan cites Cherry Pie's acting inthe film as "a performance that has managed to make even a fictional storylook very much like a slice of life." Her character is actually based on a real-life foster parent working fora Philippine non-government organization, Kaisang Buhay Foundation, whichprimarily helped her along the way to portray the role with such authenticity.
Cherry Pie stars in the film along withEugene Domingo, Jiro Manio, Alwyn Uytingco, Dan Alvaro, and Kier Segundo.
Shot in real-time mode, the director presentswith deep empathy the situation of most foster parents-for-hire in a thirdworld country such as the Philippines. International film critics find FosterChild as Brillante's most mature work to date.
"...Foster Child, like my earlyfilms, has personal affinity to me, being an adoptive father myself of a littlegirl who came to my life and brought sunshine to my somewhat drearyexistence...Its pre-production to actual shoot was very instinctive. I feel I'vebecome a more loving father, having been given a chance to peek into the reallives of foster parents, foster children and adoptive parents as well,"says the director.
Audiences at the Cannes International FilmFestival gave the film a 10-minute standing ovation during its world premiere."Critics find the film very authentic, detailed, and moving. Filipinos areportrayed as warm, and innately caring people," notes Robbie Tan, thefilm's producer.
Foster Child is scheduled to be screened at the MontrealWorld Film Festival from August to September, and at the Pusan InternationalFilm Festival this October.
Foster Child (2007)
A Seiko Films presentation of aCenterStage Prods. production.
Thelma (Cherry Pie Picache),together with her husband Dado (Dan Alvaro) and teenage sons Gerald (AlwynUytingco) and Yuri (Jiro Manio), are an urban poor family hired by a localfoster care facility to provide temporary home and care to abandoned babiespending the latter's formal adoption. The inevitable separation isheart-rending for the foster family.
Thelma's foster child John-John(Kier Segundo) is to be turned over to his adoptive American parents. Everymoment with the 3-year-old John-John becomes more precious as Thelma goesthrough the day fulfilling her motherly duties for the last time-bathingJohn-John, feeding him, and bringing him to school where the boy participatesin a school presentation.
Accompanied by the social workerBianca (Eugene Domingo), Thelma and her son Yuri deliver John-John to the poshhotel where the elderly American couple are billeted. The bittersweet turnover,underscored by the luxury of the place, delivers the painful truth that loveand life are not equal.
The realization hits Thelmaand Yuri as they leave the hotel.
Foster Child is produced by Seiko Films, Inc. anddistributed internationally through Ignatius Film Canada.