Filipino director Dante Nico Garcia named Philippine liaison director and nomination committee member of the 1st Asean International Film Festival & Awards (AIFFA)

Dante Nico Garcia (right) with Asean International Film Festival & Awards (AIFFA) festival director Livan Tajang of Malaysia.


Malaking karangalan para sa direktor na si Dante Nico Garcia na maitalaga bilang Philippine liaison director at nomination committee member sa kauna-unahang Asean International Film Festival & Awards (AIFFA) na nakatakdang ganapin sa March 28 to 30, 2013 sa Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Saad niya, “It feels good that people from other countries, nakukuha natin yung tiwala nila.

“Actually, noong mga nagdaang panahon siguro, I’ve been doing campaigns for the Philippine entry to the Oscars, madalas na akong nakakakuha [ng offers].

“But I cannot commit because I’m doing my TV, I’m doing my films also.

“This year, I really decided to do something about it because I realized na no matter how often I make a film, it doesn’t make as much money as I want to.

“So, I think we have to find ways to be able to market the content that we produced, the independently-produced content of the Philippines not just to…

“Of course, na-established naman tayo sa Europe, marami nang (Filipino) directors doon ang may connect sa Europe.

“May mangilan-ngilang may connect sa Hollywood.

“Ako, gusto ko yung idea… last year kasi, yung Anaheim International Film and Media Arts Expo, they got me as Asian initiative executive in-charge also.

“But it didn’t push through, sometime this year pa mapu-push through yung festival.

“Ang hirap din, it was so hard to get in touch with everyone in Asia, lalo na kung volunteer work lang. Ang hirap mag-contact ng mga tao.

“So, this year, I made a commitment to try to get in touch with everyone around Asia to do my work na naka-assign sa akin ([ito sa AIFFA].

“And it came at a right time when I was about to launch the magazine that I worked on, para lang may online and printed magazine events calendar for the independently-produced content.

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“It came at a right time when Livan [Tajang, AIFFA 2013 Festival Director] get in touch with our company and asked us if we can be the Philippine partner.

“So, we like that, we like the idea that somehow, kahit papaano, may magagawa kami sa mga independently-produced na mga pelikula ng Pilipinas.”

Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Direk Ga sa press launch ng AIFFA 2013 noong Sabado, Enero 12, sa Dragon Bistro sa A. Roces Avenue, Quezon City.

Naging tanyag sa industriya si Dante matapos niyang gawin ang pelikulang Ploning, na pinagbibidahan ng kaibigan niyang si Judy Ann Santos.

Ang pelikulang ito ang nagbigay sa kanya ng karangalan bilang Best Director sa Asian Festival of First Films Award sa Singapore noong 2008.

Ang Ploning din ang naging official entry ng Pilipinas sa Best Foreign Language Film sa 81st Academy Awards noong 2009.

Bilang liaison director at nomination committee member ng AIFFA 2013, trabaho ni Dante na asikasuhin ang pangungulekta ng mga entry lalo na sa Pilipinas.

Bukod submission ng feature films, ini-launch din ng AIFFA 2013 ang short-film competition na nagsimula noong July 2012.

Nahahati sa dalawang kategorya ang short film competition—isa para sa mga estudyante at ang isa ay bukas para sa public (amateurs at professionals).

Puwede silang mag-submit ng entries sa AIFFA 2013 official website: www.aseanfilmfest.com.


PRAISED BY FESTIVAL DIRECTOR. Nakausap din ng PEP ang AIFFA 2013 Festival Director na si Livan Tajang, na isang Malaysian.

Tinanong namin siya kung paano nila napili at itinalaga si Dante bilang liaison director ng Pilipinas sa naturang international film festival.

Paliwaang ni Livan, “We have actually been reaching out to all… we have coordinated liaison directors in Jakarta and Singapore, even in Hollywood for the film festival.

“So, what happened was a friend from Hollywood had recommended him.

“Because we are looking at people who are directly involve in films and who could connect with people in their country.

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“So, I think we have a good choice [in Dante].”

Has she watched any films directed by Dante?

“Yes, because he sent a film [Madaling Araw, Mahabang Gabi].”

Ang Madaling Araw, Mahabang Gabi ang recent indie movie ni Dante na pinagbibidahan ni Angelica Panganiban; kasama rin sina Kean Cipriano, Glaiza de Castro, Edgar Allan Guzman, Buboy Garovillo, Tutti Caringal, Karel Marquez, Rocco Nacino, Alchris Galura, Jeffrey Hidalgo, Callum David, Dominic Roco, Lou Veloso, at Cherie Gil.

How did she find the movie?

“Very nice, very nice!”

Will all the ASEAN countries join and participate in the AIFFA 2013?

“The invitation is open to all ASEAN nations.

“Of course, some countries produced more films, some countries do not have films.

“So, basically, the invitation is open to all independent production houses throughout ASEAN.

“That is what the film festival is about, to bring together ASEAN filmmakers.”


ISDA REVOLUTION. Bukod sa pagiging officer ng AIFFA 2013, magiging abala rin si Dante sa inilunsad niyang magazine at website, ang Isda Revolution, kung saan itatampok ang mga independently-produced content sa pelikula, musika, arts, at iba pa.

Ang maiden issue ng magazine ay lalabas ngayong Enero, pero ayon kay Dante matagal na raw niyang adbokasiya ito.

“I launched Isda Revolution… it’s part of the Ploning advocacy pa, e.

“It’s been four years and we cannot… as much as I want to do something about it, ang hirap ng advocacy lang, tapos walang business side of things.

“Hindi talaga siya nakaka-sustain, labas ka lang nang labas talaga ng pera mo.

“So, we are hoping that the magazine will somehow will make a little money for us to do the advocacy.

“At least yung tuluy-tuloy, na hindi gulatan-gulatan lang kung kailan lang may available time at saka kung kailan lang may ekstrang pondo.”

Ang Isda Revolution ay hango raw sa Edsa Revolution noong 1986, na nagsilbing mitsa ng pagbabago at demokrasya sa Pilipinas.

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“Noong 2006 kasi na nag-isip-isip ako… 20th anniversary yun ng Edsa Revolution, e, so parang meron akong paandar na gusto ko play of words lang.

“So, nabuo yung Isda Revolution for the artists.”

Paglabas ng magazine, itatampok din daw dito ang AIFFA 2013.

“Kasama na yung coverage ng festival at saka how they can submit their entries.

“Yung entry form nandun na rin para hindi sila mahirapang hanapin.”


GLAIZA DE CASTRO. Tampok sa cover ng maiden issue ng Isda Revolution si Glaiza de Castro.

Bakit ang Kapuso actress ang napiling cover girl ni Dante?

“Si Glaiza kasi ano iyan, e, di ba, kumakanta, umaarte, tapos nagiging kontrabida, nagiging bida?

“And madalas din siyang mapanood sa indie films.

‘So, every month iba-iba. May mga inaawitan na kaibigan ko para sa susunod na mga buwan.”

Si Judy Ann ba posibleng mag-cover?

“Si Juday sana sa fifth anniversary ng Ploning. Magpapatulo pa ako ng luha kung makakakuha ako ng schedule sa kanya,” biro niya.

“Pero all my friends, all actors with strong indie presence or the ones who wants to go indie, yun ang gusto kong i-cover.”

Kasama sa cover text kay Glaiza ang salitang “flavorful.” Ano ang ibig sabihin nito?

“Kasi ang balak ko, kung sino yung cover, yung pangalan niya dudugtungan namin ng ano [adjective], so ‘Glaiza’ tapos ‘savory.’

“Tapos tiningnan namin yung description ng savory na word and then yung flavorful na word.

“Kasi, di ba, ang personality niya kasi sa TV, ang lakas.

“Kasi, di ba si Glaiza, nagmu-music, umaarte ng kontrabida sa TV, nagbibida sa indie film?

“So, parang ang dami mong puwedeng i-explore sa pagkatao niya. Marami siyang flavors.

“Meron kaming ganung laro na naiisip.”


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