"Boses" to be screened at UP Film Institute, August 4


The 5 pm screening of Boses on August 4 at the University of the Philippines-Diliman Film Institute will feature a live violin performance by Julian Duque (right), who is a protégé of Coke Bolipata (left).


During the recently concluded Cinemalaya Film Festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, ang independent-digital film produced by Eresto Films Production na Boses ay isa sa sampung films na nag-compete sa naturang film fest. Directed by Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil, kahanga-hanga ang Boses dahil sa good script, excellent acting, and superb music.

Boses was able to use classical music through a violin instrument to show the problems of battered and abused children. Ngunit, nagulat ang iba nang hindi nanalo ng parangal ang pelikulang ito sa Cinemalaya awards night na ginanap noong July 20.

Ang Boses ay tungkol sa pagkakaibigan ng battered child na si Onyok (played by first-time actor Julian Duque) at ng reclusive violinist na si Ariel (Coke Bolipata). Kasama rin sa pelikula ang mainstream actors na sina Cherry Pie Picache, Ricky Davao, at Meryll Soriano.

Hindi naman itinago ni Direk Ellen na siyempre raw, normal na nalungkot siya that the movie Boses was not given any recognition. "Siyempre, it is sad, I will not be plastic naman. Siyempre, may disappointment, lalo na at I hold a staff. You're the head of the team and they are all expecting because everybody was telling them so.

"They we're all texting, Direk, panalo tayo! Sure raw! Pero sabi ko nga sa kanila, huwag kayong masyadong magpakasiguro, kasi, 5 man jury, you'll never know. At ang next point ko, nang malaman ko actually na tatlo ang foreigners, kinabahan na ko."


Ayon kay Direk Ellen, Boses is not being melodramatic dahil may iba itong appeal at gustong ihatid sa manonood. "What I'm saying when I say melodrama, not the O.A. (over-acting), not the thing that you associate with melodrama. Ang sabi ko, it has an appeal to the emotion. Ang iba kasing pelikula, appeal to the cerebral. Ang Filipino are emotional people, that's why melodrama works in the Philippines.

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"Joke namin ‘yan, I don't mean to be derogatory. What I mean is, it has an appeal to the emotion. Ang importante kasi sa story, kung titingnan n'yo ha, battered child...sa totoo lang, ito ang mga important issue, pero saan n'yo siya nababasa? Sa tabloids. Sensational story, pero ang combination niya, classical music.


Tragedy and classical kung tutuusin. "I wanted to combine them both. Gusto kong i-uplift ang issue ng battered child and give importance, ‘di ba? ‘Yung classical music naman, gusto kong maka-reach sa majority because not many people likes it, nae-alienate sila d'yan. So, it is that combination. Hindi ko kinomisyon ang script. The script was written and 2nd prize siya sa Cinemanila."


Unang beses pa lang daw nabasa ni Direk Ellen ang script ay na-touch na siya agad. Plus factor pa na alam daw niya, isang kuwento ito na pupuwede niyang papanoorin ang anak niya na 14 years old.

"When I read it, I was very touched already! Tamang-tama, naghahanap din ako ng material na mase-share ko sa anak ko. Kasi, lahat ng materials ko, Pusang-Gala [her previous film featuring Ricky Davao and Irma Adlawan], medyo matured, hindi ko nasi-share sa kanya. Tapos lately, nagba-violin pa ang anak ko."

Naniniwala si Direk Ellen na from the beginning pa lang, very blessed na raw ang pelikulang Boses in different aspects.

"Alam n'yo, when you do something for children, ang dami n'yong blessings. Kasi, tatlong material ang sinabmit ko sa Cinemalaya, ito ang naaprubahan, hindi ko ine-expect. Eh, medyo mahal, medyo traditional, hindi siya experimental, linear siya, three acts, classic. So, na-shocked ako!


Another blessing daw ay ang tungkol nga sa budget na kunsaan, P500,000 lang naman ang working budget na ibibigay sa kanila. Nagdagdag lang daw siya ng konti, so, ‘yung original plan nilang 5-6 shooting days, nakuha niya si Coke Bolipata on his first acting foray. Nakakuha rin daw siya ng mga staff na medyo senior.

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Pumasok na raw rito ang paghahanap niya ng major sponsors at lahat daw nang nilapitan niya like Unicef, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Council for Welfare for Children na may project talaga on violence against children at lahat daw ng ito, madaling nag-approve at naglabas ng sponsorship for the movie.

"So, it's really a major blessing for me! So, naka-afford ako ng 11 shooting days, better camera. Alam n'yo naman sa filmmaking, every money counts. But it doesn't mean, if there's money, that would guarantee a good movie. Pero that's the reason din siguro kung bakit kahit wala siyang nakuhang award, I'm still happy, very positive because of the many blessings," pahayag niya.

ADVOCACY AGAINST VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN. May advocacy na gustong iparating si Direk Ellen sa kanyang mga pelikula.

"Ano ‘yan, there's the violence on children that I campaign. Tatlo ang advocacy ko, there's also the power of art. In the film, you saw the power of music. Right now, we're trying to have a two years dissemination program with different schools and government institution. Kaya ako, kahit na gusto kong mag-abroad, festival, mas priority sa akin ang schools.

"Why, because you're creating new generation of people who will watch movies that are not always looking for actors and who will be brave enough to try films with no major stars. And that's my advocacy.

"And my third advocacy, kung titingnan n'yo ang Cinemalaya, pa-grow ng pa-grow. Indie can do mainstream because you cultivated a new mindset. This are all my plans, nakakapagod. Minsan, nararamdaman ko, parang mag-isa lang ako. Hiwa-hiwalay kasi."


Dagdag pa niya, " Ako rin kasi, kapag gumawa ako, hindi lang ‘yung establishing myself as a director. Gusto ko, ma-market ko. Mapanood ng lahat. Very careful ako on what material could reach out."

Another blessing that Direk Ellen considered is having their lead star, Julian Duque who is actually a protégé of Coke Bolipata, who runs a center for artistic children in Zambales called Casa San Miguel. Dumaan muna raw sa series of auditions ang bata until she decided that Julian is the perfect Onyok not because hindi niya kaagad nakitaan ng potential but because of Julian's way of acting na sobrang tinototoo raw nito.

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LIVE VIOLIN PERFORMANCE.
Natatawang kinorek ni Direk Ellen ang ilang impression that Julian is a real mute kid. Hindi tototoong pipi si Julian in real life at sa katunayan, nakausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) pagkatapos ng premiere ng Boses sa CCP.


On August 4 at 5.00 p.m., Boses will be screened at Cine Adarna (Film Institute) in the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus. The eight-year old violinist Julian will grace the occasion with a short musical piece.


Naniniwala si Direk Ellen, kahit hindi man nakasungkit ng award ang pelikulang Boses, puwede nilang sabihin na daig pa nila ang nanalo with all the messages and praises that they are receiving until now. She also believes, that word-of-mouth could be their best means of promoting the film to the viewing public. Natutuwa rin siya sa mga nagsasabi sa kanya na: "Bakit hindi nanalo ng award ang Boses, ang ganda naman?"


Magkaganunman, maagap sa pagsasabi si Direk Ellen na baka ma-misjudge siya ng mga tao who might say bitter siya sa pagkakatalo niya sa Cinemalaya 2008. Aniya, "Of course not. I respect the decision of the jurors. Talagang ganoon, we all have different tastes. Sinasabi ko lang is that, nakakataba ng puso ‘yung mga comments na naririnig at natatanggap namin especially sa mga nakapanood na ng film and that, we're asking help from them na hopefully, mai-share rin nila ito sa iba.


"Ako kasi, I've watched almost all the entries for Cinemalaya and I could say, lahat talaga magaganda. Kahit ako naman, I have my personal favorites and all of the films are deserving to win."


Lahat ng mga gustong makapanood ng Boses this Monday (August 4) at UP Diliman Film Institute, tickets are priced at P70 and for a group of 5 ay makukuha lang ito ng P300. Puwedeng kontakin si Valerie of UP Circulo-Hispanico at 09174907697 and Jordan of Asterisk at 09053307298.


For future bookings or other inquiries, puwedeng mag-email sa boses08@gmail.com

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