Cinema One Originals 2009 finalists unveiled

Melvin Brito (left) and Rommel Tolentino (right) are two of the five filmmakers who will be competing in the 2009 Cinema One Originals digital film fest.

The Cinema One Originals has chosen 5 very promising finalists for this year's 2009 film festival. Already a melting pot for new writers and directors, this year's competition introduces stories and screenplays that are diverse, imaginative, and relentlessly innovative.

First time competitor Rommel "Milo" Tolentino is a filmmaker and writer hopeful whose working title entry is the children's film Si Baning, Si Maymay at ang Asong si Bobo. Tolentino is the director of Andong, which won the Best Short Screenplay and Best Short Film in the 2008 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. In the 2008 Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea, it won the Sonje Award for Best Short Film. In 2006 his short film, the drama-mystery Orasyon where he initially became known for won Best Short Film and received nominations for Best Short in the 2007 Gawad Urian.

Si Baning, Si Maymay at ang Asong si Bobo (Baning & Maymay and a Dog Named Stupid) is a quaint movie that celebrates the playful spirit of a Filipino child.

Writer and director Richard Legaspi brings an offbeat love story in Cyclone Loop to this year's Cinema One Originals. Legaspi directed the short film Ambulancia which won the Miglior Montaggio Award in San Gio International Film Festival in Italy last year and was shown in various film festivals like Dubai and Clermont Ferrand (France). He has written Handumanan, an independent feature soon to be released.

Movie and television cinematographer Nap Jamir becomes a director to helm his first film, an unconventional adult comedy titled Maximus & Minimus written by Jim Flores. 2004 placed Jamir in the limelight when he received the Gawad Urian nomination for Best Cinematography for the comedy-melodrama Bridal Shower of director Jeffrey Jeturian. In 2006, he brought home the Best Cinematography for Philippines' highly successful independent film Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros at the Gawad Urian.

Writer and director Melvin Brito has co-directed an independent movie titled Sumpa, a sexy thriller with Joross Gamboa. This native from San Jose, Batangas is currently a creative writer and segment producer for noontime show Eat Bulaga. For his Cinema One Originals entry, his film is the whimsical-mystery-fantasy titled Bala-Bala, the BatangueƱo dialect for pretending. It follows a pair of healers in their magical journey of discovering the lores within.

After completing his Philosophy studies at the Saint Vincent Ferrer Seminary in Jaro, Iloilo and the University of La Salle in Bacolod, Ray Defante Gibraltar attended filmmaking workshops at the Mowelfund Film Institute in 2001. However now based in Guimbal, Iloilo where he dabbles in his businesses delivering balikbayan boxes, producing AVPs and organic farming aside, he had major involvement in productions of various documentaries. The 72-minute documentary narrative film Wen Timawa Meets Delgado placed the director-writer-editor in the limelight. At the 31st Gawad Urian last year, the eccentric film won a nomination for Best Editing.

This year, Gibraltar becomes a finalist with Wanted Border, an alternative dark comedy that follows lost people looking for a refuge that instead became their nightmare.

With these chosen five finalists, the fifth edition of the Cinema One Originals digital film fest will surely be another highly-anticipated batch of films and filmmakers whose works are expected to lead local cinema to new heights.

Finalists for 2009 Cinema One Originals:

Bala-Bala by Melvin Brito

Cyclone Loop by Richard Legaspi

Maximus & Minimus by Nap Jamir

Si Baning, Si Maymay at ang Asong Si Bobo
by Milo Tolentino

Wanted: Border by Ray Gibraltar






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