Karera will have gala premiere at the CCP, July 23


Jay Manalo (top frame) produced the Cinemalaya-NETPAC entry Karera, which will have its gala premiere at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on July 23, 2009. This Adolf Alix Jr. film also stars Rosanna Roces, Laurice Guillen, Joem Bascon, Marife Necesito and Arnold Reyes.


Urian Best Director (Salome, Tanging Yaman) and Best Supporting Actress (Sister Stella L.) Laurice Guillen makes an acting comeback after five years. She plays the matriarch who maintains an illegal horse racing outlet (bookies) trying to carry on a very crucial day for her family.

She is supported by top caliber actors who have won recognition for their outstanding performances in recent years: Rosanna Roces (Urian Best Actress for La Vida Rosa), Jay Manalo (Urian Best Actor for Prosti) and newcomer Joem Bascon (ENPRESS Breakthrough Performance by an Actor for Batanes). Also playing pivotal roles are Mercedes Cabral, Arnold Reyes, Marife Necesito, Allan Paule, Menggie Cobarrubias, Cherry Madrigal, Edgar Allan Guzman and Jess Evardone.

Karera tackles a milieu familiar to most Filipinos: horse racing. It captures the last day of karera (horse racing) at the once illustrious Sta. Ana Racetrack. Everybody is preparing to leave as they move to a new area in Cavite. The Domingo family, caught in the middle of this upheaval, grapples in varying degrees of problems: lost money, illegal dealings, bets and ultimately their survival.

"We wanted to capture everything before it is torn down and converted into a shopping complex," director Alix mentioned. The filmmakers shot Karera before the racetrack closed down last December.

"It was a bit sad because we see how sad they are to leave a place they considered they home for so long. The concept really struck me as it plays a perfect parallel to what's happening around us. It's very crucial to see a slice-of-life of this ordinary people living on this meager economy especially because every man's common goal is everyday survival. People will see a piece of themselves in the characters."

The film is competing in the NETPAC section launched this year by the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. A jury composed of international and local personalities will decide on the winner of the first Cinemalaya NETPAC Prize. NETPAC is a global organization with 29 member-countries and is composed of critics, filmmakers, festival organizers, curators, distributors, exhibitors and film educators. It has film festival partners in Singapore, Pusan, Jeonju, Kerala, Kazakhstan and Osian's Cinefan in Asia; Berlin, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, Rotterdam, Vessoul in Europe; Brisbane in Australia; Hawaii in the US; Antalya in Turkey; and Black Nights in Estonia.

Produced by Jay Manalo and written by Jerome Zamora, the movie's gala premiere will be this Thursday, July 23, 6:15 pm at the CCP Little Theater.

According to Direk Adolf, the regular run of Karera is tentaively scheduled during late August or early September.

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