Director Seymour Barros Sanchez's first full-length film, Handumanan, made its world premiere during the fifth Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival on July 22 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Handumanan, which means "remembrance" in Visayan, follows the story of three strangers—the ailing romance novelist Sol (Chin-Chin Gutierrez), auditor and frustrated writer Lean (Jason Abalos), and Brazilian model Carlos (Akihiro Sato)—who are out looking for answers. Instead, their paths cross in the idyllic city of Dumaguete, Negros Oriental.
"Love triangle siya," Direk Seymour explains in an interview. "Nag-me-merge 'yong different worlds. Ang main talaga is search for one's self. 'Yong title, parang statement ko din, although hindi ako nagsasalita ng Bisaya, gusto ko i-defend 'yong language. Mas maraming Pinoy na nakakapagsalita ng Bisaya."
Direk Seymour, along with his wife Eloisa, co-writer Richard Legaspi, and the lead stars introduced the film to the crowd. This is Akihiro's first film and in his accented English, he thanked the crowd for the support.
Chin-Chin, who met with a real romance novelist in
preparation for her role, pointed out: "It is—once in a while—good to look back
at our life journeys, see where we all started, our humble innocent beginnings
to know where we all are going."
Jason wasn't able to attend the gala night since he had a taping for his regular ABS-CBN afternoon teleserye, Kambal sa Uma.
Handumanan will be screened from August 5 to 11, 2009 at IndieSine (Cinema 8) of Robinsons Galleria.