Adolf Alix Jr.'s Chassis well-received by critics and viewers at Pusan International Film Festival

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"It's very rewarding na they are taking notice of our small film... Nakakatuwa kasi malaking bagay ito for our country. Nakikita nila na we are making socially-relevant films that cater to an international audience," says director Adolf Alix Jr. (middle) about the success of his film Chassis in the Pusan International Film Festival. Direk Adolf attended the Pusan filmfest with stars Jodi Sta. Maria and Lemuel Pelayo.


Naging successful ang world premiere ng indie film na Chassis ni Direk Adolf Alix sa 15th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) sa South Korea noong October 7 hanggang October 15.

Kabilang sa A Window On Asian Cinema section ng PIFF ang Chassis. First time itong maipapalabas sa isang malaking audience at sa isang malaking international film festival.

Kasama ni Direk Adolf na nagpunta sa Pusan ang mga artista niya sa Chassis na sina Jodi Santamaria at Lemuel Pelayo, at ang producers ng pelikula na sina Avelino Relucio, Jonas Gaffud, at Doc Gamboa.

Dinaluhan ang PIFF ng mga malalaking international stars and directors na may mga pelikula ring ipinalalabas doon. Ilan sa kanila ay sina Juliette Binoche (Certified Copy), Willem Dafoe (A Woman), Ashwarya Rai (Raaven), Oliver Stone (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), Zhang Yimou (Under The Hawthorn Tree), Oi Yu (The Lightning Tree), at marami pang iba.

Second time na ni Direk Adolf na makadalo sa PIFF. Noong 2008 ay naimbitahan na maipalabas sa naturang international film festival ang pelikula niyang Adela na pinagbidahan ni Ms. Anita Linda.

"It was a great experience altogether," sabi ni Direk Adolf nang makausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).

"It's my first time to have a film na nag-world premiere sa Pusan. We have three screenings but I only attended two. The audience was very responsive sa film. We got a lot of interesting questions."

Sa official website ng PIFF ay ganito ang pagkakalarawan sa Chassis

"A documentary style film about a woman and her daughter who live under a truck because they have no home. Unlike the stereotypical homeless bum, Norah (Jodi Santamaria) is a tough woman who will do anything to make money to raise her daughter Sarah properly. But reality is far from being easy on her.

"Men are irresponsible and are only out to fulfill their desires. The truck parking lot where Norah and her daughter live is like a jungle in the city. Norah gives up her last grasp on hope when Sarah meets a tragic death in this hazardous jungle, her daughter having been her only reason to live.

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"When she gives up everything it leaves only revenge, and a final visit to the amusement park that her daughter had wanted to go to so badly. The camera follows Norah in a composed manner, which only intensifies her tragedy. Norah's revenge is revenge against men and her last fight against this male-oriented jungle of a society.

"This is a bold film by Adolfo Alix Jr. that criticizes society, venting sympathy and anger at the same time."

POSITIVE REVIEWS. Ayon kay Direk Adolf, namangha ang Korean audience sa ipinakitang social message ng Chassis. Pinuri rin nila ang performance ni Jodi bilang si Norah.

"They were thinking that Jodi was really from South Harbor and they were surprised that she's a well-known actress here sa Pilipinas. They were raving about her performance.

"During the screening, Jodi told me that she will be answering questions sa Q&A after the screening in Filipino. 'Kala ko nagbibiro lang siya, but she reminded me when we were standing na in front of the audience. May interpreter naman kami para maintindihan ng Korean press.

"I had several interviews as well, and mostly they were very positive sa film. They were moved by the mother-and-daughter story," saad ng young filmmaker.

Natuwa si Direk Adolf dahil hindi nabalewala ang pagod nila sa pagpapalabas ng Chassis sa PIFF. Nakatanggap din sila ng ilang imbitasyon mula sa iba't ibang international film festivals, kabilang na ang Vancouver Film Festival in Canada.

"It's very rewarding na they are taking notice of our small film. Actually, habang ipinapalabas sa Pusan ang Chassis, it's also being screened in Vancouver. Sabay kasi sila.

"Nakakatuwa kasi malaking bagay ito for our country. Nakikita nila na we are making socially-relevant films that cater to an international audience."

Magkakaroon din ng screening ang Chassis sa Pilipinas on December 1 pagkatapos nitong lumahok sa isang "A-list film festival" in November.

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"Hindi ko pa puwedeng i-reveal kung ano yung festival na 'yon. But all I can say ay ang Chassis ang unang film from the Philippines na makipag-compete doon. Kaya let's all pray that Chassis makes it good abroad," nakangiting sabi ni Direk Adolf.

Na-feature din ang Chassis at si Direk Adolf sa Marie Claire Korea (cover ang sikat na Korean actor na si Won Bin).

Maganda rin ang review ni Richard Kiupers sa Chassis na lumabas sa Variety Magazine noong October 14. Narito ang bahagi ng kanyang review:

"Adopting an observational docu approach and operating without a music score, Alix exercises firm control over tough subject matter and steadfastly avoids wallowing in anyone's misery. Present in practically every scene, Sta. Maria [sic] is quietly compelling as a woman with a single, unshakable reason to live.

"Immaculately shot around Pier 16 of Manila's Tondo container terminal, pic boasts steady handheld black-and-white HD lensing; all other tech credits are fine. Helmer is now using his full name, Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr., rather than his more abbreviated former moniker, Adolfo B. Alix Jr."

Ilan pa sa mga crtically-acclaimed films ni Direk Adolf Alix Jr. ang mga sumusunod: Donsol, Kadin, Tambolista, Adela, at Manila. Siya rin ang nagdirek ng controversial indie films na Daybreak, Imoral, Aurora, Karera, Rome & Juliet, at Muli.


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