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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

entry arrow11:50 AM | Looking Forward to Handumanan

Red Room Productions’ first full-length feature Handumanan (Remembrance), a film about three people who seem to have lost hope of their worlds until their fateful encounter in a resort in Negros Oriental, will compete for the prestigious Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) award as part of the fifth Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival (Cinemalaya Cinco) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The film, directed by Seymour Barros Sanchez, will have its world premiere at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theatre) on July 22, Wednesday, 9 p.m.

Starring Asian Television Awards Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Chin Chin Gutierrez, Gawad Urian Best Actor Jason Abalos, and introducing Japanese-Brazilian model Akihiro Sato, the film was shot in Negros Oriental, Zambales, Cavite, and Metro Manila.

Gutierrez is Sol Biglete, a romance novelist who hides under the pseudonym Soledad Miranda. She quits her job and goes back home to Dumaguete after repeatedly shunning the demands of her publisher, played by Dido dela Paz, to write erotic pocketbooks. Abalos is Lean Tan, a government auditor who dreams of becoming an accomplished writer, but has finished a course in accountancy instead upon the wish of his mother, played by Gina Lumauig. Sato, who is acting in his very first film after gracing the catwalk of countless fashion shows and appearing in several commercials, is Carlos Silva, a model who is searching for his roots.

After Sol leaves her job for Dumaguete through the help of her colleague and friend (Lexter Tarriela), she finds out about blogging from her niece (Naddie May Orillana) and makes use of this new tool to continue writing. Carlos, who finds his face on the cover of one of Sol’s pocketbooks, searches for her on the Internet and gets hooked with her writing, expressing his wish to meet her personally in the process. Meanwhile, Lean is assigned to audit in Dumaguete but his reclusive attitude leads him to Sol, whose romance novels play an unusual role in his life.

Directed by Sanchez from a 500,000-peso grant provided by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the film is also made possible through the major backing of Philippine Seven Corporation (7-Eleven), Pura Vida Beach and Dive Resort, Silliman University, On Cam Productions, Pixel Art Media Production Co., and the Katorse Writers Group, with minor support from the University of Makati Film Society, Antulang Beach Resort, Penshoppe, Hayahay Restaurant and Bar, Italia Restaurant, Café Antonio, Don Roberto’s, Shakey’s Dumaguete, Gifts Fashion, Chantilly Cake House, Waffle Time, and Boston Cafe.

The script, which was selected as one of the six finalists to the third Produire au Sud (Producing from the South) workshop during the sixth World Film Festival of Bangkok last year, was co-written by Sanchez and Richard Legaspi, batchmates at Ricky Lee’s 14th scriptwriting workshop. (The latter is set to direct his own feature Cyclone Loop for Cinema One Originals.)

Abalos appears courtesy of Star Magic/ABS-CBN Talent Center while Sato appears courtesy of Mercator Models Management. The film will then be shown at the Robinsons Galleria Indie Sine from July 29 to August 4 before touring schools nationwide and other film festivals abroad.

It will have its Dumaguete premiere in September.

[photos courtesy of seymour sanchez and jason abalos]

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