Cinemalaya 2010 Awards Night

1:23 PM

Beyond Fashion: The reality of the audiences' visual conditioning continues to plague conceptual filmmaking.

Black lace dress with tulip skirt | Sequined heel-less shoes Thrifted | Pearls Tita's |

Not even one.

The verdict has been given. Last July 18, 2010 (Sunday), the Cinemalaya Film Festival awarded the winners and our own film entry, Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio didn’t snag any trophy within our category.

Upset? Not really.

Sad? Yes I was. But not anymore.

I wanted to win but I didn’t expect. Knowing how crushing it can be to have too high hopes, I didn’t let that happen to myself. I don’t know for some of my colleagues though. There were five entries in our category and not receiving a prize isn’t shameful at all.

Part of me felt that (yeah, maybe) we wouldn’t win. Simple logic: it is because the human eye has been trained to appreciate Hollywood or mainstream cinema, and the human mind has been conditioned to visual narrative styles and has continuously resisted deciphering experimental stylistic attempts of filmmakers.

My shoes are doing the talking.

This is what this historical film is all about – experimental in storytelling, visual technique and metaphorical allusions. Our director, Mario O’Hara, who is unknown to majority of Filipinos (but has been recognized in the international scene), is ironically cited in local and international film books as one of the best Filipino filmmakers that ever lived along side with Lino Brocka (died 20 years ago), Ishmael Bernal (died in 1993) and Mike De Leon (rumors say he has gone crazy now).

All his films were never blockbuster hits and were never (yes, never) appreciated by ordinary film audiences. However, most were recognized by international film festivals and were categorized by film books as “canonical”. He has always been underrated and even though he was (many times) given the chance to make it mainstream like other directors, he denied his opportunity because he never compromised his art or his film to the commercial demands of producers.

Mario O’Hara films are critically acclaimed by film academicians and critics both local and global. His name suddenly pops out of nowhere whenever he wins something abroad and though he hardly makes movies, every time he does, film experts have nothing more to say but praises.

70% didn’t or may not like the film. I don’t blame them. Society dictated the way people watch films. It is not their fault that they are stuck within the standards of mainstream and Hollywood cinema. The social world, commercialism, entertainment industry, and the celebrity-centered paradigm are the ones to blame for that. That's reality anyway.

The other 30%, those who understood the concept, symbolisms, and layers of the movie said that Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio (The Trial of Andres Bonifacio) is a masterpiece. I don’t hail them for commending the film. I just realized that only 30% are real film enthusiasts – those who do understand what filmmaking is all about.

This implies that only a mere few have access to neorealist/surrealist/experimental films. Only the unpopular some have access to a plethora of visual aesthetics like those offered by French/European/Asian/Indian (and others) cinema. This is what I am sad about. A significant number are ignorant to the world, with very limited understanding and interpretation of art, juxtapositions and highly conceptual materials. This is a subject of concern that I cannot elaborate further; I wish my film professors are here to explain this. (I highly encourage you to take your time reading film papers for more).

The film isn’t perfect but I love my own. And I stand proud of our work.

P.S. Don't get me wrong. Donor and Two Funerals (the two who bagged most awards) deserved their awards. They are good narrative films.

1.) Alfred Vargas as Andres Bonifacio. 2.) Lance Raymundo (in Barong Tagalog) as Emilio Aguinaldo

If you missed the festival, this July 28, 2010 is your chance to catch in UP Film Institute at 7:30PM.

Having doubts on whether or not, you should watch the movie? Read some Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio (The Trial of Andres Bonifacio) reviews!

1.) Philippine Entertainment Portal Review or by Elvin Luciano

2.) Quickie Review by Jessica Zafra of jessicarulestheuniverse (author/blogger/journalist)

3.) Cinemalaya Day 5 Review by Present Confusion (UP Cineaste member-alumni)

4.) Click the's review by Philbert Dy

5.) Peyups forum insights by random people

Second half of this post: Feast your eyes on the awarding coverage photos by yours truly. Lots of Filipino celebrities.

1.) Gretchen Baretto, wife of Cinemalaya producer Tony Boy Cojuangco

2.) Dawn Zulueta of Sigwa by Joel Lamangan

1.) The dashing heartthrob TJ Trinidad

2.) Husband of character and comedy actress Tessie Tomas

I love the girl's hair. Don't you too? Sorry I don't know her... uhmm.

1.) Emcees: Iza Calzado and Cogie Domingo. I'm so sorry Cogie but you did really bad at hosting. 2.) OMG!! It's Christian Bautista. He's sooo cute!

Best Actress awardee and "Indie Princess" Meryl Soriano wore and all-black blazer, suit and heels; then added a hot pink tank top as inner. She was talking to a TV5 reporter.

1.) Suzette Ranillo and LJ Moreno. Moreno wears a silk, empire-cut, halter gown with black purse and silver accessories. 2.) Joem Bascon (Meryl Soriano's bf) attended the event in a casual slightly distressed jeans, gray long-sleeved polo and white sneakers.

My friend, and APNB's editor, Apol Dating wore her little black dress, lace-up pump and black shoulder bag. Love her natural curls.

My boyfriend and I sat together. We have an extra guy thinking deeply behind us. Haha.

More photos? Visit my page.

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  1. Ah, sorry you didn't win, but keep up the hard work!
    Love the shoes!

    Off The Wardrobe

  2. you look gorgeous,melai!
    i super loveeeee the heels.stylish and thrfited!perfect!

  3. I love your dress and blog lay-out!

  4. I have always admired filmmakers! This is something you should definitely be proud of :)

    Plus! Hello lovely shoes!!

  5. This is one of the best blog posts ive read
    And you look amazing btw :)


  6. such a pretty dress and i love those eclectic shoes! hurray for filipino film and art!


  7. Great outfit dear, I just wish I can see some of the indie films here, if we can download or at least buy somewhere here in Thailand.

    It is pretty nice eyeing on some famous celebrities...

    and the fact that Dawn is still as gorgeous compared to La Greta. hahahhha! I am always a fan of non-surgical beauty...
    the real beauty!!!

    it seems you had a fun night...

    the photo of you and your lovey dovey is so cute...

    take care love

  8. you look itś so pretty!


  9. your shoes are super interesting!

  10. gorgeous outfit!! & your shoes are to die for!! they're amazing!!

  11. I love your dress! beautiful!:)

  12. I'm sorry you didn't win. A failure will always follow by a success someday. So keep up the good work. I guess your film is great cause you got many categories :)
    btw i love your shoes <3

    hugs amd kisses, Icha

  13. Sorry you didn't win :( But in every failure always follow a great success someday. so keep up the good work, girl! and i guess your film is great because you got many categories :D
    btw love your shoes <3

    hugs and kisses, Icha

  14. You look lovely! Your shoes are amazing!

  15. I love your shoes. :)

  16. Sorry you didn't win... at least you looked adorable! Love that dress. :)

  17. i bet you had the coolest shoes there

  18. love your outfit.. as usual you look sweet. thanks for your comment dear.. have a nice day then!

  19. Thanks for the tip! Do you have a link? I cant find them?

  20. aaw sucks about not getting any awards, but your shoes are so damn gorgeous i think having them makes up for it!

  21. love your outfit here melai! So eclectic!:)

  22. your sequins are SUPERRRRR COOLLL !!!

    re: the 4th photo on my previous post was only color corrected :) the blurry edges came from the original photo itself :)

  23. i love your dress Mel!!!=) and your shoes is a killer. I want it:) Hope you still enjoyed your night. Love the last photo--sweet:)

  24. i love your dress, you look gorgeous!

  25. Oh, sorry to hear that you didn't win, Melai. You're a talented girl, I'm sure this isn't your last chance. :) And your outfit is still great! You look very fierce and also elegant. A perfect dress for the evening.

    Lino Brocka is my favorite of all time!

    B from A plus B

  26. your shoes are thrifted??? amazing find!! i am a new follower :)


I appreciate anything you have to say. Thanks for dropping by. It means so much to me. Love, Melai

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