By: M. A. De los Santos
Ilonggo filmmaker, TM Malones bagged two major awards in the recently concluded Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017.
Malones, who hails from Maasin, Iloilo, won Best Cinematography for “Baconaua”, tie with Ike Avellana for “Respeto”, and Best Screenplay (Shorts) for “Bawod”.
“Baconaua” is a film directed by Joseph Israel Laban, and stars Elora Españo, Teri Malvar, JM Salvado, and Bembol Roco.
“Bawod”, on the other hand, is a film by Malones that stars Ilonggo visual artist, Allain Hablo and Diocel Marie Raso. Shot in a small rural village in the mountains of Iloilo, it is about a 12-year-old Thirdy, who is worried she will not be able to perform in her school’s annual Talent Show because she could not afford to rent a traditional costume and pay the required contribution.
“Her ailing but affable grandfather, Cesario, acts as her sole guardian. He works as a bamboo farmer, but they could barely make ends meet. In the midst of all these, Thirdy starts having visions of a mysterious man. She believes the apparition is that of her long dead father while everyone else dismisses her visions as nothing more than fantasies or illusions. On the day of the Talent Show, everything unravels as village problems and family secrets finally collide,” the film’s synopsis reads.
Malones is also known for films “Buang-bulawan”, “Sin-o ang tiktik?” and “Salvi: Ang Pagpadayon”.
Meanwhile, the film “Respeto” topped the Cinemalaya awards, with “Baconaua” and “Kiko Boksingero”.
Directed by Alberto Monteras II, “Respeto” was named Best Film and also took home the awards for Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor for Dido de la Paz.
Respeto was cited “for its infectious, propulsive energy, its highly convincing cast of characters and very effective ensemble acting, its breathtaking, nearly epic sweep of the underside of Manila, its expert application of the resources of cinema to depict a teenager’s drive to rise above poverty and violence, its cogent melding of contemporary rap and traditional oral literature, and its sheer humanity and coruscating poetry,” according to statement released by Cinemalaya.
The film was also named the audience choice for feature film and received the NETPAC Jury Prize.
The NETPAC jury praised the film “for tackling the complex issue of human rights violations across two generations, musically connected by the vibrant and socially conscious use of language.”
Angeli Bayani, meanwhile, was named best actress for “Bagahe” while former “The Voice Kids” contestant Noel Comia, Jr. took home the best actor award for “Kiko Boksingero.” (With a report from ABS-CBN News)