‘Toy Story’ producer to grace Cinemalaya Film CongressBy Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Swiss-American graphic designer Ralph Guggenheim, producer of the Pixar animated franchise “Toy Story,” will be the guest speaker at the annual Cinemalaya Film Congress slated this month.
“He’ll be coming over to dialogue with local animation artists and producers of gaming productions, as well as share his experiences in animation storytelling and story-selling,” said Chris Millado, Cinemalaya festival director and artistic director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
The film, animation and gaming congress will coincide with the annual Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival this month.
“This year, we’re going full force in terms of our forums,” Millado announced. “There will be a big congress involving academicians, practitioners and members of the media to discuss the dynamic interaction between what is called independent filmmaking and what is being perceived as mainstream.”
He added: “It has been an ongoing debate and we hope that this year’s congress will bring that to fore and come up with an enriching dialogue on this issue.”
The “Made in the Philippines 2012 Film, Animation and Gaming Congress: Story-telling and Story-selling” that features Guggenheim is scheduled on July 26 and 27 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the CCP.
Guggenheim graduated with a degree in communications in 1977 at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He then worked for the New York Institute of Technology Computer Graphics Lab, where he was contacted by Lucasfilm.
He moved to California in 1980 and developed for Lucasfilm the EditDroid, which proved to be a revolutionary film-editing system. After his research lab at Lucasfilm was sold and renamed Pixar, Guggenheim continued to work in graphics and animation.
A respected founder of Pixar, Guggenheim eventually became vice president of Feature Animation and was a lead producer of “Toy Story.” Guggenheim left the company in 1997 and started Alligator Planet LLC with three other partners.
Another event, the “2012 Manila Film Financing Forum,” a business meeting to look for practical solutions to film financing and distribution, is scheduled on July 21.
Going full force
“After eight years of producing and presenting excellent films, Cinemalaya has now inspired the creation of other festivals that encourage the new voices, new ways of telling stories,” Millado said in his welcome speech during the media launch at the CCP last week.
“Cinemalaya has left an indelible mark in the landscape of Philippine cinema and continues to do so year after year. It is unstoppable,” he added.
Award-winning filmmaker Raymond Red, who is among the finalists in the Directors’ Showcase category, said: “As much as competition is an exciting component in any film festival, we’re not here to compete but to reach more audiences.”
Red’s “Kamera Obskura” will be up against four other films—Joey Reyes’ “Mga Munting Lihim,” Adolfo Alix Jr.’s “Kalayaan,” Jun Lana’s “Bwakaw” and Lawrence Fajardo’s “Posas.”
“The intent of ‘Kamera Obskura’ is to put focus and awareness on the value of our film heritage. We don’t have any silent movies surviving, so by reimagining an era that’s lost, I hope to remind people of the value of preserving heritage, history and culture,” Red told reporters at the CCP.
A new and special section in the Cinemalaya called the “Early Indies” will feature Red’s newly digitized super 8 films, as well as the early works of Kidlat Tahimik, Bibsy Carballo and Roxlee.
Joey Reyes said he was pleased to be in the same venue as the young filmmakers of Cinemalaya. “I feel like their grandfather,” he quipped. “It’s good because seeing them assures me that the tradition of indie filmmaking will continue. I’ve done a lot of films, but always, my favorites are those that share my vision and voice. They become very personal, much like this new film.”
He added: “‘Mga Munting Lihim’ is about the death of a friend, the importance of friendship and realizing who your true friends are.”
It stars Judy Ann Santos, Janice de Belen, Agot Isidro and Iza Calzado.
Out of the box
This year’s lineup in the New Breed category has subjects “that are unique and very specific,” said Millado, who has replaced Nes Jardin as Cinemalaya festival director. “They offer unusual, out-of-the-box perspective of what we see every day. And that’s what I think is the charm and challenge of watching Cinemalaya films.”
Ten films that will compete in this category are Vincent Sandoval’s “Aparisyon,” Aloy Adlawan’s “Ang Katiwala,” Marie Jamora’s “Ang Nawawala,” Julius Sotomayor Cena’s “Mga Dayo,” Mes de Guzman’s “Diablo,” Lemuel Lorca’s “Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino,” Paul Sta. Ana’s “Oros,” Loy Arcenas’ “Requieme!,” Emmanuel Quindo Palo’s “Santa Nina” and Gino Santos’ “The Animals.”
Millado added that this year’s Cinemalaya will also feature a special retrospective on the late Mario O’Hara’s work as an actor, screenwriter and director. “It’s only fitting to give him a tribute. He’s a silent titan,” said Millado.
O’Hara’s “Tubog sa Ginto,” “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang,” “Insiang,” “Tatlo Dalawa Isa,” and “Babae sa Breakwater” will be part of the exhibition program.
The “Cinemalaya Documentaries” section will include the work of Tribeca Film Festival awardee Marty Syjuco, titled “Give Up Tomorrow,” which Millado described as “a riveting documentary following the celebrated case of the Chiong sisters and the Larrañaga family.” Lyca Benitez Brown’s “Dance of My Life” and J. Abello’s “Pureza” will also be part of the lineup.
Cinemalaya will feature 60 films on exhibition and 25 in competition. Aside from the CCP, a select lineup will also be screened at the Greenbelt Mall in Makati City and the TriNoma Mall in Quezon City.
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Tags: 8th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival , Chris Millado , Cinemalaya , Cinemalaya Foundation , Cultural Center of the Philippines , Guggenheim , Laurice Guillen , Mario O’ Hara , Nes Jardin