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Filipino indie in India

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BENITO Bautista (left) directs Solenn Heussaff and Kiko Matos in a busy Mumbai market.

Think Bollywood rom-com with a Filipino flavor. Or, Pinoy indie in India. Benito Bautista, the filmmaker behind the gritty drama “Boundary” and the lyrical documentary “Harana,” makes a 180-degree turn with “Mumbai Love,” a romantic romp partly shot in India.   As in any project, Bautista and his team encountered not a few challenges. The [...]

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Filipino wins prize in Busan

Filipino director Benito Bautista’s coming film “Samuel Over the Rainbow” won the CJ Entertainment Award at this year’s Asian Project Market, which coincided with the Busan fest in South Korea.

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PH film in Busan market

BENITO Bautista richard reyes

Filipino filmmaker Benito Bautista’s new film, “Samuel over the Rainbow,” has been selected for the Asia Project Market (APM) of the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea in October. The APM is billed by organizers as an art-house film-financing event. Bautista describes his film, the only Filipino entry at the APM, as a dark comedy inspired by true events. Set in a fishing village in Zambales, it’s about a tormented priest, a meanderer and a fisherwoman. Bayani San Diego Jr.

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Benito Bautista’s ‘Harana’ wins in San Francisco filmfest

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MANG Felipe Alonzo was “a kind man with a golden voice.”

Benito Bautista’s “Harana” won the Audience Award for Documentary at the Center for Asian American Media Film Festival in San Francisco, according to
Babyruth Villarama-Gutierrez of Voyage Studio, which edited the documentary.

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Rave for ‘Harana’

Benito Bautista’s documentary “Harana” got a rave review from San Francisco Chronicle’s G. Allen Johnson. “Harana,” which recounts the search for traditional serenaders in the Philippines, will premiere in San Francisco on March 16, as part of the Center for Asian American Media Film Festival.

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‘Harana’ in Santa Barbara

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SCENE from “Harana,” which features the dying tradition of serenaders

Filipino-American Benito Bautista’s documentary “Harana” will compete at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California, which starts Jan. 24 and ends on Feb. 13. “Harana” is featured in the Cinesonic section, which highlights “iconic musicians who have changed the sonic landscape and pushed cinema in new directions.” Bautista is one of the honorees in last December’s Inquirer Indie Bravo! Tribute.

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Well-traveled indie film makes it to Shangri-La

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RONNIE Lazaro in “Boundary”

It’s curiously “serendipitous,” Benito Bautista said, that his indie film “Boundary” will open at the Shangri-La mall on December 5, at the start of the Christmas season.

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Harana King takes final bow

FLORANTE Aguilar (left) and the Harana Kings

Farmer Celestino Aniel, one of the singers featured in Benito Bautista’s documentary “Harana,” passed away on Sunday after a lingering illness.

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‘Boundary’ in Guam

RONNIE Lazaro in “Boundary”

Benito Bautista’s “Boundary” will compete at the Guam International Film Festival, set Sept. 27-30.   Last year, “Boundary” won the Netpac prize at Cinemalaya and special mention at Cinemanila.   The indie drama stars Ronnie Lazaro as a taxi driver who crosses paths with a mysterious passenger played by Raymond Bagatsing.   Its website says [...]

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Indie docu immortalizes Pinoy love songs

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FLORANTE Aguilar (left) and the Harana Kings

When filmmaker Benito Bautista asked a fellow Fil-Am if the latter knew what harana was, the answer stumped him. “The kid thought it was a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco,” Bautista recalled. This “disconnect” between the present generation and traditional Filipino art forms becomes wider with each passing day, he added. Bautista, who won the [...]

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‘Harana’ in Hollywood

APL.DE.AP. Photo by RUBEN NEPALES

Serenaders discovered during the filming of Benito Bautista’s docu, “Harana,” made their international concert debut at the Hollywood Bowl on July 8. The Harana Kings were invited by Apl.de.ap to perform in the concert, which celebrates global Filipino music. Other performers included Ogie Alcasid, Dessa, Kayamanan ng Lahi, Martin Nievera, Sandwich, Nicole Scherzinger and the Rondalla Club of Los Angeles. “Harana” premieres locally at the Cinemalaya fest this month.

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US-based Filipino director wins coveted prize for film about taxicabs in Manila

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It has been a heady ride so far, much like commuting in a taxicab on the chaotic streets of Manila. Still, winning the Netpac [Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema] prize for his film “Boundary” at this year’s Cinemalaya was “heartwarming and momentarily surreal,” says Benito Bautista. Cinching the prize was the farthest thing [...]

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