Night of independents | Inquirer Entertainment

Night of independents

/ 09:15 PM December 14, 2013

(First of two parts)

Four honorees brought their moms; two others, their girlfriends; another two, their boyfriends; one, her high-school principal. Another got to meet her high-school crush at last.


The Inquirer Indie Bravo! Awards – held at PDI’s Makati office on Thursday night—was the perfect time for these cool, hip indie artists to share their triumphs with the people they wanted to impress the most.


Director-honoree Ian Loreños’ date was his girlfriend and producer Marge Lao. Benito Bautista was with partner Emma Francisco. A first-time honoree, director Dwein Baltazar, who gave birth four months ago, was with her partner, animator Patrick Apura, and producer Joe Alandy.

ANITA Linda (center) with PDI chair Marixi R. Prieto and Sen. Grace Poe (right). JILSON SECKLER TIU

Another first-timer to the annual party, filmmaker Hannah Espia, served as interpreter for boyfriend Andrej Farba of Slovakia. While translating her fellow honorees’ speeches, she said, she realized how huge their achievements were.

“I couldn’t help but be proud of how far Philippine independent cinema has gone,” Espia said.

Packed hall

Director Erik Matti pointed out that when he received his first Guyito and Indie Bravo! in 2010, everyone was casually dressed. “But now some of the honorees are wearing jackets.”

Indie Bravo! has surely grown – and not just because there were 28 honorees in this fourth edition, in time for the paper’s 28th anniversary.


Marixi R. Prieto, Philippine Daily Inquirer chairperson, noted that the multi-purpose hall on the building’s second floor had become more packed since the first event. She suggested a bigger place next time—the top floor of Inquirer’s other building two blocks away, the Media Resource Plaza. At the same time, she challenged the filmmakers to “double” this past year’s winnings to ensure a grander celebration.

Not that the indies tend to sit back and relax. That day’s issue of the Inquirer carried news of the victory of Joseph Israel Laban’s “Nuwebe” in Brazil.

“Nuwebe” is the same film that won for actor-honoree Barbara Miguel a best actress trophy at the Harlem fest in New York—which got her the Indie Bravo! citation. Miguel, all of 9 years old, was accompanied Thursday night by mom Renerich Ocon.

Another actor-honoree, Sandy Talag, brought an entire team of guardians—director Jacco Groen, producer Eunice de Asis, mom Anne and brother Stef and high-school principal Sister Emelita Cruz, OP.

Talag, a 15-year-old Catholic school student, explained that she didn’t ask permission from the principal when she accepted the role of a child prostitute in “Lilet Never Happened.” But, she reported, “My teachers didn’t scold me and they were so proud when I won abroad.”

The trophies were invariably dedicated to parents, lovers, colleagues and friends who supported the honorees through their travails in indie filmmaking.

Actor Jericho Rosales said he had “bills to pay,” but couldn’t resist his role in “Alagwa,” for which he was cited. He thanked the indie community for opening his eyes to a world “beyond commercialism.”

Offer to direct

Moved by the atmosphere of camaraderie throughout the program, Rosales volunteered to direct next year’s Inquirer Indie Bravo! ceremony.

Director Lawrence Fajardo gave the most spirited speech, carrying his own props (“because I’m a visual person and not good with words”)—a folder filled with past Inquirer articles (his mom’s collection) dating back to 2005, when he joined the Cinemalaya shorts section. “My treasures,” he said.

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Cinemalaya, represented by Nes Jardin and Chris Millado, received the most enthusiastic shout-outs from the honorees, but other awardees also made films under Cinema One (Baltazar, Gutierez Mangansakan II) and CineFilipino (Sigrid Andrea Bernardo).

(Conclusion Monday)

TAGS: cinema, Entertainment, Film, Indie Bravo Awards, Indie movies, Movies

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