InterAksyon Cinema Club: ‘Patay na si Hesus’ is breakthrough gender-sensitive film

May 22, 2017 - 5:16 PM
Actors Jacklyn Jose, Vincent Viado, and Chai Fonacier pose for members of the press at the launch of InterAksyon Cinema Club, May 13, 2017. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

Cannes International Film Festival Best Actress for 2016, Jaclyn Jose, graced the launching of InterAksyon Cinema Club, which organized a special advance screening and forum of acclaimed black comedy film Patay na si Hesus

Ms. Jose leads the cast of characters in the movie, which so far has won the Audience Choice and Gender Sensitivity awards when it premiered last year at the QCinema International Film Festival.

Apart from the stellar performance of Ms. Jose who played Iyay, the audience—composed of students, film enthusiasts, and members of the press—lauded Chai Fonacier’s (Jude) and Vincent Viado’s (Hubert) performance as a daughter/transgender man and as a son with Down Syndrome, respectively.

InterAksyon editors and actors of ‘Patay na si Hesus’ gather at the launch of InterAksyon Cinema Club that featured a special advance screening of the said film. From left: InterAksyon managing editor Lourdes Fernandez; InterAksyon editor-in-chief Roby Alampay; “Patay na si Hesus” film producer Moira Lang; “Patay na si Hesus” writer, Fatrick Fabada; “Patay na si Hesus” executive producer Rex Tiri; “Patay na si Hesus” director Victor Villanueva; actor Vincent Viado; Film Development Council of the Philippines Liza Diño-Seguerra; actress Chai Fonacier; and “Patay na si Hesus” producer, Bianca Balbuena. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

During the forum attended by Fonacier and Viado, together with Victor Villanueva (director), Fatrick Fabada (writer), Moira Lang (producer), Bianca Balbuena (producer), Rex Tiri (executive producer), Fonacier revealed that she had to do research and “observe enough people” to be able to justify the transgender man she was playing.

This paid off as Lang, and Villanueva announced that next month, they will be joining the Frameline Festival—a San Francisco-based International LGBTQ Film Festival, which is dubbed as “the longest-running, largest and most widely recognized LGBTQ film exhibition event in the world.”

“We were surprised to receive the invitation from Frameline, where we will be having the international premiere. I think that’s largely thanks to the success ng pag-portray ni Chai as Jude. Ang galing niya,” Lang shared.

National Youth Commission chairperson Aiza Seguerra, who graced the event together with his wife, Film Development Council of the Philippines Liza Diño-Seguerra, gave his own review of the film.

“It was a great movie. I really had fun. It was a good mix of heart-tugging scenes at the same time, bigla kang papatawanin,” Seguerra shared during the forum.

The role of Viado, an actor afflicted with Down Syndrome, was also praised for the sweet yet unpatronizing way in which his role was treated.

Promoting Philippine cinema
The Cinema Club is an initiative of InterAksyon to support Philippine cinema as well as offer a platform for members of the independent film community to express and share their sentiments and visions.

“I want to thank InterAksyon for doing this, for thinking of putting up a cinema club because it’s so timely and kailangan naming lahat mga filmmakers. Madalas sinasabi namin, ‘why do we still do what we do?” Lang said in a speech.

“Thank you to Shangri-La for being a home to this cinema club. We need more like you. We need our Filipino filmmakers to grow, to thrive, and Filipino production companies to come in all shapes and sizes,” she added.

This dynamic synergy between different entities contribute to the commitment of InterAksyon Cinema Club and InterAksyon to “tell stories together.”

Roby Alampay, Editor-in-Chief shared, “In the digital age, we do believe that story telling is already something else and we can’t figure it out on our own. We reach out to various artists, various actors, to the civil society, we reach out to the private sector, and even the government; and ask them on how can we tell a story together because in this day and age, we can’t tell a story as completely as we want just by ourselves. That’s the whole rationale for the cinema club.”

InterAksyon editor-in-chief Roby Alampay welcomes the audience at the launch of the InterAksyon Cinema Club, May 13, 2017, at Cinema 3 of Shangri-la Plaza. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

He also previously noted, “The Cinema Club is aligned with InterAksyon’s mission to tell the story of the Filipino. We support Philippine cinema because we believe in the power of storytelling – particularly when it values truth. We are not talking fiction vs nonfiction. We are bound by our shared values for truth and its power to liberate and empower.”

Theater sponsor Shangri-La Plaza shares the same commitment of championing local films.

Marlene Dualan, the former Marketing Head of Shangri-La Plaza noted, “It’s part of Shangri-La Plaza’s aim to support culture and the arts. Shang Cineplex, as you know, is also home to a lot of film festivals here in the country. Let’s all support Philippine cinema especially the indie film industry.”

Together with Shangri-La Plaza, InterAksyon Cinema Club was supported by Samsung SmartTV, Oishi, Don Papa Rum, AirAsia, and The Bistro Group.

Watch for the next InterAksyon Cinema Club screening in July. Details will be announced on this site.