NOHO LOS ANGELES, CA – Two musicals, two bio-pics, a mockumentary and five other short films debuted at FilAm Creative’s annual filmmakers premiere night in North Hollywood aka NoHo on July 27, at the Regency Valley Plaza 6 Theater.
FilAm Creative (FAC) is the premiere Filipino-American creative organization promoting a more culturally integrated and diverse entertainment industry. By providing educational and community-oriented programming and resources, FAC aims to encourage and create leaders who share our vision. Based in Los Angeles, this community organization is dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Filipino Americans in media and entertainment. FilAm Creative is dedicated to the advancement of Fil-Ams in entertainment and media. It combines ‘DIY (Do-It-Yourself) ambition with a pro community attitude’ with members who are primarily, but not limited to Filipinos, but believe in the group’s mission. For more information, contact Dale Chung, Director of Public Relations, [email protected] or call 510.866.6487
The lovely musical tale, ‘Mango Sticky Rice,’ (2016, 15 minutes, 21 seconds), directed by Fil-Am Mallorie Buenaventura Ortega, follows lovelorn restaurant worker, Chris (Topher Park), as he pines away for Katie (Mina Son), who knows she has to do something about her life of binge-watching with only her cat on the couch, and gets entangled in a hilarious date with online find, Phil (George Tsai). Music by Diana Cha and lyricist Jahmal Holland was well executed by the film’s 24-member sound and music departments: from foley artists, to voice coach Steve Greist, the chamber orchestra members, and recording/mixing engineers. The film won Best Director, Best Comedy and Best Ensemble Cast in the 2016 Asians on Film Festival. Mallorie’s next musical feature is ‘NanayKo,’ set to debut in 2020.
The raw and in-your-face short that ends in a raunchy and humorously raucous music video, ‘Ugh, Straight Girls (Baes Welcome),’ (2017, 8 minutes) stars Fil-Am Mara De La Rosa (producer) and features Fil-Am Marilu Bustamante as Erica, a straight girl, who becomes the object of affection for both Mara (De La Rosa) and Mary (Marisol Nava), millennial lesbians who become enamored with Erica at a party when she speaks to each in Tagalog or Spanish. Mary and Mara’s disappointment in finding out that Erica is heterosexual devolves into their music video lament. The word ‘Baes’ in the title is a double-entendre: in English it means girlfriend and in Tagalog girl/woman.
‘Act Like a Woman,’ (2018, 14 minutes), shows the poignant story of FilAm Creative’s membership chair FilAm Angel Qinan’s transition and constant rejection by the film industry. Written, produced and directed by Drama Del Rosario. On the lighter side is the (2018, 5 minutes) ‘Mesti-So?!’ Ron Nery Jr., a ‘predominantly Filipino’ multiracial actor born in the ‘happiest place on Earth,’ Anaheim, California, where Disneyland is located, logs the rejections at auditions where directors either want you to be more ethnic or more light-skinned. Nery co-wrote and co-produced this humorous bio-pic.
On the fantasy side of the FilAm Creative film fest was: ‘Bangarang’ (2017, 17 minutes, 24 seconds), a delightful Peter Pan prequel where a boy named Roofus (the charmingly talented Fil-Am Sheaden Gabriel, who took dance classes at The Lab Creative Arts Studio in West Covina, escapes to Neverland. Fil-Am Dante Basco, who plays middle school Principal Cullen, was featured in the movie ‘Hook’ (1991); and ‘Typical Ellie’(2018, 6 minutes) about video-gamer girl Ellie (Kathleen Neubauer) who becomes a video game heroine IRL (in real life). Written, directed and produced by Fil-Am Vince Cruz.
‘The Blind Center’ mockumentary (2017, 15 minutes, 12 seconds) features truth-revealing, behind-the-scenes outtakes, from a fundraising video for a community center for the blind. Produced and directed by Manila-born Tim Cruz, the film won the 2017 Film Invasion Los Angeles Grand Jury Prize. It stars Lindsay Nyman, who also wrote the script.
The heartfelt ‘I Won’t Miss You’ (2016, 25 minutes) directed by Fil-Am Bernard Badion, is a look at enduring friendships between the living and the dead, written by Fil-Am Joy Regullano in memory of a friend who died too soon. Regullano plays Janey, whose dead friend, Tim (Kelly Sry), continues their sweet and funny relationship from beyond, full of the easy banter of true friends. Rounding out the films shown at The Regency Valley Plaza 6 in NoHo, on July 27: ‘Sins of Our Father’ (2017, 6 minutes, 29 seconds), and ‘Baby on the Way’ (2018, 10 minutes).