“Puti” debuted in 2013 at the First Cine Filipino Film Festival. It was well-received by the festival audience and had impressed many critics with its rich, visual storytelling. The film garnered 3 awards including Best Cinematography, Production and Sound Design. “Puti” was also awarded “Best Debut Film” by the Young Critics Circle. The following year, it was selected for competition at the 32nd Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film. Despite the critical success, it was not released theatrically but instead did the rounds of school and gallery screenings. Nearly 4 years later, it will finally be given a commercial run under Cine Lokal. Cine Lokal is a program initiated by the Film Developmental Council of the Philippines in partnership with SM Cinema to give select films a second chance at reaching a wider audience. Put will be screened nationwide in 8 SM Cinemas in Metro Manila including Cebu and Iloilo.
~ More after the jump ~
Amir Luna (Ian Veneracion) is a skilled artist who makes a living painting forgeries. These are sold in the art black market. But his life changes when he gets into a car accident with his 8-year old son (Bryan Pagala). Amir survives the accident but suffers a head injury that renders him colour blind. His son is comatose. His world collapses as he struggles with the twin tragedies. While recuperating, strange things start happening to him.
The film features several original paintings by very talented Filipino artists. Most prominent is Geraldine Javier, one of the more successful contemporary artists in the Philippines today. Several of her paintings have fetched record sales in renowned auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Also used in the film were works by CCP 13 Artists awardee Juan Alcazaren III, abstract painter Bernie Pacquing, up and coming young artist Pam Celeridad and respected visual artist Roy Veneracion, father of lead star Ian.
MIKE ALCAZAREN, writer/director Mike has been directing television commercials for over two decades. He has also worked on several documentaries for the History Asia channel. Mike is a 2007 Carlos Palanca awardee for Screenplay, winning first prize for the Ninoy Aquino bio-pic, “Prisoner Alpha”. “Puti” is his directorial feature film debut. He is currently finishing a comic book series “Patay Kung Patay” about a zombie revolution that takes place in a hacienda. The comic book series was launched in 2015 and is on its 5th issue.
“I completed the screenplay for “Puti” in 2009. The film was inspired by Schubert’s classical opera piece “The Erlking”. It tells the story of a father who rushes his ill son to the doctor on horseback. While riding through the woods, they encounter the Erlking, a malevolent spirit. This idea of facing death and the relationship of father and son was an interesting theme for a film. Also, I wanted to explore the similarities between the art forms of painting and cinema. The two are intertwined in that they present an artist’s perspective of life in broad strokes. This gives the viewer more involvement in the art form by allowing different interpretations of the images presented before them. It just makes the experience more participatory.
BOY YNIGUEZ, director of photography Boy Yñiguez, was educated in architecture but took interest in photography as a profession before venturing into television commercials and movies. He has worked with the likes of Butch Perez in “Balweg: The Rebel Priest” and Jeffrey Jethurian in “Bisperas” and “Kubrador”, which won a Gawad Urian for Best Cinematography. Boy is one of the most respected cinematographers in both the advertising and film industries. He recently photographed the sleeper hit of the year “Kita Kita”.
RIOUS CALISO, production designer “Puti” also marks the feature film debut of Rious Caliso. He is one of the top production designers in advertising, creating memorable work for clients like Smart, L’Oreal, Palmolive, Rejoice and Pond’s. Rious is a graduate of PSID (Philippine School of Interior Design).
KELLY CRUZ-ABANO, editor Kelly has been film editor to over a dozen films. She won a Gawad Urian for Best Editing for the movie “Deathrow”, sharing the honors with another award-winning editor, Jesse Navarro. Kelly retired from editing in 2008 to concentrate on being a full-time mother. She makes her comeback with “Puti”.
MARK LACCAY, sound designer
Aside from being an audio engineer, music producer and audio archivist, Mark is the mind behind Artiste Connect, a crowd funding on-line platform which helps fund multi-media creative projects. As a sound designer, he has created award-winning work for independent films like “Tribu”, “Engkwentro” and “Dagim”. At this year’s 40th Gawad Urian Awards, Mark won for best sound design for “Hinulid”.
BREW PRODUCTIONS This is the second feature film line produced by Brew Productions. The first was the 2007 Cinemalaya film “Gulong”. The company specializes in TV commercial productions and is headed by CEO Annette Eufemio who also acted as line producer for “Puti”.