Tidbits from the “I America” Gala Night

It’s only fitting that I started this year’s Cinemalaya binge-fest with my friend’s entry. I America is Ivan‘s first Cinemalaya-nominated piece and his second full-length feature in 10 months. Most of all, it’s the actualization of his decade-long dream.

Last Saturday’s gala screening wasn’t short of surreal! Ten years ago, Ivan was just one of many enthusiasts watching from the CCP balcony, aspiring to become a filmmaker himself. Fast forward to 2016, and there he was, onstage, candidly introducing his piece!

Bela Padilla topbills this humorous and heart-wrenching saga. Here, she plays Erica, a half-American from Olongapo who hopes to move to the U.S. with her long-lost father. Complications arise when her progress yields more questions than answers. I America also stars Elizabeth Oropesa, Rob Rownd, Kate Bautista, Lui Manansala, Thou Reyes, Raflesia Bravo,  Rhyzza Kafilas, Matt Evans, Joe Vargas, Sheena Ramos, and Julz Savard.

 

I normally abstain from reviewing films by people I know – most especially when I’m involved in the production to any extent (I appear briefly in one sequence). But I’m still inclined to expound my thoughts in a separate entry.

For now, here are more snippets from that awesome evening.

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Direk Ivan introducing his cast and crew onstage
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The Kappa Kada corner
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Not in photo: the deluge of fans about to congratulate “Erica”
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Ambush post-screening selfie with the director!
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Singer and TV5 Talent Center alum Rhyzza Kafilas was a revelation in her nuanced portrayal of Balot. Prior to this, she’d been a grand finalist in Talentadong Pinoy, which technically makes us former workmates.
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With cast member Raflesia Bravo, a riot as Leona; she also appears in the current run of Rak of Aegis.
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Bonus flashback photo: Palamig with Bela on the first shooting day

Catch I America on the following remaining dates:

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