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.
Catch I America on the following remaining dates: