Thursday, March 15, 2007

Deathrow (2000)

   Genre: Crime/Action/Drama
   Directed by: Joel Lamangan
   Starring: Eddie Garcia & Cogie Domingo

               2000 Metro Manila Film Festival 2nd Best Film, Best Actor (Eddie Garcia), Best Production Design (Joey Luna), Best Film Editing (Jess Navarro and Kelly Cruz), Best Sound Recording (Albert Michael Idioma and Rudy Gonzales)
                           Won FAP (Film Academy of the Philippines) Awards for Best Actor (Eddie Garcia), Best Editing (Jess Navarro), Best Production Design (Joey Luna) and Best Supporting Actor (Pen Medina)
Won Gawad Urian Awards for Best Actor (Eddie Garcia), Best Editing (Jess Navarro and Kelly Cruz) and Best Sound (Albert Michael Idioma and Rudy Gonzales)
It was also given the Prix Du Meilleur Film Engage au Service d’une Cause (Prize for the Best Committed Film Championing a Cause) at the 23rd International Festival of Independent Films in Brussels, Belgium in 2001 for its sensitive yet realistic depiction of the plight of a juvenile delinquent on death row.
It was nominated for Golden Cairo Award in the 2001 Cairo International Film Festival.  It was shown and competed in other international film festivals.

Synopsis: An orphan raised among distant relatives in the slums of Manila, Sonny Corpus (Cogie Domingo) likes little more than hanging out with his buddies Celso, Jimmy, and Rodel. When Celso cons Sonny into participating in a robbery along with his friends, Jimmy and Rodel end up dead along with an old lady. Unable to prove his innocence of the crime (Celso pulled the trigger) and unable to prove his minor status, Sonny gets pinned with the crime and is sentenced to death. Sonny quickly learns the rules and hierarchies of the prison -- Mio is the boss who recruits Sonny as a pusher for his illicit smuggling business. His trusted henchman Gabino (Pen Medina) is quietly plotting a palace coup and tries to win Sonny over with gifts and favors. Yet when Sonny makes it clear that he's loyal to Mio, Gabino exacts an awful revenge. Later, Sonny is taken in by Lolo Sinat (Eddie Garcia), an aging gangster whom everyone in prison respects.

Proving the power of entertainment media, these three films successfully raised the consciousness of Filipino people regarding some societal ills and issues.  GMA Records and Home Video releases these “GMA Gems” to further extend social awareness locally and internationally.

 Release Date: March 2007
SRP: P 150

Sa Pusod Ng Dagat “In The Navel Of The Sea” (1998)

Throughout the years, GMA Films has produced several box-office, award-winning and critically acclaimed films.  Three of these were Sa Pusod Ng Dagat (1998), Muro-Ami (1999) and Deathrow (2000).  Now, you can view these so-called “GMA Gems” as GMA Records and Home Video releases them on DVD and VCD formats.

   Genre: Drama     
   Directed by: Marilou Diaz-Abaya
   Starring: Jomari Yllana

              Received two Star Awards in 1999 for Cinematographer of the Year (Romeo Vitug) and Original Screenplay of the Year (Jun Lana).  The film also received invitations from 17 prestigious film festivals abroad, an unprecedented achievement in the history of Philippine Cinema.

Synopsis: In a remote fishing island in the 50’s, Pepito (Jomari Ylana) grows up learning the trade of his mother, Rosa (Elizabeth Oropesa), the only midwife capable of delivering newborn babies in their community.   At first, the young son doesn’t mind the unusual arrangement, but as he grows older, he begins to resist the role traditionally meant only for women.  In time, Pepito’s coming of age intersects with the lives of the other islanders whose beliefs and struggles become critical impetus to his maturity.  Eventually, embarrassment and prejudices are overcome by acceptance and love between mother and son.

Release Date: March 15, 2007
SRP: P150

Muro Ami ”Reef Hunters” (1999)

   Genre: Action/Drama/Adventure
   Directed by: Marilou Diaz-Abaya
   Starring: Cesar Montano

          Winner of thirteen awards out of its sixteen nominations at the 1999 Metro Manila Film Festival including Best Child Performer (Rebecca Lusterio), Best Story (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Ricardo Lee, Jun Lana), Best Screenplay (Ricardo Lee and Jun Lana), Best Director (Marilou Diaz-Abaya) and Best Picture. It also received the Jury and Public Choice Award in the Bénodet Filmfest in France.

Synopsis: Muro Ami (Reef-Hunters) is a film that depicts one of the worst forms of child labor in the illegal fishing system.  Fredo is the ruthless captain of 150 Muro Ami divers.  The illegal fishing is done by pounding and crushing corals underwater to scare the fishes and luring them towards the nets. With a high quota to meet, Fredo forces the divers, who consist mostly of children, to accomplish at least eight dives a day to meet their goal before the millennium.  Tired and harassed after the burdening task being given to them, the children have to make do in subhuman conditions in the Muro Ami boat, The Aurora.  They sleep in rat-infested bunks and are fed only twice a day.  Life above the boat is much worse than the suffering the children encounter beneath the sea. For every dive, a child's life is perilously in danger.

Release Date: March 15, 2007
SRP: P150