ABOUT US BUT NOT ABOUT US to screen at LGBT Frameline Film Festival at Roxie Theatre in San Francisco on JUNE 20

By Oliver Carnay

The award-winning Filipino film ABOUT US BUT NOT ABOUT US starring ROMNICK SARMENTA and ELIJAH CANLAS is heading to San Francisco’s LGBT Frameline Film Festival, screening on June 20, 6 p.m., at the Roxie Theatre (3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103).
Two characters, in an attempt to understand love, assume the persona of the third character whose memory haunts, evades and condemns them both.  In life, we wear many masks to project the image we want others to see.  We often lie to make ourselves interesting, thereby twisting and repurposing truths to sway people to our side.  We spit words like venom, throw verbal punches at each other in the name of defending our interests.  Could the sum of our being be made up of nothing but false narratives and distorted memories?  This is the statement that came from Director Jun Robles Lana.
The film tells the story of Eric (Romnick Sarmenta), a literature professor at the English Department of the University of the Philippines, who meets up with his student, and rumored lover, Lancelot (Elijah Canlas), months after the suicide of Marcus, a celebrated Filipino writer best known for his novels in English, and Eric’s lontime partner.  As their conversation becomes more detailed and complicated, secrets and lies will be unearthed and the sinister nature of their identities will be revealed while they all wrestle with the truth.
Romnick Sarmenta and Elijah Canlas deliver subtle and engrossing performances, as they gently probe each other’s vulnerabilities and expose both deep wounds and unexpected strengths as teacher and student.  It’s a deft and surprising screenplay exploring the way two men of different generations navigate, or conceal, their own identity.
The film bagged 10 major awards at the recent Summer Metro Manila Film Festival (Best Picture, Best Actor for Romnick Sarmenta, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Screenplay and Best Director for Jun Lana, Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Musical Score, and Special Jury Prize for Elijah Canlas).  It also won BEST FILM CRITICS PICKS at the 27th PÖFF Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

For tickets and other films participating at the 47th Frameline Film Festival, please log on to www.frameline.org