Filipino Films at OUTFEST 2007’s Silver Anniversary (July 12 – 23)
By Oliver Carnay

OUTFEST, the non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media, commemorates its 25th anniversary with its annual Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, which will celebrate and screen films from July 12 through July 23, 2007.

Yearly, the Outfest, is one of the many film festivals I have been looking forward to attend. Screeners have been passed out to some credentialed press. There are a couple of Filipino films have been considered. “Rock Haven” is the first movie I’ve received in the mail. It stars Fil-Am Owen Alabado. There are two films from the Philippines included in this year’s Outfest, Aureaus Solito’s “Tuli” and Connie S.A. Macatuno’s “Rome and Juliet.” Multi-awarded and openly gay director Q. Allan Brocka is once again in the spotlight as his latest new tv-series will have its World Premiere.



Female intimate relationship in Rome and Juliet
ROME AND JULIET follows the romantic journey and soul mating of two straight women caught in a web of forbidden love. A conservative pre-school teacher, Juliet (Andrea del Rosario) is a bride to be who befriends and hires a liberated businesswoman, Rome (played by Mylene Dizon) as her wedding planner. As they go through the preparations, Rome and Juliet develop a deep friendship, a soulful connection and a love that is physically consummated. But conflicts arise when Marc (Rafael Rossell), the groom who is a young politician, shockingly discovers the ongoing relationship between the two women. Angered and humiliated, Marc calls off the wedding and a huge scandal explodes, leaving Rome and Juliet in a state of emotional turmoil. Not long after, Juliet is driven away from home by her mother, gets fired from work and later becomes a victim of a road mishap that puts her in a coma. But in the end, despite all the trials and hurdles Rome and Juliet's unconventional love for each other remains strong and intense. The film, directed by Connie S.A. Macatuno and co-written with Chris Violago, also stars Tessie Tomas, Glydel Mercado, and Mico Palanca.

ROME AND JULIET will screen at the Regent Showcase on July 21, Saturday, at noon.


(Photo: A scene from Aureaus Solito's TULI)

Aureaus Solito’s TULI
Director Auraeus Solito (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros) returns to Outfest with his latest digital film “Tuli,” an enchanting tale set in a lush Filipino village. Tuli (Filipino for circumcise), is the story of Daisy (played by Desiree Del Valle) and her life in an isolated province in the Philippines. Daisy's father (Bembol Roco), an abusive drunkard who always picks on her and his wife (Eugene Domingo), is responsible for the circumcision of almost all the males in town. His father wants Daisy to follow in his footstep as the town folk’s official circumciser, at the same time fixing a marriage to a man she does not love (played by Luis Alandy). All the while, her best friend Botchok (played by Vanna Garcia) is also suffering herself. Daisy shocks her small, patriarchal society when she resists the marriage arranged for her. And when she falls in love with her female friend Botchok, the village erupts in turmoil. Old World spiritualism and colorful rituals provide a backdrop to this story of personal transformation and modern sexual awakening.

The film, which won Best Film and Best Director at the 7th Cine Manila International Film Festival also stars Carlo Aquino and Ana Quiambao. Tuli is Solito's second feature. His first feature film, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, screened at Sundance in 2006, went on to win 14 international awards, including 3 awards at the Berlin Intenational Film Festival. The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros” was also nominated for best foreign film at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards and was the Philippine’s entry for the 2007 Oscars.

Collaborated with BARANGAY (The gay Filipino Association of L.A.) and Imperial Court of L.A. and Hollywood, “Tuli” screening will take place on Saturday, July 21 at 7:45 p.m. at DGA 2.

Special screening of Q. Allan Brocka’s new LOGO series
Also, not to be missed at the OUTFEST is the special screening of multi-awarded Filipino-American director, Q. Allan Brocka’s “Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World,” which will include an exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the making of LOGO”s newest series, and a Q&A with Allan and cast members following after the screening. Based on the hit short film by Brocka (which premiered at Outfest in 1999), the new series (which premiered on July 10 at LOGO Channel) features the voices of Alan Cumming, Margaret Cho, Wilson Cruz, Peter Paige, Liza del Mundo, Emily Brooke Hands, Mitch Morris, Lori Alan, Billy West, Taylor M. Dooley, Will Matthews, Laraine Newman, and Q. Allan Brocka.



Initially, the original short is about the gay ghettos in Lahunga Beach, where Rick and Steve make their fabulously decorated double-income-no-children home. That’s until Rick’s friend Kristen, asks him to father a child. Steve and Kirsten’s wife, Dana, however, are avowed mortal enemies. The film won Brocka, Outfest’s Best Narrative Video and Audience Award in 1999.

The special screening and panel discussion will take place at the Barnsdall Theatre on Thursday, July 19, at 9:30 p.m.

Check out more about Q. Allan Brocka and his films at his official web site at www.poshpictures.com

For more information regarding program of this year’s OUTFEST, please log on to www.Outfest.org or call the box-office at 213-480-7065. For ticket reservations, email at boxoffice@outfest.org.



07.09.07