Award-winning Filipino film Director Aureaus Solito returns to OUTFEST in his latest controversial film "Boy"
By Oliver Carnay
“Boy,” the new film of Aureaus Solito, the famed director of the critically-acclaimed indie films “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros), “Pisay,” and “Tuli,” is screening on Friday, July 17, 9:30 p.m. at Fairfax Theatre (corner Beverly Blvd. and Fairfax Ave.) for the upcoming 27th annual Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (also known as OUTFEST 2009), one of the largest gay and lesbian film festivals in the world.
Solito’s film “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” was screened at OUTFEST in 2006, while “Tuli” his second film won the Outfest 2007 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Best International Narrative Feature. In his fourth film, Solito will return to OUTFEST 2009 with his new controversial film “Boy,” currently making the rounds in different film festivals in the world.
Banned by the censorship body of Singapore, the film was entered at the recent Singapore International Film Festival but Solito decided to withdrew “Boy in competition after Zhang Wenjie, SIFF festival director suggested that it remain in competition with just the jury watching it. Solito replied that he makes his films for his audience and not for a jury.
Solito’s second film “Tuli” (which means “circumcision”) suffered almost the same fate during the CineManila Film Festival when it was entered in competition. His film got an X rating from MTRCB and banned its exhibition, prompting producers to cut his film without Solito’s permission. He declared war and exposed the incident through a broadsheet writer and insisted the jury to watch the movie in full intact. The film won the awards for Best Film and Best Director. Solito felt so vindicated.
Because of this incident, Solito is not letting the censorship body of the Philippines to rate his film. Instead, he plans to screen “Boy” at the UP Film Institute and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, two free-censorship venues in his country.
“Boy,” is a cross between a coming-of-age film and an erotic one, in the ‘macho dancer’ genre. It is a funny and touching story of an up-and-coming poet who is smitten by Aries, a male stripper. The unnamed “boy” sells his prized collection of comic books and action figures to gather enough money so he can buy him and bring him home for the New Year’s Eve. The connection between the two central characters is sweet and fragile in a way that brings freshness to the film. Boy explores the relationship as a life-changing moment as the sensitive poet learns to grow more confident and assured his sexuality. As in Solito’s first film ‘Maximo,’ the film brings an inventive and delicate sensibility to this gay authentic story.
Outfest 2009 has lined up an impressive list of diverse, provocative, entertaining and powerful films, documentaries, shorts, features, special events and panel discussions. For more information awww.OUTFEST.org nd for a complete listing of films in the Festival, please log on to www.Outfest.org or call 213-480-7065. Festival tickets go on sale on June 8 to Outfest members and on June 15 to the general public. Special ticket packages are also available. Outfest’s 27th film festival is presented by HBO and the grand sponsors are Absolut Vodka and V Australia, with Premiere sponsors: The Directors Guild of America, My104.3 FM, One Hope Wineries, Regent Media and Stella Artios.