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22 February 2008

prizewinning film director and u.p. cal alumnus auraeus solito in u.p. diliman

HOMECOMING: a conversation with auraeus solito on PISAY, U.P., MAXIMO OLIVEROS and beyond

tuesday, 26 february 2008

2:30-4 pm

UP CAL AVR (Room 2104)
2nd floor, bulwagang rizal
college of arts and letters
university of the philippines
diliman, quezon city.

open to the public

Auraeus Solito (Palaw'an) studied theater arts at the College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, where he directed for the stage and wrote screenplays. Later, he studied filmmaking at the Mowelfund Film Institute. His thesis dramatic production at the University of the Phillipines was about the stories of the Palawanon, and after graduating Solito spent seven years living on the island of South Palawan, Phillipines. Solito's documentary, Basil Banar/The Scared Ritual of Truth about the Palawan Islands won Best Feature Documentary at the Montreal First Peoples' Festival. His first narrative feature, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, won the Golden Zenith Award at the Montreal World Film Festival and the Kinderfest International Jury's Grand Prize at the Berlinale in Germany. The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros was the opening film of the 2006 New Directors/New Films series presented by The Museum of Modern Art and The Film Society of Lincoln Center. Solito filmed The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros in Sampaloc, the neighborhood where he grew up in Manila, Phillipines As an Asian Public Intellectual Fellow of the Nippon Foundation, Japan, Solito made a documentary on island rituals in Okinawa and Borneo.

"Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros" won 15 international awards including 3 awards at the Berlinale (The Teddy award, International Jury Prize at the Kinderfest and Special Mention from the Children's Jury of the Kinderfest). It is also the first Philippine film nominated for Best Foreign film at the Independents' Spirit Awards in the US. It has been shown in more than 50 film festivals around the world.

“Tuli” , his second feature film, won Best Picture and Best Director at the Digital Competition at the 2005 CineManila Film Festival and recently won the NETPAC Jury Prize at the the Berlinale, International Forum for New Cinema; 2nd Prize for Best Feature Film at the Montreal Film Festival. It is at present making the rounds in film festivals in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

He is the first Filipino to make it to the premiere independent film festival in the world, the SUNDANCE Film Festival in Park City, Utah, USA; two years in a row for both “The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros” and “Tuli”.

“PISAY (Philippine Science)” is his 3rd dramatic feature film. It is a story about eight students who makes it to the premier science high school during the politically volatile 80’s in the Philippines. These students find the world outside, with the chaos of the end of the Marcos dictatorship erupting into the People Power revolution in 1986, being replicated within the school as they struggle to graduate, contend with teachers, classmates, family, school officials, and a new classification system to segregate students into two groups based on their academic ranking. It chronicles their journey of self discovery as they go through the joys and pains of adolescence. PISAY is the winner of the Best Director, Best Production Design and the Audience Choice Awards at the 2007 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. More recently, the film bagged Grand Jury and Audience Choice Prizes at the 14th Vesoul International Film Festival for Asian Films in France.

ang pagdadalaga ni maximo oliveros
(the blossoming of maximo oliveros)

(philippine science)

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16 February 2008

save philippine cinema 2: watch auraeus solito's pisay

"Pisay is a beautiful film, simple and sophisticated, direct and campy, one that gets better and better as it goes along. From the evidence gathered, the praise is valid for Filipino cinema as a whole, which is undergoing something of a renaissance.”

by Emmanuel Burdeau, Cahiers Du Cinema, France

Cahiers du Cinema is the most prestigious critics' group in the world. They have declared that Filipino cinema is on the verge of a renaissance. But in order to reach this renaissance, Philippine independent cinema needs an audience.

"Pisay" s the latest film by Auraeus Solito who also directed internationally awardwinning films "Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros" and "Tuli".

" Pisay”, with international title “Philippine Science", recently won two awards at the 14th Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in France: The Grand Prix du Jury (Grand Prize of the International Jury) and the Prix du Public (Audience Prize) for “its very high positive energy level, confirming the authenticity of Filipino cinema style and for the remarkable performance of its young actors” .

Help us reach the Renaissance of Philippine Cinema.

Please require your students to watch “Pisay” the movie.

Pisay will be shown February 20 –27 exclusively at the following SM theaters:

SM North Edsa Cinema 8

SM Megamall Cinema 9

SM Manila Cinema 4

SM Southmall

SM Fairview Cinema 6

SM San Lazaro Cinema 6



"Pisay" wins two major awards in the 14th Vesoul IFF in France

Jocelyn Dimaculangan, PEP

Friday, February 15, 2008

An indie film about eight exceptionally gifted high school students set in the politically volatile ‘80s has been honored in the 14th Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema.

Directed by Auraeus Solito, Pisay was cited for "good spirit, acting, scenario and direction" by jurors of the film festival considered as one of the oldest and largest Asian in Europe. Pisay won the Grand Prix du Jury (Grand Prize of the International Jury) and the Prix du Public (Audience Prize) during the film festival that took place in France from January 29 to February 5.

Auraeus went to France along with young actors EJ Jallorina, Carl Barrameda, Claudine Najera who played the students of Pisay, which is short for Philippine Science High School. The noted director is actually an alumnus of Pisay; he collated real stories from his classmates who were part of Batch ‘86. Production designer Endi Balbuena also joined the delegation for Pisay.

The film won the Best Director, Best Production Design, and Audience Choice awards in the third Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in July 2007.

Pisay will be shown from February 20 - 27 exclusively at the following SM theaters: SM North Edsa Cinema 8, SM Megamall Cinema 9, SM Manila Cinema 4, SM Southmall, SM Fairview Cinema 6 and SM San Lazaro Cinema 6.

Pisay (2007)

Director: Auraeus Solito

Writer: Henry Grageda


Gamy Lopez as Rom Meneses

Annicka Dolonius as Wena Ledesma

Carl John Barrameda as Mateo Markado

Elijah Castillo as Minggoy Lamasan

Shayne Fajutagana as Liway Claver

Jonathan Neri as Andy Gallardo

Alfred Alain Labatos as Daki Lim

EJ Jallorina as Euri Calo

Eugene Domingo as Ms. Casas, the Physics teacher

Arnold Reyes as Mr. G, the Biology teacher

SYNOPSIS. Pisay is written by Henry Grageda and directed by Aureus Solito of Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros fame. The film is about eight students who qualify as scholars in the government-run school in Quezon City, spanning the time they enter the school in 1982 until they graduate in 1986. These are turbulent times in contemporary history so the film is not just their story but also that of the nation. Filipinos were outraged by the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in August 1983, spurring them to stage the first EDSA People Power revolution leading to the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos.

The film is divided into four episodes, each correspoding to a specific year of schooling. "Freshman" is about young love. Gammy Lopez (twin brother of Nathan Lopez who played Maximo Oliveros), an intelligent teener whose mom is a market vendor, falls in love with a balikbayan mestiza. In the process, his grades suffer. Their concerned teacher (played by Eugene Domingo) wants him to enter an Ivy League school in abroad and convinces him to forget about his infatuation with Annicka Dolonious.

"Sophomore" is about an overweight boy from Cebu played by Carl John Barrameda who graduated valedictorian in their hometown and is now bullied by bigger boys in their dorm. He gets so terribly homesick and this affects his performance in class so badly that he is danger of flunking geometry.

"Junior" is about a girl, played by Shayne Fajutana, whose parents are both political activists. To complete an experiment in class, she is paired with a budding cadet played by Jonathan Neri. They develop feelings for each other while working on the story of Macliing Dulag and the Chico River project. However, Shayne's parents are being persecuted by the government so they are forced to leave quietly for abroad. Shayne drops out from Pisay without even saying goodbye to her friends.

"Senior" is about Euripedes (EJ Jallorina), an effeminate boy with artistic flair who discovers that he is more inclined to the arts. Pisay scholars are required to major in science courses when they go to college. If they enroll in other courses, then they would have to pay back the government for the years they spent as Pisay scholars.

This episode opens with a play being performed on stage, with Euri playing the role of Sisa. Euri has a hard time filling up his application form for entrance exams in college because he cannot decide on whether he should take up a science course or the theater arts.

In the end, the tragedy that befalls his classmate and best friend, Elijah Castillo (the child actor who played the title role in Pepot Artista) helps him make a final decision.

These young students find the world outside—erupting into the People Power Revolution in 1986—being replicated within the school as they struggle to graduate, contend with teachers, classmates, family, school officials and a new classification to segregate students into two groups based on their academic ranking.

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13 February 2008

save philippine cinema: please watch ENDO

Catch ufo Pictures' award-winning film ENDO as it opens today, Wednesday, February 13, in Gateway, Glorietta 4, and SM (Megamall, North Edsa, Manila, Southmall, Fairview, Centerpoint) cinemas!

Graded "A" by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB), Endo is the story of Leo (Jason Abalos), a temp worker who is used to the temporary. Typical of many young Filipinos, he hops from one contractual job to the next in order to earn a living for himself and his family. His relationships are similarly fleeting. When he meets the spirited dreamer Tanya (Ina Feleo), he is suddenly faced by the promise of a better future, but he doesn't seem equipped to handle it.

"Endo shows a certain pride in indie filmmaking that is... very timely, very human," said the CEB. "The problem of labor contractualization, though a glaring truth both in real and reel, is brilliantly crafted by the director in a style that is understated and unobtrusive."

The CEB lauded Feleo and Abalos for their "very real and excellent"performances. Feleo, who won Best Actress in the 2007 Cinemalaya Film Festival, is "luminous and fills the screen with her performance," said the CEB. "She is brilliant and she should do more movies."

The movie industry "should support real talents like Ina and Jason," said many of the CEB reviewers.

The board commended Endo's writer/director Jade Castro, as well as co-writers Michiko Yamamoto and Raymond Lee, for their "refreshing" treatment of a common experience "that is not done in the mainstream."

*Read about the film and director Jade Castro

*Watch Endo's new trailer:

*Visit our blog for regular updates. Add us up on multiply:

*Official site:*


ENDO opens in theaters TODAY!

Here's the schedule of screening times per cinema on
February 13, 2008:

















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