“We support Philippine cinema because we believe in the power of storytelling—particularly when it values truth. We are not talking fiction vs nonfiction. We are bound by our shared values for truth and its power to liberate and empower.”
That was how InterAksyon editor-in-chief Roby Alampay explained the rationale behind the InterAksyon Cinema Club, which was launched Saturday with a successful special screening of the acclaimed black comedy, “Patay na si Hesus.”
Presented in partnership with Shang Cineplex and Shangri-La Plaza and made possible by Samsung SmartTV, Oishi, Don Papa Rum, AirAsia, The Bistro Group and Dorie’s Catering, the Mother’s Day weekend event was attended by the film’s lead star, Cannes International Film Festival Best Actress winner, Ms. Jaclyn Jose.
“Patay na si Hesus” was the winner of the Audience Choice and Gender Sensitivity awards when it premiered last year at the QCinema International Film Festival.
In the film, Jose plays Iyay, a single mother who drags her three children on a trip from Cebu to Dumaguete to attend the funeral of their estranged father named Hesus. Riding with Iyay in an old cramped multicab are: Hubert, who has Down Syndrome; Jude, a lovesick transman; and Jay, who is living the bum life.
Also along for the ride is a nun named Sister Lucy, the crazed sister of Hesus and the family dog named Hudas who also happens to be a central figure to the main plot.
During the course of the long road trip, the dysfunctional family encounters unexpected stopovers, sudden detours and surprising revelations.
With a pristine new print further enhanced by improved color grading, tighter editing and remastered sound, “Patay na si Hesus” was once again an instant hit with the nearly full house crowd during its InterAksyon Cinema Club screening.
The audience — both the minority who had already seen the film at the QCX festival and the majority who viewed it for the very first time — laughed their hearts out at the film’s irreverent and subversive humor, which challenges certain stereotypes and pokes fun at time-honored traditions.
Also in attendance were cast members Chai Fonacier and Vincent Viado. Director Victor Villanueva, screenwriter Fatrick Tabada, executive producer Rex Tiri of T-Rex Entertainment, and Moira Lang and Bianca Balbuena of Epicmedia and Above The Line productions were also on hand to field questions from viewers during the open forum that immediately followed the screening.
Also spotted at the event were Film Development Council of the Philippines Liza Diño-Seguerra who came with husband Aiza Seguerra, “Sunday Beauty Queen” director Babyruth Villarama-Gutierrez, noted columnist and book author Jessica Zafra and indie actress Althea Vega.
Producer Moira Lang told InterAksyon that they were looking for an August playdate for the theatrical run of “Patay na si Hesus,” which was rated R-13 by the Movie and Television Review Classification Board. As most of the dialogue was in Cebuano, Lang said they were also hoping to aggressively promote it to Visayan audiences.
“Patay na si Hesus” is a T-Rex Entertainment and QCinema presentation of an Epicmedia and Above The Line production.
As Alampay pointed out that the InterAksyon Cinema Club is “aligned with InterAksyon’s mission to tell the story of the Filipino,” the public can expect more collaborative storytelling in future Cinema Club events.