BY RAYMOND RED
Finalist, Directors Showcase
2012 CINEMALAYA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL AND COMPETITION
SYNOPSIS The title “Kamera Obskura” is a Filipino spelling of the latin “Camera Obscura” which simply means “dark room”. The film’s concept adheres to formalist cinema, where the filmmaker’s thesis is to make a semblance of a vintage film seemingly produced sometime in the late 1920s to early 1930s in the Philippines. The thesis is to conjure up a film from a period that did not really exist in Philippine cinema’s historical cultural heritage as we know it, such as a pseudo-expressionist / experimental Filipino cinema of the silent film era. It is a film within a film. The narrative plays with the idea of a retro-futurist world where a prisoner locked away in a dark chamber for over two decades only sees the reality of the world outside through the small hole in his cell, which projects an image of the city on his wall, the phenomenon of the “camera obscura”. He later immerses back into society by slowly climbing up the different social classes represented by the levels of different floors in a mysterious building, where corruption, deceit, and betrayal seem to be at work at every level. The film KAMERA OBSKURA is a tribute to Filipino cinema heritage. Through the re-imagining of an era of cinema in the transition from the lost silent era, the filmmaker hopes to instill in the next generation the recognition of the value of passing on that heritage before it is totally lost.
FILMMAKER’S PROFILE Raymond Red is one of the pioneering figures of modern Filipino alternative cinema. Having a background in Fine Arts and photography, he began by making numerous experimental and narrative super-8mm and 16mm short films in the 1980s which paved the way for recognition of Filipino alternative cinema both locally and at the international film festivals scene. He had then, at an early age, begun to inspire a new generation of independent filmmakers, mentoring early on quite a number of the prominent indie filmmakers of today. Red has earned the distinction of being one of the first Filipinos to receive a Rotterdam Hubert Bals Memorial grant, the first Filipino in the DAAD Berlin Artist-in-Residence grant, the first Filipino awarded the ZDF German TV grant, the first indie filmmaker awarded the Pag-Alab ng Sining Award by the U.P. College of Fine Arts, the first Filipino in the official selection of the New York Film Festival, one of only two Filipinos mentioned in the Oxford History of World Cinema, and being the first and so far only Filipino to have won the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival for his short film “ANINO”. Amongst his award-winning feature films are the historical epics “BAYANI” (1992) and “SAKAY” (1993), and the drama films “KAMADA” (1997) and “HIMPAPAWID” (2009). He is now finishing his latest feature, “KAMERA OBSKURA” for the Directors’ Showcase of the 2012 Cinemalaya Film Festival.
MAJOR CREDITS Cast: Pen Medina, Joel Torre, Nanding Josef, Abe Pagtama, Irene Gabriel, Ping Medina, Suzette Ranillo, Lou Veloso, Archie Adamos, Mads Nicolas, Sue Prado Production: Producers –Raymond Red and Filmex Inc., Direction –Raymond Red, Associate Producers-Butch Jimenez, Suzette Ranillo, Henry Frejas, Mac Alejandre, Mon Confiado, Paolo Villaluna, Editing and Cinematography-Raymond Red, Art Direction-Mikey Red, Production Design-Daniel Red and Cesar Hernando, Music-Diwa de Leon, Sound Engineering-Ditoy Agila, Visual Effects-Edrie Ocampo and Pablo Biglang-Awa, Production Managers –Cathy Sanidad, Ado Urbano, Marvin Manalo