Baconaua by Joseph Israel Laban. Cinemalaya 2017 Full-Length Feature Category finalist

After a particularly strong squall, a sleepy fishing village in a tiny island in Southern Tagalog wakes up to an astonishing sight--their sea has turned red. Floating on their waters are thousands of apples. No one knows where it came from. Some see it as a bad omen from the baconaua--a creature of myth. A few thinks it is a miracle from heaven, while others fear a more sinister source.


Young provincial lass Divina, sees it as a mere distraction as he mulls whether to have her father, who went missing at sea three months ago, declared officially dead. The villagers nag her about participating in ancient rituals to appease the sea, while her young siblings navigate a complicated adolescence in an impoverished community sitting in the Verde Passage where mysticism and harsh realities are the way of life.

Coming-of-Age Drama / PG
Joseph Israel Laban
Main Cast: 

Elora Españo, Teri Malvar, JM Salvado, Jess Mendoza, Ron Lord, Isaac Cain Aguire, Anna J. Luna, Erlinda Villalobos, Bon Andrew Lentejas, Bembol Rocco, Jeric Raval, Suzette Ranillo


Story and Direction: Joseph Israel Laban
Writers: Joseph  Israel Laban, Denise O' Hara
Executive Producer: Katrina C. Ponce Enrile
Producers: Nicole Runi, Sara Santiago, Derick Cabrido

Co-Producers: Jedd Dumaguina, TM Malones
Director of Photoraphy: TM Malones
Production Designer: Marielle Hizon
Editors: Benjamin Tolentino, Cyril Bautista
Musical Score: Jema Pamintuan
Production Manager: Arianne Dulay
Line Producer: Bong E. Salvejos
Supervising Producer: Sara Santiago
Associate Producers: Princess Gatmaitan, Ariel Bacol
1st Assistant Director: Sheryl Rose M. Andes
2nd Assistant Director: Patricia Salic
Assistant Director: Lara Bautista
Location Manager: Menandro Peñafiel
Assistant Production Manager: Aizel Lacdao
Script Continuity Supervisor: Janine Mañiego
Talent Coordinator: Princess Gatmaitan
Field Cashier: Gina Madriaga
Language Instructor/Translator: Rafael Seño
Post Production Manager: Cyril Bautista
Production Assistants: Isaac Ravanera, Paul Adrian Mancia, Mico Salinda


Joseph Israel Laban

JOSEPH ISRAEL LABAN is an award-winning Tagalog independent filmmaker. He was a Fulbright Scholar who holds a Master’s degree in documentary filmmaking from New York University. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines – Diliman. He is also a Palanca-winning playwright. He directed, wrote and produced two films for the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival: "Cuchera" and "Nuwebe," which have been screened in over 60 international film festivals and won several recognitions. He co-produced a number of other projects including the award-winning films: “Children’s Show,” “Tuos,” “Purgatoryo,” and "The Sister." His short documentary “Happy New Year” won Best Film at the 2016 Festival de Finos Filmes in São Paulo, Brazil.
He participated in various film camps and workshops abroad and contributes to TV, print and online media. He is currently working as Creative Consultant of GMA News and Public Affairs. His awards in journalism include: the Grand Prize for Best Documentary at the 2014 UNICEF Asia Pacific Child Rights Award, Gold World Medal at the 2008 New York Festivals for Television, among others.



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