Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Mateo Guez brings "Off World" to Cannes. Here he is looking dapper on the beach.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Good News

Here's where we're at right now, a year and a half after principal photography ended:

Off World had it's North American premiere as opening night film at the 10th Reel World Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. Director Mateo Guez was there to represent, of course. (He sent me a pic, but my email account was hacked!)

The film was well received and won the Outstanding Candian Feature at the festival. Congratulations to Mateo Guez and Byron Wong (Producer/Composer)! We are very proud of you guys for battling it out there.

Off World will screen at the 20th In and Out Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Toronto at the end of May. In June, the film will be at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, "the longest running and widely recognized LGBT film exhibition event in the world."

Finally, the film was selected to be part of the TeleFilm Perspective Canada programme in Cannes 2010.


(More details can be viewed

The children are also doing well. Julia Nebrija, our location manager, reports that beside the SMPC office in Paradise Heights in Tondo, the kids have started an urban garden and their very own mini co-op. They are growing their own vegetables and learning about saving money.

Remember Natalie? When we were shooting, she was a toddler. Here she is at the Children's Museum in Manila on April 22nd at the Earth Day celebration. Aside from tree planting and t-shirt printing, they were asked to write poems about nature.

Natalie made a drawing since she wasn't sure about the poem--but most of the other kids wrote about taking care of the environment and not throwing trash everywhere. Certainly that's good news.

Love from Manila.

Monday, October 26, 2009

with still a million things to say: dispatches from brazil

I am very happy to announce that "Off World" was premiered at the 33rd Sao Paolo International Film Festival in Brazil.

There were over a hundred people at the screening and a half hour Q&A with director Mateo Guez after.


Friday, July 24, 2009

indie spirits

I've been hanging out at the CCP this past week for Cinemalaya, the independent film festival now on it's fifth year. Some of the amazingly talented people who worked on Off World have films this year at the festival.

Leeroy New, my forever set crush and award winning artist, was the production designer for Engkwentro. I heard he had to construct a slum for their shoot. Here's Leeroy in top form:

Ms. Irma Adlawan plays Fe in Ang Panggahasa Kay Fe (The Rapture of Fe). Amazing. We spent hours hanging out in the dinky blue van, our makeshift holding area on the set. Not a word of complaint from this woman, who is not only an exceptional actress but also a lovely person.

And of course Che Ramos in her first lead role as Laya Marquez in Mangatyanan (Blood Trail). She really went for it! Three cheers for Che!

Bravo, guys. I'm proud of you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

saints preserve us

May 22 is the feast day of Saint Rita, who is kind of my favorite because she's the advocate for impossible causes. When things are tough, good old Santa Rita keeps me going.

So I dragged Mateo to San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila where they celebrate high mass on her feast day. Although he's Jewish, I thought his half-Catholic side would enjoy it. There were roses, candles, a brass band, and a nice breeze outside the church.

Again, children everywhere. This time with candles for the parade. Photo by Mateo Guez.

Here she comes. They parade her around town once a year.

Mateo getting into the spirit of things.

A nice evening in Intramuros.

And even if the movie itself is almost, almost, almost done, this war is far from over.

our day with irma

I am happy to report that the behind-the-scenes documentary is moving along. Mateo and I drove to the Roadrunner facility in Quezon City to do the voice over recording with our favorite actress.

Ms. Irma Adlawan, who plays Lucky's mother, in the studio with us to narrate the behind-the-scenes documentary.

Ironically, Irma has no speaking lines in the movie. But she needs no words to bring us to tears.

Done in 2 hours flat. She's amazing!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

keep on truckin' (part 1)

A week ago from today, Mateo and I hopped on a plane (delayed of course) to Palawan. Landing in Busuanga, we took a two hour boat ride out to The Calamianes. Our destination: Mangenguey Island ( Here's Mateo documenting his trip:

Our hostess on Mangenguey, the inimitable Helena Carratala Mander.

We had nineteen hours of behind-the-scenes footage from principal photography last December. It's been fun to watch it and it's challenging to put together.

Mateo also needed a mini break from the madness of making this movie, so we make it a point to chill. We sat on the dock and sunned, ate Helena's fabulous food, swam in the salty Palawan waters and brainstormed. Suddenly the next chapter in this adventure became a lot clearer.

And so the plot thickens.

On our last day, our hostess took us out on the boat for a sunset spin. Everytime I go this part of the country, I'm awed by how lovely it can be. Mateo enjoyed himself, I think maybe fancied himself The Boatman.

Mateo flies back to Toronto this evening. While he was here we talked to a lot of people: those who worked tirelessly with us, those who helped us, those we want to help.

I think we're both aware of how awesome the ride has been so far, and how amazing it's going to be.