She’s directed music videos for the likes of Sandwich, Kjwan, Itchyworms and Urbandub, but now director Marie Jamora will finally be releasing her feature-length film debut, Ang Nawawala.

A project almost ten years in development, the film is composed of images, characters, scenes and dialogue Marie has been collecting since college and her years studying Film at Columbia University. A Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2012 Finalist (New-Breed Full-Length Feature Category), Ang Nawawala is the story of Gibson Bonifacio (Dominic Roco), who stopped talking when he was a young boy. Now twenty years old, he returns home to Manila from his studies abroad, his first visit in three years. He finds his family trying to keep it together, his mother still hurting from a tragic loss in the past. Against the backdrop of the vibrant local music scene, his childhood best friend tries to reconnect with him, while he unexpectedly finds a chance at a first, real romantic relationship. Amidst the holidays, Gibson reconsiders and redefines his relationships with his family, his friends, and with himself.

Her crew consists of trusted friends and professionals she has worked with in the past, including Hong Kong cinematographer Ming Kai Leung (her classmate at Columbia). “This is my dream film,” said Marie, “one I’ve been thinking about for years, and there is nothing better than being able to make it with some of my best friends, who also happen to be damn good at their jobs. I have never been so happy on a set in my life. It’s also because of our cast; I got everyone I wanted.”

Marie assembled a cast of prodigious talents, some from a series of open auditions and Cinemalaya casting sessions. The film also stars Dawn Zulueta as Esme Bonifacio, Felix Roco as Jamie Bonifacio, Boboy Garrovillo as Wesley Bonifacio, Alchris Galura as Teddy Guinoo, Mercedes Cabral as Simone Sales, The Itchyworms’ Kelvin Yu as Mac Yu, Jenny Jamora as Corey Bonifacio, Kjwan’s Marc Abaya as Michael Magallanes, Annicka Dolonius as Enid del Mundo and Sabrina Man as Promise Bonifacio.

The film also features performances from some of the best bands and artists in the country, including Sandwich, Pedicab, Itchyworms, Hannah + Gabi, Flying Ipis, Outerhope, Tarsius, and Ebe Dancel, many of whom wrote original songs for the film.

Catch Ang Nawawala from July 20-29, 2012 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Greenbelt, and Trinoma.


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