|The Cast of Boses|
Music your heart will hear, in a story that will make you hope, from a movie you will not forget.
It is a film appreciated by filmmakers, critics and artists. It brought a respected broadcast journalist to tears. It touched and still inspires a media personality and TV host. It has gotten the nod of international film programmers and it continues to move audiences here and abroad.
The film is “Boses,” a story about Onyok, a gifted boy made mute by unbearable circumstances and Ariel, the reclusive violinist who became Onyok’s mentor. Together, the two find friendship and hope amid their challenging circumstances. “Boses” was first shown at the 2008 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival where it was a finalist.
Director/producer Ellen Ongkeko lovingly calls this project “a product of a collaboration with scriptwriters Froilan Medina and Rody Vera, cinematographer Nap Jamir, violinist Coke Bolipata, child prodigy Julian Duque, seasoned performers Ricky Davao, Cherry Pie Picache and Merryl Soriano, and many, many more.” The film was funded by Cinemalaya, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, and supported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, UNICEF and Council for the Welfare of Children.
Direk Ellen estimates that over 80,000 people have been reached by “Boses” through its countless screenings and exhibitions in the Philippines and around the world. Some of those who’ve seen it include artists who affirmed the film’s messages of healing through the arts and the protection of children’s welfare.
Award-winning broadcast journalist Cheche Lazaro, who cried several times when she saw the movie said, “It is well told, specially moving and value-laden.” TV host and media personality Boy Abunda was all-praises for Julian Duque who played Onyok. Boy also recommended the film saying “Every mother, every father, every child should watch it. It is one of the best films na napanood ko na hanggang ngayon, years after ay nasa puso ko.”
Film director Joel Lamangan described “Boses” as “brilliant cinema,” while young independent filmmaker and advertising creative director Vic Acedillo told Direk Ellen, “I love your film. Malaki ang magiging impact niya sa Philippine society.”
Local and international critics are in agreement about its heart-warming beauty. Butch Francisco of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino declared confidently, “If there is anything that comes to near perfection—as a film that is—I’d say it is ‘Boses.’” His fellow Manunuri Mario Hernando wrote, “Never has a local movie integrated social advocacy and the promotion of classical music so seamlessly, movingly and beautifully.”
From Chuch Boller, executive director of the Hawaii International Film Festival (where “Boses” competed in 2008), said it is “an extraordinary film from the Philippines, it is my personal choice, my favorite.” And from Variety’s Richard Kiupers: “Filipina helmer Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil’s second feature is sensitively handled… it tackles unpleasant truths with great integrity.”
Noted child psychologist Honey Carandang underscored the film’s importance by declaring, “It is a must-see!”
Direk Ellen hopes that with “Boses” having its first local commercial run at SM cinemas beginning July 31, more people will find strength and inspiration from it. She says, “I have seen the film connect with all kinds of audiences…they shout, cheer, and cry.” For updates, like https://www.facebook.com/BOSEStheMovie.