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CINEMALAYA MUST SEE: KASAL

Arnold Reyes and newcomer Oliver Aquino was having such a fiery argument that passing motorists began to take notice prompting security guards to approach them, it was only when the guards saw the cameras that they didnt need to intervene.

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“We were at one of the SLEX gasoline station and nagtatalo kami tapos bigla na lang lumala yung away, nagkasigawan tapos ayun muntik na kami magsuntukan ni Oliver,” Reyes told the Manila Standard at during an interview to promote his Cinemalaya entry “Kasal.”

Reyes was describing one of several unscripted scenes director Jay Altajeros came up with to give more realism to the movie, and one of the things Reyes loves about doing indie movies.

Direk Jay called those “found scenes” –unscripted moments that he entrusted us with, and kami na ang bahala sa lines, siguro yun ang gusto ko about indie, Reyes said, adding “kapag independent film kase kakaiba din yung characters na naeencounter mo natry ko sa indie ang dami kong character na nakikilala na may kakaibang story and ang dami ko natututunan, para sa akin sa paggawa ng indie mas totoong tao yng pinoportary ko at mas gusto ko yun.”

Kasal is part of the Directors Showcase category of the 10th Cinemalaya Film Festival, a milestone Reyes shares since he has had an official entry every year since the festival began in 2004.

“When Cinemalaya began there were only a few media tables and the awards night was very simple, we were just in jeans, but now everyone’s in Cinemalaya including a lot of mainstream actors.” the indie veteran observed.

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Reyes admits the entry of these popular actors does pose a threat to independent artists like him but understands that it has helped in what made Cinemalaya it is today.

“Dati I used to be bothered by it, pero now as long as I have work, I am happy.”

Unlike a few years ago, Reyes said the situation has improved for indie actors and they can survive even without mainstream work as long as they have regular projects.

Last year, he appeared in four independent film productions. He shares, “Meron akong FDCP (Film Development Council of the Philippines) project, ‘yung kay Gil Portes, ‘yung Isang Tag Araw ni Twinkle, may dalawang Cinemalaya entries ako last year, ‘yung Purok Siyete and The Liars, and I also did Sitio by Mes de Guzman for Cinema One.”

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photo from lifestylehub.net

In the indie film Kasal, directed by Jay Altarejos and written by Zig Dulay, the story revolves around a gay couple—Paolo, a film director, and Sherwin, a lawyer—whose relationship becomes complicated when one of them sounds off about wanting to get married. They are accepted as a couple in Paolo’s family, but not in Sherwin’s family.
Their troubles begin when they attend a wedding of one of Sherwin’s relatives.

Arnold plays Sherwin while former teen actor-singer Mhyco Aquino portrays Paolo. Mhyco used to be a member of the boy group Anime but he now goes by the name Oliver Aquino.

This year, Arnold stars in the indie film Kasal, directed by Jay Altarejos and written by Zig Dulay. The story revolves around a gay couple—Paolo, a film director, and Sherwin, a lawyer—whose relationship becomes complicated when one of them sounds off about wanting to get married. They are accepted as a couple in Paolo’s family, but in Sherwin’s, they are not. Their troubles begin when they attend a wedding of one of Sherwin’s relatives.

Reyes plays Sherwin while former teen actor-singer Mhyco Aquino portrays Paolo. Mhyco used to be a member of the boy group Anime but he now goes by the name Oliver Aquino.

Despite being the third actor chosen to play Sherwin, the first was Polo Ravales, then Mike Liwag, Reyes said he had no issues and was even nervous about accepting the role.

Coincidentally it is also his third time to portray a gay character. The first was in Imoral by Adolf Alix, where his screen partner was Paolo Paraiso. The second was in Muli, where he co-starred opposite Sid Lucero, also directed by Adolf Alix from a script by the Palanca award-winning Jerry Gracio.

Reyes also has high hopes for Kasal. “Every time pinapanood namin ang playback, natutuwa kami kasi maganda ang pagkaka-execute ng mga scenes. Sana matuwa din ang mga manonood. Sana mapa-isip sila sa buhay nila, sana maapektuhan sila.”

Kasal will be screened at various venues, including Trinoma Cinemas, to make the Cinemalaya films more accessible to the public.

In 2009, Arnold won the Cinemalaya’s Best Supporting Actor award for his brilliant performance in Astig

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