Dec 29
NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Wed, Dec 29, 2004

Great news for the local film industry. Sa Kandungan Ng Langit (Heaven’s Cradle) copped the Best Drama in Feature Film category over 300 films exhibited in the recent New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

A low-budget film by White Windows Productions, Sa Kandungan Ng Langit was shot in just 3 days with a digital format DVC-PRO 50. Based on a true story of love, forgiveness, faith and inner healing, the movie appears to have a religious premise but it’s more of a real-life drama with a universal theme. It was shown to a limited audience in a special screening held on Dec. 21, 2003 at Louie, THX, Makati . Original copies with English subtitles are available in VCDs and DVDs.

Cast of Sa Kandungan Ng Langit include Mike Lloren, Nante Montreal, Francis Matheu, Jake Palomo, Amybelle Castillo, Anna Llave, Marjorie Castillo, Nelvy Sacramento and Arabelle Cadocio in the role of Liway. Noticeable is the absence of big name stars hence the producer was elated when it earned a nomination in the New York IIFV Festival late this year. It merited a “Two Thumbs Up – Reviewer’s Choice” in the initial selection.

Gina Marissa Tagasa, the writer and director of Sa Kandungan Ng Langit, was sent to attend the screening in Manhattan, New York. “I call this a ‘miracle film’ because from the time the story was conceptualized up to the day of screening in New York, God helped us pull through,” Gina beamed in recalling the little obstacles that went their way. “After seeing some of the festival entries which were mostly art films and film noir, I thought the judges would snub a simple, melodramatic and gospel-based film like ‘Kandungan’ but we did it!”

The November 21 screening in New York spelled more apprehensions. Amidst the support of some Filipino viewers, the presence of some foreigners at the Village East cinemas proved to be a nerve-wracking affair for a neophyte in international festivals.

Fortunately for Gina and Mr. Jae Jung Jang, the kind-hearted Korean Executive Producer, their sacrifices paid off. Sa Kandungan Ng Langit was filmed for the glory of God and to promote Christian values. It was not really intended for commercial showing because Mr. Jang had only wanted to use the film for effective evangelization throughout Asia.

With the recent international award, White Windows Productions will definitely be more inspired to produce sensible and quality films worth seeing. Already in the can is ANG LAGUSAN, another inspiring film that will surely touch the hearts of the viewers. Anga Lagusan will have a premiere showing at SM Megamall theaters in the 3rd week of January.

Mr. Jang is dedicating the victory of Sa Kandungan Ng Langit to the independent filmmakers and also to the Philippine movie industry.