(SPOT.ph) At the premiere of her first full-length feature in this year's Cinemalaya film festival, one of the festival programmers went up to director Marie Jamora and told her, "Oh, yours is the hipster movie!"
On a superficial level, Ang Nawawala does tick all the right hipster boxes: indie music, manic pixie dream girls, Twin Peaks references, an abundance of plaid. The story of Gibson Bonifacio (Dominic Roco), who never spoke again after a childhood accident took the life of his identical twin Jamie (Felix Roco), it certainly stood out among this year's crop of Cinemalaya entries with its intense, slice-of-life focus on a hyper-affluent, vinyl-record-collecting subculture.
But, having spent most of her professional life directing music videos and performing in bands, nine years of which were spent thinking about Ang Nawawala, the film feels like Marie's personal, heartfelt opus. In case you feel unfamiliar with Marie, don't; you know her more than you think you do. The 33-year-old director has been directing music videos for possibly all your favorite bands in the last decade; was part of the crew for the first season of Project Runway:Philippines, and prior to that, was the Editor of the second issue of the Eraserheads fanzine, Pillbox. Fastforward to 2012 and Marie is the one to watch for.
Ang Nawawala is her first full-length and at this year's Cinemalaya Festival, the movie seems to have also struck a chord with audiences. Not only did it win an award for Best Original Score in the Cinemalaya, it also won the Audience Choice award.
On Wednesday, September 12, its indie legs will get more traction as Ang Nawawala opens to nationwide theatrical release. We talk to Marie about the making of the film, her secret love for John Lloyd Cruz, and even give her occasion to address charges of hipsterism. Warning: If you haven't seen the movie, some mild spoilers ahead.
The theatrical trailer for Ang Nawawala
So, Ang Nawawala is opening at the same time as The Mistress...
Honestly, we think that people can watch both. Our movie is not the same as The Mistress. Star Cinema makes a specific kind of movie for a very die-hard group of people. I'm gonna watch it! I love John Lloyd! But at the same time I can watch two movies in a week. I am fortunate to be able to do that.
[Opening on September 12] was a very active choice, because in terms of Hollywood movies, it's Resident Evil 5, and that's it. Going the week after and the week after, it gets a little bit harder. So we believe that we chose the date because, although it is Star Cinema and they are giant...I mean, there is a specific crowd of people who will watch our film, but I believe that you can do both. I'm really not worried.
I do think The Mistress will stay for more than seven days. We are seven days, limited run. So parang, watch our film first, then Mistress!
The theatrical release will have a brand-new edit, yes?
I cut out around five and a half minutes. It's not like I cut out any scene, I literally trimmed half the scenes in the film. I took out things to polish it, just so the overall pacing is better. I'd never edited a long film. It's a learning process. Me and Edsel Abesames, my co-editor, are short-form editors. So we edit each scene as best as we can, but when we put the scenes together and you show it in the big screen, it's different. Literally, Cinemalaya was the first time I saw it big na kumpleto, and I would notice, this is a little slow, this part is a bit dragging, kasi when I watched it as a scene, maganda, but in terms of the whole picture, hindi.