The film is “Boses” and it is the story of a boy made mute due to unbearable circumstances, and the friendship he forges when he learns to play the violin under a reclusive mentor who is also dealing with personal issues.
Starring seasoned thespians Cherry Pie Picache, Ricky Davao, and Meryll Soriano, and first-time actors Coke Bolipata and Julian Duque, “Boses” has been shown in at least nine countries around the world, and over 50 schools and communities in Metro Manila and Philippine provinces, since its big debut at the 4th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. “Boses” makes its way to SM Cinemas on July 31.
Among the places abroad where “Boses” has competed and been exhibited include: New York Los Angeles, Boston, Yale University, Oregon, Chicago, Hawaii, Vancouver, India, Korea, Hong Kong, Geneva, Zurich, Madrid and University of Alberta. In the country, “Boses” has toured schools, communities and parishes in partnership with various organizations such as the University of the Philippines, Assumption College, Ateneo de Naga, Holy Infant Jesus, Philippine High School for the Arts, De La Salle University, College of St. Benilde, Don Bosco, Centro Escolar University, Lourdes School, the Technological University of the Philipines, Earist, Claret School, several schools in Tacloban, Baguio, and Pangasinan, and communities in Tondo and Bagong Silang. It has also been screened in government offices, the Department of Justice, the National Economic and Development Authority, Aksyon Para sa Kapayapaan, Humein Ecology, Pasay Children’s Network, Couples for Christ and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
Just this year, “Boses” was shown to a crowd of about 1,500 students at Sienna College at a screening organized by the Couples for Christ, and almost 2,000 viewers in Iloilo at back-to-back previews organized by the University of the Philippines Iloilo Humanities Division and CBCP Youth Commission. The film was well received by student leaders in Samar, the Filipino employees of the United Nations in Vienna, and also by the cineastes in London when it was shown at the UK’s historic Riverside Theater.
“Boses,” directed by Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil and written by Froilan Medina and Rody Vera, also has the distinction of being one of seven Filipino movies especially selected for a series of screenings by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The esteemed list includes Mike de Leon’s “Bayaning Third World,” Lino Brocka’s “Tinimbang Ka Nguni’t Kulang,” Eddie Romero’s “Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?” Brillante Mendoza’s “Lola,” and Jeffrey Jeturian’s “Kubrador.”
With audience attendance ranging from hundreds to as much as 2,000 per screening, the production team estimates that about 100,000 people have seen “Boses.” The clamor for screenings is continuous, and this early, block screenings organized by interested parties have been booked at SM Cinemas for July 31 onwards.
After touring Iloilo last July 5 and 6, the cast and director headed for Davao last July 10 to12 for a child protection forum with military personnel who are also set to watch the film when it opens in SM Davao on July 31. “For me, this movie is really one of the most important films done in this generation,” Ricky Davao says to explain the movie’s enormous appeal. “It tackles forgiveness, social issues, healing and the chance to change for the better.”
Director Ellen Marfil declares, “The response and the groundswell of support has been really amazing… Our project is certainly one that is able to forge ties between organizations and people.”
For more information about “Boses,” visit its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BOSEStheMovie.