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They say a cat has nine lives but who needs multiple lives when one is immortal? They one's work of art makes one live on forever.

Last week, which was a Monday as well, Ricky Lee spent an afternoon with the students of Letran Calamba. The talk and launch of his collection of children's stories, Kung Alam N'yo Lang (Mga Kwentong Pambata para sa mga Hindi na Bata), was organized by the graduating class of Letran Calamba's AB Communication Program.

The talk which was like a mini-workshop was geared towards enhancing the creative process of aspiring writers. Orly Agawin, a faculty member and an arts writer at Jellicle Blog, facilitated the flow of the program.

Here are some of Ricky Lee's memorable quotes from his Letran Calamba tour:

1. "Dapat para ka maging mahusay na writer, handa kang magbukas ng maling pinto."

2. "Hindi ako makalayas-layas so nanonood ako ng sine. Nangungupit ako sa tindahan namin tas nanonood ako ng sine."

3. Kapag may nabasa akong napakagandang portion [ng librong galing sa library], pinupunit ko." (Note: this was during his childhood days)

4. "Ang layunin ng pagkwekwento ay ipakita ang tao sa loob natin."

5. "Ang panahon natin ngayon ay kung saan ang screen ay nakaharang at nagvavalidate ng mga bagay-bagay."

6. "Pag-aralan natin ang lahat ng rules then iviolate natin pero kailangang maconvince mo kami na Quiapo pa rin ang destinasyon."

7. "Ang dapat nagsusulat ay yung subconscious mo kasi yung subconscious mo honest."

8. 'Music makes me feel I'm in a safe world. I can create. I can write."

9. "Amapola was originally a graphic novel until narealize kong hndi ako marunong magsulat ng komiks."

Even though he has written more than 150 screenplays from 1979 up to date, Ricky Lee's first novel Para Kay B wasn't launched until 2008. 

It is never too late for anyone to become a writer. You might want to grab yourself a Ricky Lee book and unleash the inspired writer in you.

9 Ricky Lee Quotes at Letran Calamba

Summer can be the most crucial time for a budding ballerina’s career. While most children are on vacations or staycations, the pupils of Ballet Philippines Dance School are hard at work. Three to five times a week, they fill their days with classes in classical ballet, modern dance, jazz, hip hop, and even lectures – all geared towards guiding them towards becoming full-fledged dance artists.

Classical ballet is a time-honored dance form that teaches grace, precision, and expression - a tradition that the BPDS has passed on through its programs that incorporates the Philippine National Ballet Syllabus to generations of dance students. Classical ballet encourages freedom of expression, builds confidence and self-discipline, and develops a sense of individuality, which would grow into an appreciation for the arts.

Modern dance explores dance movements beyond the set boundaries of classical ballet, incorporating influences from day-to-day movements, folk dances, martial arts and other sports, as well as contemporary/popular dance. Modern serves as a laboratory for emerging dancers and choreographers, allowing the discovery of new artists in dance.

Staying on top of the latest in popular dance, the Ballet Philippines Dance School also offers courses in Hip Hop and Jazz dance. Students discover different rhythms and grooves of movement, shaping them into becoming well-rounded dancers.

The Summer Dance Workshop also offers a weekly Lecture Series, in keeping with the BP Dance School’s holistic approach to dance education. Through these sit-down talks, students have the opportunity to interact with artists of different fields and learn how aspects of their art form can relate to and enhance one’s dancing.

The 48th CCP Summer Dance Workshop starts on April 17, 2016 at BPDS-SM Aura Premier and on April 18, 2016 at BPDS-CCP. Students attend a minimum of 3 classes a week (for pre-ballet and elementary ballet students) to as much as 5 classes a week, including workshop rehearsals for its culminating performances at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) on May 20 and 21.

Summer classes will also be held in the newly opened BP Dance School branches in Greenhills Theatre Mall and Victoria Sports, Quezon City. Classes start on April 4 and end on May 31.

The Ballet Philippines Dance School is the professional training ground of the country’s most promising young talents in dance. With a unique curriculum that encompasses various dance styles and techniques, the systematized method and approach to instruction takes highly into account children’s anatomy and psyche at various ages and levels so that the training is physically safe, technically effective and artistically enriching for all students.

Connect to the Ballet Philippines Dance School online through the following social media networks:

Facebook:    www.facebook.com/balletphilippines
Twitter:          @balletph
Instagram:    @balletphilippines
YouTube:     balletph

To join in the Ballet Philippines conversation, use our official hashtags: #balletph, #bpdanceschool

See you at the studio!

Writer: Mark Anthony Cabrera

She was in total control of everything in her life- this fits the perfect description of the octogenarian Harriet (Shirley MacLaine ).She wants everything to be perfect- that’s how she rolls, even to the point that she wanted to manipulate how her obituary would look like.

Do people really do that in real life? Manipulate their obituaries? Well, I would say some it’s improbable but not impossible if someone is used to having her way.  People always want to leave a positive impression of themselves before they cross over into the afterlife. This is when Anne Sherman’s (Amanda Seyfried) character comes into play. She is tasked to write about the obituary of Harriet. But what’s with Harriett? Why do people hate her so much? Why do people perceive her as mean and ruthless? Anne Sherman is out to find out what her neighbors would say about Harriett.Why do they fear her? And why would someone say that the best thing about Harriett is for her to be dead?

Tasked to get more information, Anne Sherman embarks on a journey in seeking the truth about her latest client. In the course of their interaction, Anne would eventually put all the pieces together. What kept Harriett ticking? Why is she totally controlling of herself and the people around her?

In the latest installment to be distributed by Star Cinema in the Philippines, The Last Word definitely promises one of the best roles of Amanda Seyfried to date. Not to be outdone, Shirley MacLaine’s portrayal would make us hate her but in the process understand where her character is coming from. The film was part of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Be the first to watch The Last Word in Philippine cinemas nationwide this March 22, 2017!

With "Bhoy Intsik", Frontrow Entertainment makes it presence felt as one of the big players in delivering quality films in the near future. Despite the insidiousness of the Sinag Maynila film festival it is part of (is anyone even aware it ends tomorrow?), it has managed to have decent box office returns as per its screenwriter Ronald Carballo.

The film's director is Joel Lamangan who hails from Cavite. Like his more recent works in the independent film scene, this is set in that province and the titular character Bhoy Intsik was inspired by the exploits of a real-life criminal. Raymond Francisco's as the lead really sinks his teeth into this multifaceted character which won him a Best Actor award recently from the festival, tied with Kristoffer King for Kristo.

His co-star here is Ronwaldo Martin, Coco Martin's younger brother who gained acclaim for having portrayed a similar role of a street rat in Pamilya Ordinaryo, Marlon Pogi. The young actor was very effective as the pesky and hot-headed syndicate underling, but needed more spark in his scenes with Elora Espano who plah yed the flirtatious middle-class daughter of a pastor who harbors affection for Marlon from the get-go.

The two small-time criminals of the small community of illegal dwellers who made their home inside the cemetery meet in the wrong place at the wrong time. The relationship which started out with two people ready claw each other's eyes out become more familial as both discover that to make the the future theirs, they have to make amends with their past.

Overall, the film has a number of sweeping shots that would almost make one want to try living in the slums and do something unconventional on a tomb as highlighted by one breathtaking shot using a crane. Another intelligent directorial decision was the use of a drone shot in the opening scene right away, establishing Bhoy Intsik's world which is splashed with bits of color among the gravestones.

The production design benefits the film greatly with its meticulous execution. However, though the color combination per scene is really easy on the eyes, some of Bhoy's outfits are sometimes kind of improbable for his socioeconomic status, and even look like someone would buy from Zara.

When one looks at the film as a whole, one will see that it effectively comes full circle with its focus on a world where only the fittest survive, and unlikely alliances might change the way one perceives things. Although one may find its multiple attempts at humor kind of a self-conscious brand of writing, the organic delivery of the actors makes this characteristic oblivious and instead it heightens the duo's excellent onscreen chemistry even more.

Bhoy Intsik may look like just another story of a transgender, but this tale of a butterfly from the slums treads the path less taken and explores the beauty of a platonic relationship between two wayward individuals who are among the society's bane.

FILM REVIEW: Bhoy Intsik

Photo credit: manonthelam.com

Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak, Malaysia, is where the annual AIFFA (ASEAN Internaitonal Film Festival and Awards) is held. It’s known in the tourism industry for paying homage to cats, and attracting visitors because of its numerous cat cafes, statues, souvenirs, and attractions.

Livan Tajang, who spearheads the festival, revealed during the Manila road show that they will try to gather as many as people as possible to wear cat costumes during the opening festivities. A representative from the Guinness World Records will be flying in all the way from England to mark down this curious feat in history.

Below is a list of the activities during the 3-day festival:     

May 4, 2017 (Thursday)

AIFFA Movie Marathon
  • · International and ASEAN film screenings at selected cinemas around Kuching

Café Crawl
  • · Film chats and screenings at selected cafes.

Party with the Stars and Break the World Record
  • · Meet ASEAN Movie Stars at Kuching Amphitheatre.
  • · A Guinness World Record attempt for the largest crowd dressed in cat costumes.
  • · Concert with Alleycats and Dayang Nurfaizah. Special appearance with ASEAN Favourite Upin and Ipin.
  • · Announcement of nominated films for AIFFA 2017 Awards.
  • · Winners of Sarawak Youth Short Film Education and Competition announcement.

Photo credit: anizyn.blogspot.com

May 5, 2017 (Friday)

AIFFA Biz World
  • Official launch of AIFFA Biz World.
  • · Business talks, film financing, exhibition, and networking.

AIFFA Movie Marathon
  • International and ASEAN film screenings at selected cinemas around Kuching.

Café Crawl
  • Film chats and screenings at selected cafes.

May 6, 2017 (Saturday)

AIFFA Biz World
  • Official launch of AIFFA Biz World.
  • Business talks, film financing, exhibition, and networking.

AIFFA Movie Marathon
  • International and ASEAN film screenings at selected cinemas around Kuching.

Café Crawl
  • Film chats and screenings at selected cafes.

AIFFA 2017 Gala Night
  • Star studded red carpet and awarding ceremony.

Photo credit: Catherine Cornell

One would be able to look back in history and see that 2013 was a record-breaking year for Filipinos when 13 out of the 100 films were entries from the Philippines. Some of those were Qiyamah, Grave Bandits, Aparisyon, and Colossal. 2015 was the year when Cherie Gil won a Best Actress Award for Sonata and Nora Aunor was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Prior to the festival proper, there are activities happening at certain dates in March and April. For more details you may check the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/aiffa.sarawak.

For the International Women's Month, the Film Development Council of the Philippines is conducting a month-long celebration filled with activities putting the spotlight on women empowerment.

The celebration kicked off with the opening of the photography competition, dubbed as Panay Pinay Potograpiya, that features women who have demonstrated significant roles in promoting change. Panay Pinay Pelikula was also launched with the screening of the film Ganap na Babae last March 8, 2017. The film screenings will run from March 12 to 18, 2017.

"Planting Seeds: The Future of Philippine Cinema," a film education symposium for film educators and students that started in the regions will culminate with its Manila leg on March 9-11, 2017 with cultivators including award-winning directors Joel Lamangan, Jose Javier Reyes, Cathy Garcia-Molina, et al.

FDCP has also partnered with Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) through Cinejuana, a series of free film screenings featuring women-centric documentaries directed by Spanish female filmmakers.

"We are proud and excited to celebrate the International Women's Month through our activities. We hope that through our program, Filipino women audience, filmmakers, and educators will be inspired and encouraged to not just celebrate their femininity but to also use it to affect positive change in our society," said FDCP Chair Liza Diño regarding the program.

For more information, visit the FDCP and Cinematheque Center Manila Facebook page or email cinematheque@fdcp.ph.

FDCP Celebrates International Women's Month

When an audience sees ballet dancers, they see a gossamer parade of young bodies on show. Nymph-like and lithe, ballet dancers have personified the epitome of ethereality for centuries. However, no one ever has the nerve to peer behind the velvet curtain to see the true grit of a ballerina’s life.

From a young age, the female ballet dancer trains relentlessly, in the hopes of one day rising to fame, of becoming a star. Unfortunately, for most young dancers, the possibility of that dream becoming a reality is slim. It is more likely that she will spend most of her career in the corps de ballet; the ensemble group dancing in unison around the featured soloists.

The dynamic of the dancers who make up the corps de ballet is unique only to them. Despite sharing a bond closer than blood; they are painfully aware of how short their careers are. Every girl in the corps de ballet prays to be noticed, to be promoted, and to achieve her dream.

Adrienne, is one of the many swirling bodies in the backline of the corps. Adrienne is a young dancer with the Grinkov Ballet, talented, but often ignored by the company’s merciless director. She finds a pair of scarlet stockings, after which she is suddenly catapulted to fame and stardom. She finds a pair of scarlet stockings, after which she is suddenly catapulted to fame and stardom.

Unaware and dismissive of the heavy price attached to the stockings; Adrienne's manic obsession with keeping the power she believes they possess to herself escalates, and she begins to lose touch with reality.

The Scarlet Stockings features set, lighting, and sound design by some of Benilde’s best young talents; as well as the scholars Ballet Philippines Dance School (both past and present).

With original choreography by Cheska Reyes (formerly a scholar of Ballet Philippines) The Scarlet Stockings, Benilde’s first fully balletic dance thesis production in nearly a decade, intends to take audiences on a journey, and show them physical and emotional struggles of what is arguably the country’s most difficult and underappreciated career. What is the price of attaining a goal? Where does one draw the line between ambition and obsession?

The date of the show is on March 10 (7pm), and March 11 (7pm), at the 5th flr School of Design and Arts, SDA TheaterCollege of St. Benilde, Pablo Ocampo St, Manila. For ticket information, visit fb.com/TheScarletStockings or contact 09064680226

CSB'S First Ballet Thesis "Scarlet Stockings" Goes Onstage

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