It seems the serious and the flamboyant side of indie filmmaking in this country won’t run out gay themes as subject matters or outright flaming gays as dramatis personae.
In fact, there was a time when indie films were mostly associated with pornographic gay films, which used to flood the nook and cranny of Quiapo—the country’s notorious marketing center of pirated DVDs.
The stigma has lost virtually to the prevailing output of more serious indie filmmakers tackling varied themes and bagging awards in creditable and less creditable international film fests abroad.
One most recent film with a gay theme and gay characters in it billed Pare, Mahal Mo Raw Ako is about to cross the commercial theater circuit under the direction of Joven Tan who is known for his past outputs like Bahay Ni Lola 2, Biyahera, Forever My Love, Tabi tabi po, Bigay Hilig, Paupahan, Crossroads, etc.
“Essentially, my current film is one of coming- out and confronting one’s demon within the narrative of tragic-comic with happy and enjoyable twists and turns that could make for a wallop of liberating feel good movie after watching it,” discloses Director Tan.
Playing the role of a closeted gay young adult is Edgar Allan Guzman who is no newbie in doing indie films having won an indie Best Actor award for his role in Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me opposite Mercedes Cabral in the past Cinemalaya film fest.
In Pare Ko…, Edgar through much of the film struggles to open up his true feelings to its dramatic arch to the sole object of his affection played by Michael Pangilinan in an introductory role as the former’s foster brother of sort.
“Edgar’s awkward way of opening up his emotions to Michael is the crux of the film’s breezy storyline as closeted gay person thrown into his own emotional and comic ways of confronting his hidden sexual preference ,” adds Director Tan.
Backing the tandem are solid supports from the wacky team of Matt Evans and Jorros Gamboa as buddies of Edgar and Michael.
Superstar Nora Aunor lends major support as Edgar Allan’s mom. She plays the role of a liberated lesbian in a fulfilling relationship with Ana Capri. At first it was most difficult for Allan to accept the open relationship of her mom with another woman, but the notion of truth and the liberating outcome in accepting one’s true sexual identity eventually led both mother and son to embrace each other unconditionally.
Tan who is on the side an award-winning composer has put to good use his own composition Pare, Mahal Mo Raw Ako as the movie’s theme song rendered by Michael himself.The same song won for Michael Pangilinan as interpreter in the past Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs.
Pare, Mahal Mo Raw Ako aims to set the bar higher among coming out films as subject matter. It hopes to make the rounds of local award-giving bodies and international film festivals and perhaps bag some awards abroad.