Movie directing is a male-dominated profession. The most recent addition to the list of few women breaking into film directing is broadcast journalist Arlyn Dela Cruz. She has done around five indie films to her credit, bannered by Maratabat which won the PMPC Star Awards for Best Screenplay and another top award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival in New York.
Coming on the heels of Dela Cruz is Baby Nebrida, whose directorial debut Across The Crescent Moon is out-and-out action-drama with Matteo Guidicelli in the lead as Muslim soldier in the Special Action Forces. Co-starring are Joem Bascon, Christopher De Leon, Sandy Andolong, Dina Bonnevie and Gabby Concepcion among others.
An award-winning screenwriter, Nebrida has authored and produced various teleplays as well over a dozen screenplays in the ‘80s. Most memorable of which include Epimaco Velasco: NBI, Pido Dida 3: May Kambal Na, Cross My Heart, Langis At Tubig, and Init O Lamig.
It was even fortuitous for Caveat to co-write a teleplay with Nebrida and Domingo Landicho for a teleserye billed Sanga-Sangang Daan (Intertwining Lives) of the pioneering Balintataw drama anthology series produced and hosted by RM awardee in Public Service and PETA founder Cecile Guidote Alvarez.
Co-directed by Nick Lizaso and Jose Mari Avellana, topbilled by Julio Diaz and Suzette Ranillo, said teleserye was featured in a global broadcast on CNN.
When the mainstream movie industry was literally on the way out, Nebrida decide to live it out in New York with her two growing young kids Jodi and Cristie where her brother Vincent, who now heads Artikulo Uno film company and was famously connected with Hollywood at the time.
With the prodding of her already two grown-up children, Nebrida decided to come home for good together with her ever supportive foreigner husband.
Her comeback project was in 2012 when she wrote/produced Flames Of Love with Lani Mercado and Christopher De Leon in the lead. Son Jodi took charge of the technical stuff, while daughter Cristie was into production management.
Directed by Gigi Alfonso Javier, former chancellor of the UP Open University and of Gawad Urian, the film was Nebrida’s answer to the call of Pope Benedict 16th to evangelize and spread God’s love and mercy through mass media in celebration of The Year of Faith that year.
Nebrida is more than fortunate to direct from her own screenplay this time which tackles social problems among others, drug trafficking, differences in religious beliefs and human trafficking.
With the support of Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo dela Cruz and former DILG Usec Wency Andanar and his wife who were also Nebrida’s consultants, the finely written and beautifully crafted action- packed film is slated to make the rounds of screenings in many Muslim and Arab countries this year including Italy.
Neither pro-Muslim nor pro-Christian, the film is rather a pro-peace and pro-one God.