Local Audience Gets Intelligent

Director Carlo Ortegas Cuevas and cast: Targeting just a small chunk of viewers

By Ricky Calderon

“Guerrero” is only the second film of indie director Carlo Ortegas Cuevas. His first film was “Walang Take Two” which won international awards in 2016.

Said film won Best Director for a Foreign Feature Film at the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema in London, and Best Cinematography in a Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Madrid International Film Festival.

It also won the Jury Award and Best Lead Actress in a Foreign Language Film at the Berlin International Filmmakers’ Festival, Platinum World Award, World Newcomer Filmmaker of the Year, and Golden Award for International Film in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Carlo said the awards by “Walang Take Two” were unexpected. “We we’re just targeting a small audience for our indie film. When the film became successful, the head of INCinema (the film arm of Iglesia ni Kristo) to send the movie to compete in festivals abroad,” said the newbie filmmaker.

His latest movie from EBC Films had a successful red carpet premiere recently at SM Megamall Cinema 3.

The movie stars Genesis Gallos (as Ramon Guerrero who plays a struggling boxer) and Julio Cesar Sabenorio as Miguel (who plays Ramon’s younger brother).

Carlo is thankful that even small film productions coming out with indie films are also being supported by the audience.

“For me, what is important is you have a good story to tell. The reason why we make movies is because we want to tell a story. If we see that the audience likes a movie because it has a good story, it means our audience is getting more intelligent,” the director said.

Carlo also wrote the script of “Guerrero” which will be shown in cinemas on November 12.

Before he went into directing movies, Carlo worked in ABS-CBN as a director for shows such as “Krusada,” “Pinoy True Stories,” “My Puhunan” and “Mission Possible.” Then he joined the INCinema competition in 2014 which paved the way for him directing “Walang Take Two.”

With the success of indie films like “Kita Kita” and “100 Tula Para kay Stella,” Carlo believes the Pinoy audience is now ready for story-driven features. “They (audience) want movies that tell a different story, not the usual fare dished out by mainstream studios,” he said.

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