Six days before the Sine Bahaghari opening night.

It was very embarassing how it turned out that I misspelled two people’s names when I wrote the press release for Sine Bahaghari. And I found out about it after the press release was already posted in GMA News Online. My apologies to PJ and Roni Bertubin.

The Filipino LGBT experience showcased in Sine Bahaghari
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 5, 2012 ­— The status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) peoples remains as one of the last great civil issues of our time. In the Philippines, the LGBT community faces a multitude of issues: hate crime, discrimination, and HIV/AIDS, to name a few.

In celebration of National Arts Month, Akei, together with PinoyG4M and Pelikula Tumblr, launches Sine Bahaghari, a showcase of the Filipino LGBT experience as seen in Philippine alternative cinema. The Sine Bahaghari project aims to promote discussion on how the LGBT community is depicted in Philippine cinema and popular culture as well as introduce Filipino-made contemporary independent films to a wider audience.

Featured are two classic works by renowned director Lino Brocka, National Artist for Film, which explored homosexuality as viewed by Philippine society during the 70s.

Sine Bahaghari opens on February 11 at Chef’s Bistro with two films from celebrated Filipino filmmakers: “Next Attraction” by Raya Martin and “Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa” by Alvin Yapan. Also screening are films from prominent independent filmmakers, such as Adolf Alix Jr, Sigrid Bernardo, Roni Bertubin, and Vincent Sandoval.

Sine Bahaghari will have screenings on February 11, 18, 24 and 25. All screenings are free admission and open to the public.

Sine Bahaghari is included in the National Commission for Culture & the Arts’ (NCCA) Philippine Arts Festival this February 2012.

For more inquiries, please contact PJ Salenda at (0918) 942-8513 or email prsalenda@gmail.com. You could also visit the Sine Bahaghari website at http://sinebahaghari.pelikula.info.

That’s what happens when you’re doing several things all at once while having very little sleep.

I was finally able to sort out the width of the embedded Youtube videos in the website (the default Youtube shortcode doesn’t seem to work with the theme I used so I had to find another way), and PJ told me that the souvenir shirts and bags are already printed. Tomorrow, the invitation postcards — which took a lot more work designing than I initially though — will also be ready.

I am already excited for Saturday’s opening night. See you at Chef’s Bistro.

From kanto to Kanto: ‘Pinoy Rangers’, Gerilya’s first gallery exhibit.

I went to Kanto last night to discuss the details of the screening of Sine Bahaghari there next month. The artists of Gerilya were there preparing for the opening of their exhibit tonight.

Gerilya is a group of street artists. Street art and graffiti have always been a controversial art form, especially since mainstream society see it as vandalism. But if there were people who suddenly painted a bare wall one night in this manner, would you consider it vandalism?

I’d say it’s a welcome improvement.

Pinoy Rangers shows men with their faces covered by various variations of the Katipunan and Philippine flags, in poses imitating various super sentai and shonen heroes. The main idea is to compare our textbook definition of heroism to the modern pop culture idea of heroes as seen in popular action anime.

I asked them if one of them was responsible for the awesome wall art made in a torn-down building near where I live, but it seems the artist was not part of Gerilya. Too bad, I really wanted to say how I admired his work.

Pinoy Rangers, Gerilya’s first gallery exhibit, opens tonight and will run until February 12 in Kanto. Kanto is located at The Collective, 7274 Malugay Street, San Antonio Village, Makati.

Once this is over, maybe I could write about ‘how to organize a mini-film fest in 30 days’.

When I agreed to help friends organize a mini-filmfest of locally-made LGBT-themed films this February, I knew it’ll be difficult. Mostly because we all have regular jobs with incompatible working hours. At the very least, discussing about a non-profit project in between work, relationships and other personal responsibilities will take a lot of careful time management. One of us is not even currently living in the country and it was he who came up with the idea in the first place. But somehow, we’re able to plan, brainstorm, and argue over various details of the project.

It’s still too early to tell if the Sine Bahaghari project will be successful or not, but already there have been a few small, but not insignificant, miracles. We are able to secure at least 3 venues with minimal difficulty. And there are some film directors and producers who have given us support this early by graciously agreeing to have their film included in our program. So many people complain how the local film industry is pervaded with shallow and idiotic movies and is run by money-making studios who do not care for original ideas. But there is a mostly unseen side in the industry made up of people who truly love cinema. And there are so many of them.

It’s times like these when I really, REALLY value the help from many friends who graciously share ideas when I ask them, out of the blue, questions like, “Do you know where we could hold film screening on a minimal budget?” It’s just wonderful to have people like them to help us out.

The other day, I woke up too early after barely three hours of sleep to check my emails and see the updates we have for Sine Bahaghari. Bern woke up soon after when he felt I left the bedroom. When I got a response from one of the directors I sent a message to, I went back to our bedroom and told him about it.

I asked him how he could tolerate me and my manic moments. But you know, I’m really glad he does.