Ellen Ongkeko Marfil

Ellen Ongkeko Marfil

In Calendar on February 27, 2009 at 7:05 am

with hat
Ellen Ongkeko Marfil

Her most recent work is “Boses” (Voices), one of the topgrossers and one of the most-reviewed, at the Cinemalaya film festival July 2008,about the friendship between an abused child and a reclusive violinist. Sponsored by Unicef, CWC ,DSWD and Casa San Miguel,it got 6 major awards at the Golden Screen Awards, was declared best script, best direction, best film at Gawad Tanglaw, nominated in all major categories at Urian and competed and screened at various film festivals abroad-New York, L.A,Chicago, Spain, Korea, Hongkong, Geneva, and presently screening in various schools and communities around the country.
sponsored by various organizations with advocacies for child rights to gender issues, human rights and peace initiatives, as well as music and film appreciation.

Her first full-length digital feature transferred to film, Mga Pusang Gala (Stray Cats), which she both directed and produced, won the Docker’s first feature award at the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival last June 2006 and was invited to various festivals abroad(Fribourg, Switzerland; New York, Dallas, Chicago, USA; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Melbourne,Sydney, Australia,Berlin). The film was picked-up for worldwide distribution by an L.A based company, its dvd released in 2007 and pending technical clearance for the American TV network “Here”.

In the Philippines,the film was screened on the mainstream theater circuit and received awards and nominations from almost all awards-giving bodies, including teachers’ organizations.

Her documentary-drama on Filipino desaparecidos “Walang Bakas” (Without a Trace) which she did for GMA Network was chosen best drama program by the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2004. It was also a finalist at the Asian TV awards, as two of her teleplays were in previous years :Rattle for Maalaala Mo Kaya; Rosaryo (The Rosary)for GMA telesine.

Her first full-length digital feature is the critically-acclaimed “Angels”,a Star Cinema production which tackles the true-to-life story of a blind couple’s struggles to raise a family amidst an uncaring society. It was made available in vcd format and it is still being shown on cable tv.

Her documentaries “Is your gender an issue?” and “Luha, Pawis at Tuwa: Kasaysayan ng mga Babaeng Maralita” (Tears, Sweat and Laughter: A Story of Urban Poor Women) won at the GAWAD CCP awards.

Schooled at the Assumption College, San Lorenzo, University of the Philippines,Diliman (a cum laude graduate in A.B. Broadcast Communication) ,Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA artist-teacher 1979-1988 PETA Broadcast and Film Inc. training officer,1988-1991), Mowelfund Film Institute, with short visitorship programs in Paris and London, a veteran writer-director-producer for both alternative and mainstream circuits, once a supervising producer for Star Cinema (1994-1997)and recently a public affairs progam manager for GMA Network (I-Witness, Debate,Unang Hirit 2000-2003), she recently founded “ERASTO FILMS,Inc.” named after her father, which means “man of peace”. Its objective is to help push alternative filmmaking to the forefront of Philippine Cinema, and create mainstream impact. By alternative, she means films which connect to the Filipino soul faithfully, and providing new insights and new ways of experiencing life more meaningfully; new technology –digital, which is cheaper , and which thus allows greater room for experimentation and finally, new ways of organizing business relationships, where everyone shares both risks and profits and leads towards a ‘”solidarity” type of economy. Erasto Films’ first project is Mga Pusang Gala, which was made possible through equity-sharing of almost the whole cast and staff.

She is a founding member and presently chair of the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative.

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