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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 3, 2010


When the 6th Cinema One Originals Film Festival opens at the Shang Cineplex of the Edsa Shangri-la Plaza Mall from November 10 to 16, witness actor Sam Milby confront his past to complete his present in the beautiful melodrama Third World Happy.

Writer-director Edward James or EJ Salcedo has assembled a diverse cast that mixes screen stars with indie actors from his past works to create a film based on real people with real conflicts. It stars matinee idol and singer Sam Milby, who for the first time stars in a Cinema One Originals movie and even plays an intriguing character that veers away from the usual pretty boy leads he’s usually portraying. “My character is a lost soul who is a truly gifted artist. Imagine he lost his parents at the time he got his biggest accomplishment. That gives him a painful irony. I’d like to show on-screen how I could fill that void Wesley has.” He even admits feeling the wide perspective working in a Cinema One movie provides. “Since I’m surrounded by many seasoned mostly theater actors, and the energy of our director is contagious and our movie that’s different from my mainstream ones, nothing here restrains us from doing a movie that’s worth watching”. Third World Happy also stars Jodi Sta. Maria, Richard Quan, Melissa Mendez, Archie Adamos, Archie Alemania and Raul Morit.

Third World Happy is a simple story of a ‘balikbayan’ artist who has spent most of his life abroad and whose perspectives in life has changed upon coming home to attend a funeral and reunite with his ex-girlfriend and childhood friends. During his short stay, he gradually re-acquaints with what he has left behind. Slowly he becomes endeared once again with the little things from his hometown that he used to take for granted.

The filmmaker E.J. Salcedo has lived half his life in the Philippines and in the United States, having finished high school and college in Houston, Texas. An advertising graduate from the University of Houston, he was a member of the school’s 1995 National Advertising Champions. In the intervening years, Salcedo, himself a “balikbayan” has garnered a wealth of experience from both rooting and uprooting himself here and abroad. After graduation, E.J. chose to go home and became a copywriter at J. Walter Thompson Manila. In recent years, he has directed music videos for M.Y.M.P., Greyhoundz, and Dice and K9. His freelance directing works include corporate videos and TV commercials for Nestle Philippines, Ericsson, Bayan Telecomm, Aboitiz Group and Meralco. His most recent and personal writing/directing project is a short film called Talahib – which is included in VIVA Digital’s groundbreaking full-length feature film series called Imahe Nasyon. In 2007, the work garnered a Gawad Urian Nomination for Best Short Film. “The script of Third World Happy has been in my head for the past 10 years now. My goal is to create a Filipino Film about real people, with real problems who engage in real conversations”.

In this manner, I'm experimenting and hoping that the audience will appreciate the inner struggles of the characters more than the visual treatment of the whole film,” shared Salcedo. This ushers to justifying why the director assures Sam Milby is the perfect man to play Wesley. “Sam is a Fil-Am who can give justice to the script by knowing the sentiments of being far away from home for a long time.”
What will Wesley discover and learn from his old wounds? Will Third World Happy put Sam Milby in the first league of serious actors? Will he win the best actor award in the 6th Cinema One Originals Awards Night on November 14?

The Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2010 is an annual project of Cinema One. Cinema One is the movie channel on cable owned and operated by Creative Programs, Inc.

Sam Milby – Wesley
Jodi Sta. Maria – Aylynn
Richard Quan – Kuya Danny
Melissa Mendez – Aunt Beth
Archie Adamos – Tiyong Boy
Archie Alemania – Lyndon
Raul Morit – Mang Tent
Tweet Sering – Achi
Hector Macaso – Bong
Sasi Casas – Menard
Monzi Reyes – Chin-chi
Geraldine Tan – Aylynn’s Mom
Eugene Herrera – Dexter
Catherine Noguera – Mai

Director, Writer and Line Producer – EJ Salcedo
Director of Photography – Ogi Sugatan
Cinema One Script Consultants – Sherad-Anthony Sanchez, Ricky Lee
Production. Manager – Christine Reyes
Assistant Directors – Hector Macaso, Sasi Casas
Technical Director – Malay Javier
Director of Photography, New York – Eric R. Velarde
Camera – Rick Reyes, Malay Javier, Sandra Santiago
Editor – Catherine Rada
Continuity – Che Villanueva
Production Designer – Timmy Harn
Art Department – Mikey Red, Misha Balangue, Jacyn Esquillon
Make up Artist – Ria De Guzman, Anne Magadia
Sound – Allan Hilado, Nestor Fuentes
Soundtrack – Anto Bautista
Additional Music – Prank Sinatra, Reybe Rempillo, Weed
Artworks – Jon Red, Wesley Valenzuela, Art dela Cruz
Location Consultant – Karr Catamora, Mimi Tecson
Grips – Carlos dela Torre, Vicente Diaz, Alfred Perez, Eldie Perez
Production Assistant – Tanya Reyes, Rainier Gruta
Gaffer – Ronnie Tillado
Technical – Bigtop Praxi, Filpix, One Chemistry Films

To view the rest of the Entries:
Cinema One Digital Film Festival 2010