“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
“Puwang” offers an poignant and starkly real look into a family on the verge of falling apart in the face of impending death.
Talented indie actors give life to film’s uncommon yet familiar characters. Roence Santos plays Arlene, the eldest daughter who has been working too hard in caring for her bedridden father and keeping both her families together. She is unable to disguise her resentment toward her absent brother Angelo, played by Bon Reyes. Lorena Landicho plays the youngest sister Anne, fearful not only of her father’s death but also for the future of the child she will give birth to. Elmo Redrico delivers a brilliant portrayal of the invalid father.Penned, directed, and edited by Anna Isabelle Matutina, “Puwang” is her third film and the second one to be a finalist in the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.
Known to her peers as Sunshine, this 27-year old works a freelance film and TV editor slowly making a name for herself in the Philippine Independent film scene. Her previous short film “Ika-9 na Palapag” was the only Filipino film in the recent Creteil Women’s Film Festival in France. She has also edited award winning works like “Lata at Tsinelas” and “Ang Pamilyang Kumakain ng Lupa” by Khavn de la Cruz, “ICU Bed #7” by Rica Arevalo, “Blood Bank” by Pam Miras, and “Anak ng Tinapa” by Jon Red, among others.
“Puwang” is told with the grit of realism in Richard Legaspi’s production design in contrast with the muted clean elegance of Alma de la Pena and Wowie Hao’s cinematography. The music of Lionel Valdellon provides the backdrop of this taciturn short.
This film is the first production of Digital Cheese in cooperation with Red Room Productions, makers of the Katorse short film compilation DVD, and Brass Knuckles, Inc., long time producers of several digital films and music videos.
– written by Pam Miras (July 13, 2006)