Julius Sotomayor Cena's "Mga Dayo": A Cinemalaya 2012 Finalist

Julius Sotomayor Cena's "Mga Dayo" is one of the 10 finalists in the 2012 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition's New Breed Full Length Feature Category to be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines with showing at Greenbelt 3 and Trinoma from July 20 to 29, 2012. The 25 film-entries in this year's were presented to the media during the press conference held at the CCP on June 28. 

It stars Sue Prado (Alex), Janela Buhain (Miriam), and Olga Natividad (Ella) with Brandon Muna, Charlene Baes Leffler, Louella Camaganacan, Aaron Agsalud, and Vicky Flor Dizon.

SYNOPSIS Guam, U.S.A. Thursday, November 24, Thanksgiving Day. Alex, a local newspaper photographer, gets into a “green card marriage” with her good friend James, a Guam-born Filipino. Miriam, a former member of the Philippine press and now an established Guam journalist, longs to repair a damaged relationship with her American husband. Ella, a hotel housekeeper for almost 20 years, finds means of sending her 88-year old mother to the Philippines with the uncertainty of coming back. As the island of Guam celebrates this classic American holiday when people count their blessings and give thanks, the lives of the three Filipina immigrants intersect and find themselves at a tug-o-war of sacrifice and significance where they must find their home or must they find it somewhere else.

FILMMAKER’S PROFILE Julius Sotomayor Cena was born in Pandacan, Manila and moved to Guam at the age of 15, making him 1.5 generation Filipino immigrant. He received his degrees in Psychology and Anthropology with minors in Sociology and Fine Arts: Art at the University of Guam. He received College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Student of the Year Award in 2007 and graduated cum laude. He is a visual art teacher and a filmmaker. He has been a part of several art exhibits on Guam including Creative Hands: Pacific at Isla Center for the Arts where his piece “Pandacan Fiesta” received Honorable Mention.

His exposure to the exciting and progressive art scene in the Philippines, particularly the film community, provided a springboard that embarked him on his filmmaking endeavors. He studied script writing with Armando “Bing” Lao in Found Story Workshop in 2010. His first short film, Fifteen-Year Dream, is a product of the Experimental Film Production under Sari Lluch Dalena at the University of the Philippines as a part of Surfacing, a filmmaking workshop series in 2009. Shortly after, he independently co-produced Lutrina with his good friend Waise Azimi. Set against the backdrop of a real Catholic procession, Lutrina became an official Guam International Film Festival entry in 2011 and received two nominations namely Best Made in the Marianas and Grand Jury Best Short Film – Narrative.

He finds himself drawn to subjects that are no longer around, with feelings he describes as “disconnected and foreign” which were once familiar and common. He tries to capture images of people in situations to reconnect with something that is no longer there, or he is no longer a part of. It is an emotion that can only be felt after leaving a special place, with the uncertainty of coming back.

Production: Writer and Director- Julius Sotomayor Cena; Script Consultant- Armando “Bing” Lao; Camera-Arden Bonto, Gilbert Toots Redila, Francis Pineda; Editing-Ver Custodio; Sound- Jesse Castro


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