JIMFF

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5th(2009)
The Voice
Philippines | 2008 | 98min | COLOR | Drama

PROGRAM NOTE

Rescued from his abusive father, 7-year-old Onyok is brought to a shelter of abused children run by Amanda. She realizes that Onyok is unable to speak caused by a physical trauma. On the first day at the shelter, Onyok hears the faint sound of a violin being played from far off. This strange but beautiful music captivates Onyok’s attention. It was played by Amanda’s reclusive brother Ariel, who has turned back on his career as a concert violinist and came back to the family house bearing a terrible guilt. This is the beginning of a simple, yet moving friendship between Onyok and Ariel. Ariel’s initial cynicism over his sister’s commitment to the abused children slowly melts when he sees Onyok’s intrinsic inclination to the violin. Onyok proves to have undiscovered talents that lead Ariel to teach him. Amanda begins to worry, however, when Ariel begins to push Onyok beyond his limits, leading the boy away from dealing with his own emotional issues as well as straining his new-found friendship with Shirley. As time goes by, Ariel’s secret guilt over the death of his sweetheart is revealed. Does Ariel really care for Onyok’s condition, or is he pushing Onyok to fulfill a shattered dream? In the meantime, Onyok’s father is slowly rehabilitated and the shelter is eventually preparing for reconciliation between father and son. Ariel realizes that he does not own the child. And their friendship will have to encompass both their individual issues -- hardly similar and yet resonant to both of them. 

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DIRECTOR

Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil

After studying broadcasting and films, director Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil worked as documentary filmmaker directing Angels and Without a Trace which earned her commercial and critical acclaims. She recently founded Erasto Films to push alternative filmmaking to the forefront of Philippine Cinema and create the mainstream impact. The company’s first project and her first feature, Stray Cats (2005) travelled to many film festivals including New York, Fribourg, and Berlin. The Voice is her second feature film. 
Producer
: Erasto Films
Cast
: Coke Bolipata Julian Duque Ricky Davao
Screenwriter
: Froilan Medina Rody Vera
Cinematography
: Nap Jamir
Art director
: Bianca Gonzales
Editor
: Orlean Joseph Tan
Music
: Jourdann Petalver
Sound
: Allan Marcelo Hilado
jimff@jimff.org