First, the 5-minute “Dabadaba,” a short film by multi-awarded and multi-talented Ilonggo artist Peter Solis Nery that became viral on YouTube in October last year.
Now, exactly a year later, the 42-minute version “Dumangas 2010” is premiering at the Dumangas Covered Gym, Dumangas Plaza on Saturday, October 29 at 7 p.m.
What took so long?
“Life!” Nery quips. In addition to being an independent filmmaker, Nery is an orthopedic nurse, a traveling lecturer, and an award-winning writer and playwright, among many other things. Although he had been involved in many indie films before, and was assistant director with a cameo role in Tikoy Aquiluz’s “www.XXX.com” (Maverick Films, 2003), “Dabadaba” and “Dumangas 2010” are the first films Nery produced himself.
He explains, “I have a passion for storytelling—be it on the page, on the stage, or on the screen. Unfortunately, I don’t believe in ingratiating myself on others. I don’t trust the politics of literature and arts, so I had to earn a living to support my passion for storytelling. I want to tell my stories as I want them, without having to sacrifice or compromise my artistic integrity, so I am a nurse, too!”
Virtually one-man productions, “Dabadaba” and “Dumangas 2010” were written, produced, directed, shot, edited, and graphically designed by Nery himself. The films, actually versions of the same movie, star Manila-based model Jeffrey Dolotina, Dumangas locals Liezel Rose Demagajes and Regor Decolongon, and the American Randolph Graydon. Music for “Dabadaba” is by Diwa de Leon, while the original film score for “Dumangas 2010” is by Ryan Alfred Peñalosa, both Manila-based musicians.
With the support of Mayor Ronaldo Golez, both films will be shown free to the public as Nery’s contribution to the town’s 2011 Historical and Cultural Week and Haw-as Festival celebrations. They are also set for worldwide DVD release this Christmas.
In 1998, Nery won the Centennial Literary Prize for screenplay. In 2001, he won the Cinemanila International Film Festival Scriptwriting Competition. In 2003, he had a cameo role in Tikoy Aguiluz’s film on cyber prostitution, “www.XXX.com,” of which he was also assistant director.
“So, before indie filmmaker Brillante Mendoza’s Cannes honors, I already had an affair with the movies. I am not really a showbiz virgin. I know that I really want to tell stories. With words, thus the Palanca Awards. And with visuals, thus my dream of making movies,” Nery said.
“But getting a break is not easy. I learned that from publishing. I even ventured into self-publishing, with my DreamWings Publishing. From then and there, I realized that I can only rely on myself to produce what I want to produce. My motto is, if I believe so much in what I do, I should not wait for others to believe in them, too. Just do it!,” he added.
Seeking a greener pasture, he went to America, and became a nurse; but he continued to write. In fact, he continued to win more Palanca Awards. “Then, after helping out my family, I decided to spend some money on my art. I produced more books, finally started my website, and now my film venture.”
It’s all about passion, faith in one’s work, and generosity to tell stories. Nery is a storyteller. And this is his story.
© Kathy Villalon & The News Today: October 24, 2011