Carlo Obispo’s “1-2-3” has been officially selected as the opening film for this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, happening on August 5-14 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The film will have its gala premiere on August 5 right after the Cinemalaya opening ceremonies.
READ MORE: GUIDE: Cinemalaya 2016
Produced by the makers of “Heneral Luna”, TBA (Tuko Film Productions, Buchi Boy Entertainment, and Artikulo Uno Productions), “1-2-3” explores the harrowing tale of human trafficking in the country. In its lead is Carlos Dala as Luis, a teenage boy from the idyllic fishing village of Silag. He goes through the issues of adolescence with his younger sister, Lulu, who busies herself by joining amateur singing contests in hopes of becoming a star. A talent manager soon discovers her singing and offers her to undergo vocal coaching in Manila, and later to join a popular TV singing contest. Lulu eagerly takes the opportunity and leaves for the city, thinking her dreams are finally coming true. However, after a few months, Lulu’s family loses communication with her. This drives Luis to go to Manila to find and save his sister.
Rounding up its young cast are award-winning actresses Barbara Miguel and Therese Malvar.
Obispo, a native of Tarlac and a graduate from Saint Louis University, debuted in Cinemalaya 2013 with his first full-length feature, “Purok 7”, a dramedy that follows the lives of the children of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who is facing death sentence in China. The film gained local and international recognition, including Best Full-Length Feature at the Lucas Children’s Film Festival in Frankfurt, Germany.
Aside from helming “1-2-3”, Obispo also wrote the screenplay for the film. As a storyteller, he admitted he likes to make films that voice out the feelings and thoughts of the marginalized and oppressed that would have never been told in Philippine mainstream cinema.