Alfred Vargas, along with the cast of his indie film ‘Kaputol’, was given the Best Performance Award at the 5th Film Ambassadors’ Night (FAN) organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), chaired by Liza Diño-Seguerra.
“Completing a film born out of passion is a reward in itself,” remarked the Congressman of the 5th district of Quezon City. “Being honored for it is an inspiration and a validation that we are on the right track.”
Apart from being the lead actor of ‘Kaputol,’ Alfred also served as the producer of the independent film.
Kaputol won Best Performance for the entire cast — that include Cherie Gil, Angel Aquino and Ronwaldo Martin — at the recent Innuendo International Film Festival in Milan, Italy. The film was also in competition in two other festivals: India’s Bengaluru International Film Festival, and Rome’s Asian Film Festival.
“Kaputol is a passion project. Our production outfit, AV Cinema, produced it knowing that the chances of an ROI are almost nil. But the screenplay of Ricky Lee, based on the short film he and our director, McArthur Alejandre, collaborated on in the 80’s, was too good to remain on paper. It just had to be done,” Alfred explained after receiving his trophy as an honoree.
According to the online post of FDCP on its social media account, the FAN event is a recognition to ‘Filipino film industry creatives, artists, filmmakers, and the films of various formats that gained recognitions from established international film festivals and award giving bodies in the past year.’
Alfred has good words to say about his experience in working with his co-actors:
“It was a pleasure working with Cherie Gil. Both of us played very challenging dual roles. In our scenes, the creative energy was palpable.
“It is a film within a film. Cherie, who portrays Kiki, a film director, and I, Robert, her close friend and a film actor, make a film where we both play the lead roles of Caloy (a “mangangalakal” or a junk scavenger) and Rina (a rebel in hiding) who are siblings.
“This is based on an unfinished script of Robert’s son (Ronwaldo Martin) who had been missing for four years. The physical demands of the roles were made more challenging by their emotional journey. And the entire acting ensemble gave superb performances.
“Angel Aquino as Maybelle, the lesbian lover of Kiki, and Ronwaldo Martin as Conrad, the son, were brilliant. Included in the cast are some of the most respected names in theatre and the indie film movement: Soliman Cruz, Adrienne Vergara, Elora Españo, Lee O’Brian, Hector Calma, to name a few.”
Apart from being a TOYM awardee and a top congressman, Alfred Vargas is an internationally awarded film producer. His latest film, Tagpuan, has just won Best Feature Film in the Chauri Chaura International Film Festival in India.
“All these international recognitions have made me happy and proud. The people who work in film are cultural workers. We just don’t make films to earn. We make it to feed our soul and contribute to the soul of the nation. Arts and culture help shape our identity and our nationhood; it helps synthesize our past and present to formulate a clearer perspective of our future. I’d like to thank the FDCP for honoring the film workers because in honoring them, they also honor the film community.”
Alfred is also all praises to the arts and entertainment community amidst these trying times.
“I also wish to honor everyone in our film community, and also the people in theatre, dance, music and other forms of art. We have all persevered in this very challenging time. In spite of the challenges, we have found ways to survive and grow. Many years ago, as a student involved in theater, I learned [that] art is a collective and art is forever. With art, there is always hope.”