What Isn't There
Marie Jamora's labor of love sells out the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

It's all there! Metro Manila's indie film "What Isn't There" premieres in Los Angeles

Originally set to premiere this past Saturday, May 4th, the viewing was pushed after a slew of technical issues forced the sold out crowd who waited outside for over an hour at Koreatown's CGV cinema to ultimately go home unfulfilled.  Fortunately, it was rescheduled to Tuesday May 7th, giving me and countless others another opportunity to catch this very special film.

When I arrived at the cinema, the line was already wrapped around the outside.  There was excitement in the air, as most of the audience was seeing the film for the first time.  I previously viewed it at small screening this past August at Fully Booked in the Philippines, but I was equally excited for many reasons:

(a) Seeing it again on the big screen.
(b) Knowing the audience was in for a treat.
(c) I was incredibly happy that Director Marie Jamora's film was getting the recognition and buzz that it truly deserved.

Just before the film started, Marie came out and introduced it and gave some backstory on the efforts behind it.  Taking almost 10 years to make, it truly is a film where every frame is filled with the love, hard work, and the efforts of the countless people involved who helped to craft her vision.  She also specifically took a moment to thank everyone who came back out on Tuesday to give her film a second chance, offering buttons and other swag to anyone who presented a Saturday ticket stub.

It's a film I highly recommend, a 4-star effort, filled with inventive cinematography, the indie music that makes the music scene of the Philippines so great, and oozing with Marie's personal style in each and every frame.

"Gibson Bonifacio (played by Dominic Roco) stopped speaking when he was a child.  Now twenty years old, he is back in Manila for Christmas. While always festive in the Philippines, for his family it is tinged with sadness, marking the anniversary of his twin brother’s death.

Against the backdrop of the vibrant local music scene, his childhood best friend tries to reconnect with him, while he unexpectedly finds a chance at his first, real romantic relationship (love interest played by Annicka Dolonius). Gibson Bonifacio stopped speaking when he was a child. Gibson reconsiders and redefines his relationship with his family, with himself, even with his dead brother: the only person he talks to."

The film screened without a hitch, receiving tremendous applause as the last frame hit the screen.  Afterward Marie set up shop outside, selling merchandise, answering questions, and taking pictures with fans.  I was very happy as I was able to purchase one of the 5 remaining limited edition vinyl soundtracks she had for sale.  She even signed it for me!

The soundtrack is equally as important as the film itself, acting almost as a character in the film.  When I arrived home at nearly 1am, I played it in it's entirety and it represents everything that makes O.P.M. (Original Pinoy Music) great, combining pieces of the score (Mikey Amistoso, Diego Mapa, Jazz Nicolas), new music, and some classics.

PURCHASE Ang Nawalang Sountrack on iTunes

The film screens next in San Francisco (see below):

Saturday June 8, 2013
7:30pm at the YBCA Screening Room


If you have the opportunity to catch it, I highly recommend it.  It's a fantastic journey that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you look at Metro Manila and the Philippines in a whole new light!

**** 4-Stars

Additional images provided by Marie Jamora