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In Nomine Matris premieres in Spain

In Nomine Matris - Official PosterIN NOMINE MATRIS is the Closing Film at the VII Ciclo de Cine y Flamenco in Sevilla, Spain

Filipino independent movie IN NOMINE MATRIS (In the Name of the Mother) by writer and director Will Fredo has been selected to be the closing film at this year’s VII Ciclo de Cine y Flamenco in Sevilla, Spain. The yearly celebration of Flamenco films at the heart and origins of the dance, Andalusia, Spain, will premiere the movie at its capital in Sevilla this July 4th as the festival’s closing film. Instituto Andaluz Del Flamenco, Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Government of Andalusia with the support of UNESCO and Centro de Iniciativas Culturales de la Universidad de Sevilla (CICUS) organize the festival.

As critic and columnist Mario Bautista declares, “In Nomine Matris is the first local [Filipino] movie to feature flamenco as part of the story. It could very well be our official introduction to this classical Spanish dance with its elaborate footwork, arm, hand and body movements, sometimes with castanets or a fan.” The movie, produced by HUBO Productions, is the first Filipino film to be presented in the Festival. In Nomine Matris stars 38th Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave Best Actress Liza Diño (also a contender for the Best Actress plum of the forthcoming Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino URIAN Awards) together with Biboy Ramirez, Al Gatmaitan, Tami Monsod, and Clara Ramona (URIAN Best Supporting Actress nominee).

“Kinakabahan ako actually. To show the people of Andalusia (Spain) our movie is a big deal. The place is the heart of Flamenco, they can be really critical about the art form. But for the film festival to invite and appreciate what we tried to do in In Nomine Matris is very humbling,” expresses Fredo.  “It’s about time we highlight the thriving topnotch Flamenco artists we have here in the Philippines,” he added. As articulated by Tito Genova Valiente, Chairman of Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, “In Nomine Matris remains one of the most thematically daring and, ultimately, most visually compelling of films produced in this republic. Dance in this film is not merely an expression of a mood; dance in this film pushes the tale to a finish.”

Based on real life events, this heart-stomping and intense drama, In Nomine Matris (In the Name of the Mother) dares to capture the passion of women and their dance. At the same time the narrative pays homage to the Philippines’ Spanish heritage and culture.

In the heart of Metro Manila, Mara (Diño), a young dance protégé, seeks to land the principal part of a dance company that is helming a show named In Nomine Matris. On her quest to land the coveted break, a series of events turned her sense of meaning upside down and is faced with a life-changing decision. She turns to her mentor Mercedes (Ramona) and her mother Ava (Monsod) as she searches for answers in the beautifully loud and endlessly moving world she lives in.

The movie also features Jam Pérez, Maradee De Guzman, Bong Cabrera, Leo Rialp, and Joan Palisoc. Flamenco master Clara Ramona dance-choreographs and world jazz musician Bob Aves scores the film, fusing original Filipiniana and Flamenco movement and music.

In Nomine Matris closes VII Ciclo de Cine y Flamenco

In Nomine Matris closes VII Ciclo de Cine y Flamenco

In Nomine Matris Director’s Notes

Director Will Fredo

Director Will Fredo

“What made this film worth making?” I asked myself.  It’s been a journey, and the journey was good.

Mining the dramatic Spanish-Filipino narrative, the idea of fusing Filipino dances with Flamenco, the possibility of collaborating with Bob Aves, Philippines’ foremost world-jazz musician, and showcasing the hustle and bustle of contemporary Manila are the elements that first and foremost got me really excited in developing this film. You see, I watched a lot of telenovelas with my mother growing up. And a lot of such influences somehow got channeled into this movie. But my goal from such dramatic elements was to show a level that would be relatable to a lot of people.

The script was inspired by my friend’s real-life personal story. I further interviewed a lot of Flamenco dancers, and saw an abundance of passion to the art form. I see it as a devoted lifestyle, not just a dance form. I wanted to capture that and I wanted to utilize a dramatic narrative technique that is embedded in the Spanish influence on Filipino culture. But I realized, I cannot claim that we’re doing a flamenco movie, for the story is beyond the dance form. I see this movie as a homage to the dance form, to our Spanish influence, and an appreciation to our unexplored heritage.

After writing the first draft, I was motivated to tap on the growing popularity of Clara Ramona’s Flamenco Dance Company in Manila.  Her dancers are already experienced in Flamenco dance. Clara Ramona, herself, is a passionate dancer and a fiery choreographer.  Perhaps one should see her perform live in order to understand what I am talking about. She is that good. And surprisingly, for a first time actor, her attack on Mercedes Lagdameo character, the unseemly cold Flamenco maestra in the movie, is something critics should take notice.

It is widely known that the Philippines was under the Spanish rule, and its influence abound. In spite of this, however, Flamenco remain a relatively new dance to the general populace.  In a way, it is still in its infancy, thus when the core crew was auditioning for more dancers we had to tap those who come from different dance backgrounds—modern, jazz, even hip-hop. We had them undergo a grueling three-month training designed by Clara Ramona. The best thing about Filipinos is that they are a quick study. They seem to be born to dance, born entertainers.

The music is a challenge. I approached Bob Aves early on in the project and bounced off with him about the idea of fusing Filipiniana with Flamenco rhythms. Fortuitously, he was developing Kundiman music for the enigmatic singer Grace Nono, so he was receptive to the innovation. He was intrigued by the idea of using Flamenco’s 12-beat “compas” in Filipino music.  The result is a glorious pieces of music. The dancers themselves were in awe, and could not believe they were dancing to some new music.

When it came to deciding as to who will play the main character, the award-winning actress Liza Diño was a natural choice. She’s a flamenco dancer herself. I have previously worked with her in the film Compound, where she was cited for her acting in an international film festival and earned her Harvest of Honor Award bestowed by the Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and the Arts. I was excited to work with her and was not a bit disappointed by the performance she turned in. In fleshing out the main character, the inexperienced vulnerable yet driven Mara Advento Bonifacio, Diño’s characterization and performance can only be described as tour de force. Hopefully, it will engage the general audience and critics alike.

Aside from Diño, the rest of the principal casts were a bevy of talent and easy to fall in love with. Biboy Ramirez is a dramatic soap opera actor in the Philippines. Playing someone that is a bit of unsure of himself and lacks confidence about what he feels is outside of the screen characters he had been associated with.  His acting here cannot be ignored, it is beautifully understated. Al Gatmaitan is a trained classical singer schooled in Italy, and is relatively new to Philippine independent cinema. He gives off a nice opposition to what Biboy is giving in the movie.  They are quite a pair of young actors.

Rounding off the mother in the movie is Tami Monsod, a respected theatre thespian. She tackled the role of Mara Advento Bonifacio’s mother with such depth and subtlety, resulting in an unmatched performance caliber. Her take on the disabled and “laos na” (has-been) dancer is chilling at the minimum.

Mixing different mediums of performances is something I consciously wanted to do, there’s dancing, some singing, and even open-mic poetry. The much heralded open-mic poetry scene in the movie is my way of summarizing my personal take on the movie. I am surprised how audiences react to it — they laugh at the beginning and get tense at the end.  “Kuti-kuta”, a collaborative piece with poet Roldan Din, that Jam Perez recites in the middle part of the movie is my take on what we feel as artists— that gnawing itch.  The poem could mean a bunch of things but for me, as a filmmaker, it’s that ever-burning itch to do, to make, to create, to feel.

Perhaps it is that itch that prompted me to make this film. It is that itch which determines that choices we make in life. But in hindsight, I recognize the strong female, specifically mother, figures that bring out the best of me as a Filipino. From the story of a female friend who was on the brink of motherhood but tragically lost her baby, from the stories and memory of my mother, the choices she made as a mother, from the tales of all the mothers I have met, from the culture that I grew up in that is undeniably matriarchal. What I make of me as a Filipino, and perhaps every Filipino, is in the name of the mother.

IN NOMINE MATRIS SPOTTED

In Nomine Matris at Fitness First

In Nomine Matris at Fitness First

In Nomine Matris at Fitness First
In Nomine Matris at Fitness First

An Actor’s Journey: Excerpts from In Nomine Matris

Liza Diño [photo by Ruben Domingo]

Liza Diño [photo by Ruben Domingo]

Actress LIZA DIÑO in the raw, as Mara Bonifacio Advento, the protagonist in the movie In Nomine Matris (In the Name of the Mother). She plays a young dance protégé in search for perfection, her real passion, and her true love.

Inspired by Bjork and Marina Abramovic work, transposing excerpts and creating a simplistic collage of lines from the movie In Nomine Matris as a performance piece, director Will Fredo together with long time collaborator Roldan Din, harnesses the rawness of Liza Diño by subjecting the actress in constrained body movements. At the same time, this piece showcases in a playful form the Spanish style monologue coming from the movie’s dramatic narrative. Accompanied by a heartfelt acoustic Flamenco-Filipiniana inspired musical score from Bob Aves, this performance piece will draw you closer to your own personal passion and desires.

“Sometimes, watching the journey of an actress go through cycles of emotion in constrained situations is simply breath taking,” Fredo explains.

 

 

CREDITS:
Produced by HUBO Productions
Creative Directors: Roldan Din & Will Fredo
Cinematography: Kim Guanzon & Marden Blake
Music: Bob Aves (taken from the movie In Nomine Matris)
Make-Up: Laa Hernando-Guanzon
Production Assistants: Ferdz Din & Zaldy Ilagan
Post Engineer: Will Fredo

 

This piece is not in the movie. This is simply a creative play used by the artists.

Fusing Worlds: A Glimpse at Art Collaboration

Clara Ramona as Mercedes Lagdameo

Clara Ramona as Mercedes Lagdameo

CLARA RAMONA, a world-renowned Flamenco master, shares her artistry in the movie In Nomine Matris. In this rare footage of deleted scenes from the movie, her character Mercedes Lagdameo pours out her soul, her passion, her frustration as an aging dancer, an embattled teacher, and above of all, as a loving mother.

Filipino music scholars agree that kundiman is uniquely Filipino musical form that taps deep into one’s heart and bring untold emotions.  Felipe M. de León Jr. once wrote that kundiman is a “unique musical form expressing intense longing, caring, devotion and oneness with a beloved…its music is soulful and lofty…”

Soleá is one of the foundational styles of flamenco that always incorporates the elements of romantic tragedy, desolation, and death. It affords the dancer both profound emotion and blazing footwork in the unique 12-beat cycle of flamenco music.

What WILL FREDO envisioned for the scene is to narrate the travails of being a mother from a Filipino perspective but express it in a form that is at once foreign and familiar. From this direction what BOB AVES has done is absorb the 12-beat cycle of soleá flamenco music into the lyrical triple time of kundiman. In this way the expressiveness that is distinctively Filipino is overlayed on the aggressiveness and passion that the dance required.  This has not been done before, and the result is simply astounding.


The Movie  |  The Music  |  The Cast

In Nomine Matris Principal Cast

LIZA DIÑO (Mara Bonifacio Advento) is a film, tv and stage actress who has appeared in numerous films for both independent and commercial acting studios. Notably, she has appeared in commercial films like Two Timer, Pinay Pie, Xerex, and A Love Story. She landed one of the lead roles in the independent film Compound by HUBO Productions which ignited her lingering interest in indie projects. Her role in Compound earned her the lone acting recognition in the 2011 International Film Festival Manahattan NYC and eventually led to her receiving a Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ Ani Ng Dangal (Harvest of Honor) Award in 2012.  Diño graduated with BA Speech Communication from the Univeristy of the Philippines, Diliman (UP). While at UP, she started venturing into stage acting and appeared in productions mounted by Dulaang UP like Passion of the Christ, Shakespeare’s Winter Tale, and Divinas Palabras. As a student, she joined the 2001 Mutya ng Pilipinas and was crowned as Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism and officially represented the country in the Miss Tourism International 2001. After which, she started appearing in television projects primarily as a member of GMA 7 Artist Center.  In 2005, a trip to Spain piqued her interest in flamenco, and made her decide to train under Clara Ramona. Together with Ramona, she has performed all over Asia and the US. She migrated to the US in 2008, where she currently divides her time between acting projects and as a line cook for Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Liza Diño as Mara Bonifacio Advento

Liza Diño as Mara Bonifacio Advento

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIBOY RAMIREZ (Daniel Lagdameo) started as a commercial model doing television ads. He got noticed when he did work for Goldilocks bakeshop in 1998. An entertainment magazine columnist discovered him and eventually managed his showbusiness career. In 1999, German “Kuya Germs” Moreno gave him a regular stint in a variety show Bestfriends. From there Ramirez pursued acting by appearing in various television shows. In 2000, Ramirez became part of the original stable of actors of the pioneering teen drama show Clickin GMA Network.  Aside from acting in television and commercial advertising, Ramirez is involved in independent films both as a producer and as an actor, and has also appeared in stage productions. Outside of acting, Ramirez is into professional photography and events directing. Biboy just recently wrapped up the TV series “Enchanted Garden” for TV 5 and is now working as a regular at GMA Studio’s latest soap “Cielo de Angelina”.

Biboy Ramirez as Daniel Lagdameo

Biboy Ramirez as Daniel Lagdameo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AL GATMAITAN (Enrique Lagdameo Herrera) has distinguished himself in classical music and theater, having been involved with performing groups such as the Philippine Opera Company, PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association), Dulaang UP, UP Playwrights, Stages, Maskara, Trumpets, and Tanghalang Pilipino. His initial music training was at the UP College of Music, after which he proceeded to Italy for vocal and acting training as well as language studies. His coach was Italian soprano Maria Francavilla from the Conservatory of Torrefranca ‘Vibo Valentia’, while his language studies led to a diploma in ‘Teaching Italian Language Abroad’ from the Dante Alighieri University for Foreigners in Reggio Calabria. He also obtained a Certificate of Training in Acting and Performing from Spazio Teatro. He capped his stay in Italy with a second place distinction at the Filipino European Pop Song Festival in Reggio Calabria.

Al Gatmaitan as Enrique Lagdameo Herrera

Al Gatmaitan as Enrique Lagdameo Herrera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCING

TAMI MONSOD (Ava Bonifacio) is a theatre actress whose credits include Angels in AmericaOur Country’s Good, All’s Well that Ends WellHow I Learned to DriveSacrilegeThe Vagina Monologues, and Equus. As a professional stage actress, Tami has worked primarily with New Voice Company under Monique Wilson but has also freelanced with other groups such as Repertory Philippines. Aside from acting, she has also been teaching theatre specializing in  writing and directing plays developed from student research and improvisation. This includes Remembering RezimaVery, Very Dangerous, The Book of Antigone, and, most recently, Indulto, a play about a woman bullfighter. In Nomine Matrismarks her return to acting after giving birth in 2005 and is her film debut. Tami began introductory lessons in flamenco during summer vacations in Spain.  She continued in Manila under Emma Estrada and, finally, under Clara Ramona who suggested that she audition for the role of Ava Bonifacio.

Tami Monsod as Ava Bonifacio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND

CLARA RAMONA (Mercedes Lagdameo) is an esteemed Spanish Filipina-American flamenco artist who has professionally gained recognition in the exclusive and cutthroat world of the complex art form. Despite being a “foreign” artist, for over 15 years she established herself in Madrid, the mecca of flamenco, founding her own dance company, Ballet Español de Clara Ramona, through which she has staged productions of critical acclaim the world over and gaining international recognition for her innovative choreographies. She has also collaborated with flamenco artists of stature such as La Tati, Tomas de Madrid, Miguel Angel and Antonio Alonso for over twenty years. Clara trained as professional ballet dancer and obtained a BFA at the Boston Conservatory of Music and Dance. She pursued further studies in Spanish classical dance and flamenco with masters such as Manolo Vargas and Antonio de Cordoba in Mexico and with Ciro, La Tati, Jose Granero, and Tomas de Madridamong others in Spain. Clara paved the way for flamenco’s blossoming in Asia, conducting workshops in Australia, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Japan. She is currently based in Hong Kong but spends much time travelling to Manila, Beijing, and other parts of Asia.

Clara Ramona as Mercedes Lagdameo

Clara Ramona as Mercedes Lagdameo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Movie  |  The Music  |  The Ensemble  |  The Company

Five Independent New Wave Opens the 38th MMFF

As first seen on COMMUTER EXPRESS (Entertainment Express section by Arsenio ‘Archie’ Liao)

Shout-out to the Creative Artists behind the In Nomine Matris poster:
Kim Guanzon (photography), Laa-Hernando Guanzon (make-up), and Roldan Din (stylist/art direction)

In Nomine Matris Official Poster in Commuter Express

In Nomine Matris Official Poster in Commuter Express
[ Click picture for a larger image ]

 

2012 International Film Festival Manhattan Awards Night

The 2nd Annual International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) held its Opening Night and Awards Ceremony last November 8 at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate in Manhattan, New York a day after a strong Nor’easter hit the city that is still recovering from the devastation brought about by Hurricane Sandy.

The festival is scheduled to run from November 9th till the 15th with all film screenings at the Quad Cinemas in Manhattan.

IFFM founders Luis Pedron and Gerry Balasta expressed their heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped them achieve their goal of showcasing and entertaining the diverse films in all genres and scope to equal the diversity of New York.

Here’s a complete list and snapshots from the Opening/Awards Night courtesy of Rex Romero, Fernell Cruz, and blogger Felix Manuel.

International Film Festival Manhattan Awards Night

International Film Festival Manhattan Awards Night

 

International Film Festival Manhattan 2012 Award Categories and Winners

2012 Mount Hope Project Awardees:

-“21 and a WakeUp”

– “ABC Nunca Mas”

-“Ganap Na Babae”

 

Best Director
-Will Fredo, “The Caregiver”

Best Cinematographer
-“I’ve Only Just Begun.”

Best Actress
-Tara Samuel, “Ruby Booby”

Best Actor
– Jacky Woo, “Haruo”

Independent Achievement Award (Short)
-Crystal Diane Stevens, “Organized Criminal”

Global Achievement in Acting/Independent Achievement Award (Feature)
– Jacky Woo, “Haruo”

 

Film Winners and Nominees:

*Best Short:
“Organized Criminal”
“Just a Joke”
“TheRapist”

Winner: “Just a Joke”

*Best Music Video:
“Living – Arrested Development”
“The Magic Rabbit 2”

Winner: “”Living – Arrested Development”

*Best US Documentary:
“Oxygen for the Ears Living Jazz”
“The YES Movie”
“Teach”

Winner: “Oxygen for the Ears Living Jazz”

*Best Global Documentary:
“Inori-Prayer Conversation with Something Great”
“ABC Nunca Mas”

Winner: “Inori – Prayer Conversation with Something Great”

*Best US Narrative:
“Theresa is a Mother”
“Musical Chairs”

Winner: “Theresa is a Mother”

*Best Global Narrative:
“The Foreigner”
“Misterioso Asasenito en el Aulas”

Winner: “The Foreigner”

*Most Popular Competition on Facebook Awarded Thurs Nov 15, 2012.

Runner Up:
ALIBI
Counting Happiness
TheRAPIST

Winner: “Counting Happiness”

 

2012 IFFM Best Director Will Fredo with Actress Liza Diño

2012 IFFM Best Director Will Fredo with Actress Liza Diño

 

2012 IFFM Best Actress Tara Samuel and her family

2012 IFFM Best Actress Tara Samuel and her family

 

2012 IFFM Best Global Narrative "The Foreigner"

2012 IFFM Best Global Narrative “The Foreigner”

 

2012 IFFM Best Short "Just a Joke" (Italy)

2012 IFFM Best Short “Just a Joke” (Italy)

 

As seen first Nov. 08, 2012 from columnist/blogger Felix Manuel: http://felixmanuel.opmbworldwide.com/post/35389602261/2012-international-film-festival-manhattan-awards [more photos in blog site]

Photo Credits: Rex Romero

A MAJOR MAJOR Announcement: HUBO joins The Slumber Party

HUBO and THE SLUMBER PARTY

HUBO Producer Ida Tiongson with Beauty Queen Venus Raj, Ining Dalmacio,
and Director Emman Dela Cruz [ Click picture for a larger image ]

HUBO Productions signed up its most recent collaboration deal via an agreement to support the production of Origin8 Media’s Slumber Party. HUBO Financial Director and Board Member Ida Ceniza-Tiongson was on hand to seal this deal with Slumber Party director Emmanuel Dela Cruz representing Origin8 Media. Slumber Party received a production grant from Cinema One Originals and is an official selection of the festival to be held this November.

Slumber Party is set on the eve of August 23, 2010, the night when a bus carrying Chinese nationals from Hong Kong are held hostage in Manila, Philippines while Philippine representative Maria Venus Raj is under pressure in the Miss Universe pageant to bring home the coveted crown. Three long time friends throw a sleep over party and do a vigil to once again show their support for the country’s delegate to the most prestigious beauty pageant.  Nursing a broken heart from a failed romance, Phillippe is joined by Elle and Jhana to carry him through that night. On what was planned as a light and fun night took a twisted turn when a young frat-boy broke into the house where they were staying.  Questions about life, love and friendship arose within the course of the night.

About Origin8 Media

Origin8 Media is founded by eight storytellers that aims to create and produce content that is original, excellent, and meaningful as it is commercially viable.  The founders are writers, producers and directors whose collective body of work in the film and television industry includes some of the biggest and memorable hits of the last decade. Work credits of the members of Origin8 in various capacities include Endo, Tanging Ina, KimmyDora, Nasaan Ka Man, Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington, and Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros.  Origin8 believes that excellent content and blockbuster success go hand in hand, that critical acclaim and mass appeal are not opposing forces.

About HUBO Productions

HUBO Productions is an independent multi-media production company that is known for its core film ventures. To date, HUBO has released three full-length films, that have been shown in the Philippines and in international film festival circuits. Its fourth release, In Nomine Matris, is going to be screened this December as an official selection of the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave Feature Film Category. HUBO has ventured its artistic reach in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. HUBO encourages artistry through practical means, and dedicates its art to stimulate the mind however unconventional and unfamiliar.

HUBO and THE SLUMBER PARTY

HUBO Producer Ida Tiongson (center) with Director Emman Dela Cruz
with the TRIBEK cast of The Slumber Party (l-r) Markki Stroem, Archie Alemania and RK Bagatsing,

FIRST LOOK : THE CAREGIVER Official Trailer

CLICK HERE >> THE CAREGIVER ON VIMEO from HUBO Productions on Vimeo.

In Nomine Matris

IN NOMINE MATRIS Official Poster

IN NOMINE MATRIS Official Poster
[ click poster for larger image ]

Official Trailer


Starring:
Liza Diño, Biboy Ramirez, Al Gatmaitan, with Jam Pérez, Maradee De Guzman, Bong Cabrera, Leo Rialp, Joan Palisoc, introducing Ms. Tami Monsod and Ms. Clara Ramona

Written and Directed by Will Fredo

HUBO Productions in cooperation with Trinity Hearts Media, The Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, Gobierno De España, Ministerio De Cultura, Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation, Instituto Cervantes Manila presents  IN NOMINE MATRIS (In the Name of the Mother).

LOG LINE:  A young dance protégé seeks to land the principal part of a dance company but soon found herself at a crossroad, forcing her to face her mentor and her mother as she searches for answers in the beautifully loud and endlessly moving world she lives in.

LONG SYNOPSIS:  In the heart of Metro Manila, Mara Bonifacio Advento, a young dance protégé seeks to land the principal part of a dance company about to embark on a tour. On her quest to land the coveted break, a series of events turned her sense of meaning upside down, and is faced with a life changing decision. She turns to her mentor Mercedes Lagdameo and her mother Ava Bonifacio as she searches for answers in the beautifully loud and endlessly moving world she lives in.

IN NOMINE MATRIS Official Symbol

Official Symbol
[ click symbol for larger image ]

Metro Manila, in its congested freeways and its busy streets, plays an integral part in creating the rhythm of the revolving lives of the people surrounding our protégé, Mara. Played by award winning actress Liza Diño who recently received an Harvest of Honor Award (Ani ng Dangal) from the Office of the Philippine President, Mara falls in love with Enrique (played by Italy trained opera singer Al Gatmaitan), the son of her mentor Mercedes (Clara Ramona) as she trains to be the principal dancer of the touring show ‘In Nomine Matris’.  In the midst of her blossoming desires for a man and her struggles to become the principal dancer, the unrequited love of Enrique’s brother Daniel (played by TV and movie star Biboy Ramirez) towards Mara complicates her dilemma. Forced to make a life changing decision as Mara prepares for the premiere of In Nomine Matris, her mentor challenges her to reach for the top while her mother (played by thespian actor Tami Monsod) inflicts her with a lesson she tries so hard not to follow. In the middle of EDSA, the famous transportation artery where the Philippine revolution transpired, Mara’s fate is handed to her by surprise, forever changes her.

In Nomine Matris (In the Name of the Mother) is a narrative close to the heart of filmmaker, Will Fredo. It is inspired by true events in the lives of real Flamenco performers and its growing popularity in the Philippines. The filmmaker aims to pay homage to the joys and failures of motherhood, to the beat of his matriarchal country, to the Spanish heritage ingrained in our Filipino culture by underscoring Philippine classics and the traces of intense passion of the Spanish sensibility.

The film fuses Philippine dances and Spanish Flamenco rhythms and steps, created and choreographed by world-renowned Flamenco master Miss Clara Ramona. Bob Aves, foremost Filipino world-jazz musician, composed a unique musical score combining Flamenco ‘compas’ and Filipino Kundiman. Aside from the dancing and the music, Fredo pushes the limit by adding Spanish verse opera singing by Al Gatmaitan and a gut wrenching original open-mic poetry performance by artist Jam Pérez. Filipino actors of diverse background lend their talents in giving life to a vision that is both familiar and challenging. These elements contribute to a rare viewing experience.


The Music  |  The Cast |  Director’s Notes