Tumbang Preso Opens in Cinemas October 8

By 10:09:00 PM , , ,

Tumbang Preso is based on a 60,000 cases of Filipino human trafficking annually.

Carlo, a smart 14-year old boy and his younger female cousin were promised rerestaurant work with a scholarship in the capital, Manila but ended up as slaves in a sardines factory. Children's hands are small so they fit well into the can. Their hands are bloody but consumers don't notice. The sauce is red.

He plays a game of manipulation and deceit with the owners of the factory and navigate around the complex power-play there. In his way are the manipulative factory owners and guards who see the evil around them but joke around to diffuse their own guilt.

Carlo clings on to memories of his old life - of running through open fields, of his parents and his school to keep himself sane and fighting. Most of the people in the factory are resigned to their fate and he sees his younger cousin slowly losing her own identity and drive.

He realizes that he is running out of time. He spends his days finding weaknesses in the factory setup. It culminates in a dangerous plan to escape where life and freedom are in the balance. A wall covered in sharp glass and the prospect of torture death stand in the way of freedom.

Indie filmmaker Kip Oebanda directed the film. The United Nations Children's Fund estimates that there are 60,000 to 100,000 Filipinos trafficked for prostitution and forced labor every year. In many of the media out about the issue, the portrayal of the victim has always been depressed, subservient and accepting of their fate. However, in reality, a lot of them fight for their freedom and find ways to escape. Sometimes, they succeed and in many instances, they fail. This is a more empowering image and is reflective of my personal experiences with the survivors.

The film is a suspense/thriller with dark comedy elements that presents an alternative to the victim narrative by showing the truth that these people can also be fighters. It also examines the corruption of the Filipino values of family and sacrifice as it becomes an excuse to commit atrocities. Finally, the film recognizes the reality that human trafficking happens right under our noses and that, ordinary people have a unique role to play in combatting it and creating the discourse of prevention needed to fight one of the greatest evils of our time.

Direk Oebanda was nominated for Best Production Design at this year’s Urian, for Siege Ledesma’s “Shift.” He worked as assistant director in Jet Leyco’s “Bukas na Lang Sapagkat Gabi Na,” Best Film winner at the Cinema One Originals festival last year. (Leyco is the cinematographer and Ledesma, the assistant director, of “Tumbang Preso.”)
For “Tumbang Preso,” Oebanda won the Best IFC Pitch at the Manila Film Financing Forum last year. “Among the prizes are a premiere night and exclusive theatrical run in SM Cinemas.”

The film was independently produced and shot by Kip and local producers on a relatively small budget, but the team was able to secure a first-rate production team and cast. The production of the movie and its initial distribution to SM theatres is secure. However, for the movie to have its desired impact it should be shown to people who cannot afford to go to theatres to watch.

The people who are most vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation are victims of poverty, conflict, and natural calamities; they reside in areas that are remote, devastated, and/ or poor. Traffickers target young people the most, and therefore the movie has to be shown in schools and communities where there are a lot of young people.

Hence, the movie is in partnership with the iFIGHT Movement.

The iFIGHT Movement is a youth movement that partners with different schools and universities to end human trafficking and modern slavery. It seeks to raise awareness on the issue and to prevent further incidences of human trafficking. It targets the youth, particularly the students. Its goal is to create a proactive generation in the fight against human trafficking.

CAST OF CHARACTERS:
KOKOY DE SANTOS AS CARLO
KEAN CIPRIANO AS VITO
TERI MALVAR AS JEA
RONNIE LAZARO AS JOSE
DOMINIC ROCO AS NICO
STAR ORJALIZA AS LIZ
KERBIE ZAMORA AS DON
RON CIENO AS JOEVEN
AND MS. JACLYN JOSE DOCTOR MILA
With the special participation of SHAMAINE BUENCAMINO AS TIFFY

PRODUCTION STAFF: Director - KIP OEBANDA
Executive Producer - ALBERT ALMENDRALEJO and KIP OEBANDA
Producer-FERDINAND LAPUZ
Screenplay - KIP OEBANDA
Cinematographer - JET LEYCO and NIEL BION
Production Designer - HARLEY ALCASID
Film Editor - CARLO MANATAD
Music - TERESA BARROZO
Sound-WILD SOUND

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