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Freedom In The Eyes Of Joshua Ashley Cailao: A Purposeful Filmmaker From Caloocan City


“Free yourself from the things that have been holding you back to reach your dreams.”


The moment Joshua Ashley Cailao uttered this line, I know for a fact that it will be a very interesting conversation.


At 21, Joshua Ashley, fondly called by his friends as “Jac” admits that it has always been a dream to create a film. With the opportunity given to him by the University of Caloocan City to direct one of the films for the Monumento Film Festival 2021, he knew right there and then, he had ticked off one of his bucket lists.


“Since bata pa lang ako, ito na ang pangarap ko. Originally gusto ko maging radio DJ, gusto ko napapakinggan yung boses ko sa radyo. Pero noong pumasok ako as a Communication student, doon ko narealize na parang ang sarap pala gumawa ng pelikula lalo na nung naging fan ako ng mga short films at indie films. Tapos syempre, hindi mo maiiwasan mangarap na gumawa ng sarili mong pelikula. Sumulat ng sarili mong istorya o makita ka sa camera. Noong na-achieve namin yun, or nagawa namin itong pelikula namin, fulfilling siya."


“It feels like there were a hundred of dreams fulfilled through just one film.”


“Na-direk ko ang pelikula at nakagawa kami ng story. Nasama pa ako sa pelikula kasi kailangan ng characters, Sobrang fulfilling niya as a communication student. Isa siyang pangarap na natupad. I never expected na makakagawa ng film o makakapag-direk and I’m happy na nagkaroon ako ng chance to do this.”


But mind you, his journey towards finishing his film “Her Dream” wasn’t as easy as you would think.


HOW IT ALL STARTED


“Her Dream” produced by Kalinaw Productions tackles the prevalent issue that is being faced by the youth today-- existential crisis. This film will open the eyes and hearts of the audience to free themselves from all the worries and pressure. That it is okay not to figure it out all yet and you’re truly bound for something greater.


“Ang film na ito hindi namin expected na ito ang magagawa namin kasi there are a lot of story pitches na nagawa nung production namin. We ended up making this film kasi unang-una, sobrang nakakarelate kami bilang mga youth. Dahil sa age namin, ngayon talagang nararanasan ‘yung tinatawag nating “existential crisis” , yung paghahanap mo ng purpose sa buhay mo.”


“Bilang isa sa mga kabataan na naghahanap ng purpose niya sa buhay kailangan mong maging malaya sa lahat ng pagkakataon, sa lahat ng pag-iisip kasi ikaw at ikaw lang din ang magdedecide ng mga bagay sa buhay mo.”

At 21, Jac and his team have a clear idea that they want to touch the heart of their audience. That it is normal to find yourself. That it is okay to be lost.

The creative team behind "Her Dream", an official entry to the Monumento Film Festival 2021.

“Kumbaga, nagiging stigma siya minsan. Gusto namin masabi sa manonood na it’s normal to take time and kilalanin ang sarili natin. At normal na nag-iisip tayo ng purpose natin sa buhay natin.”


“Sa pelikulang ito nasagot namin kung paano natin haharapin ang mga panahon na kinukwestiyon natin ang ating mga sarili. Okay lang na hanapin mo ang iyong sarili. There are times na you can't even decide for yourself kaya ang napagbabasehan mo ay ang mga nasasabi ng mga tao sa paligid. Our film wants to answer that question na ikaw at ikaw ang magdedesisyon. Kailangan mong maging malaya.”


AGAINST ALL ODDS


Producing a film in a time of pandemic is no joke. What more if the film you foresee requires a number of characters? With all the restrictions imposed in the country because of the current situation, Jac together with his production team made an effort to withstand all odds.


“Noong una pa lang iniisip namin paano siya gagawin kasi fantasy siya. Paano ba namin ie-execute? Pinakamahirap pa is kailangan namin ng maraming characters. We have to observe the IATF guidelines kaya sobrang strict din namin na masunod ‘yun. May mga part doon sa film na hindi mo dapat isuot ang mask mo kaya we made sure na nakapag-sanitize kami.”

As students, it is also given that they only had limited resources so they didn’t think twice to raise a fund campaign on facebook called, “Piso Para sa Pelikula.”

BTS photos during the Film production of "Her Dream"


“Ang paggawa ng film is hindi basta-basta and we actually planned na maghanap ng artista and syempre kailangan mong mag-prepare ng talent fee. May mga nilapitan kami na pwedeng makapagpa-sponsor. Nagbigay kami ng letters. Gumawa kami ng way para maka-gather ng funds para masuportahan ang aming short film. Malaking bagay ‘yun para sa pelikula namin para makapag-rent ng mga gamit at mga gagastusin sa film prod namin.”


When it comes to location hunting, they also quite struggled because they had to find different settings for the different scenes. They had to consider a lot of factors just to make sure that their location is fitting to the requirements of their film. Not to mention, the availability of the production team as well as their talents.


“Naging struggle din namin ang commitment ng bawat isa since kinailangan namin i-commit ang buong araw namin para sa shoot. Syempre, ‘yung iba sa amin nagwowork, yung iba sa amin ate sa bahay nila, anak sa bahay nila. So hindi talaga maiiwasan na may ka-miyembro tayo na mawawala sa shoot. Kaya medyo nahirapan kami sa pagbuo ng pelikula kasi yung mga tao na kailangan namin sa pelikula may mga kanya-kanya din commitments lalo na at may personal responsibilities sila sa bahay nila.”

BTS Photo during the Film Production of "Her Dream"

On the other hand, Jac describes their post production process particularly the editing as “suntok sa buwan” because they were surprised to pull it off. Despite time constraints and challenges they had to overcome, Kalinaw Productions made their film dream a reality.


PAY IT FORWARD


With the huge blessing and support that has been given to Jac, he shared with the film dream a piece of advice to anyone facing uncertainties and aspiring filmmakers just like him:


“Maging malaya ka sa lahat ng pagkakataon. Palayain mo ang sarili mo sa mga taong nakapaligid sayo. Lalo na sa pressure at sa mga bagay na naiisip mo na nagiging tanikala para mag-doubt ka na hindi mo kaya ang isang bagay.”
Joshua Ashley Cailao, the Director of "Her Dream."

He also added to, “Believe in yourself. Patunayan mo na worth it ang magiging film niyo o maging ang kalalabasan ng kahit anumang bagay na gusto mong ma-achieve. Hindi ka kulang. Walang ibang makakapunta sa pangarap mong ‘yan kundi sarili mo lang din.”


Jac also shared with The Film Dream that he is looking forward to working with another film in the future because he really wants to utilize his platform to advocate for the causes he believes in and to echo messages that the world needs to hear today.








COMING SOON! Monumento Film Festival 2021.

For more updates, follow The Film Dream social media accounts and the official facebook page of Monumento Film Festival HERE.



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