Can you forgive someone who has caused you so much pain?
Family and forgiveness.
These two words encapsulate the film, “Kolorete” produced by Bahaghari Films, a group of Communication Students from the College of Education Arts and Sciences at the Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas.
I got the chance to talk to the Assistant Director and at the same time, the Director of Photography of “Kolorete”, John Paolo Comediero. He shared their one-of-a-kind journey in making their vision a reality.
Comediero and his team composed of Mary Cleo Jessi Gaa, Carissa Julee Alcantara, Trizia Joy Canosa and Nicole Delos Reyes decided to show off another treatment of a drama genre for their Film Production requirement. From plots about family, struggles, and tragedy, they thought of a concept, which will make their film a standout. They weren’t a big fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race or any drag queen related shows, but they found themselves working on the colorful world of these performers.
Thus, the film 'Kolorete' came to life.
'Kolorete' is a film about a drag queen seeking for satisfaction and love to cover up the pain from the past. His broken relationship with his family hinders him from finding true happiness in life. Despite being successful with his business and career, he still feels that something is missing, and that is the forgiveness that he hasn't given his father.
Far from the colorful costumes and makeup they put on, are stories of painful past, excruciating struggles and their dream to help and support their respective families.
Another thing to note is the impeccable performance of the lead actor, Peregrine Santiago. It showed his versatility and an acting prowess like no other. Truly, the role was tailored-fit for him.
When asked about the challenges they had to face during the production of the student film, Comediero shared that it was a rollercoaster ride for them.
“We had a lot of stories in mind, ideas kept on coming, but we weren’t sure how we will put everything together to make sure that the storytelling is smooth and at the same time, relatable,” Comediero said.
In addition, their resources are also limited and considering that they have a very tight budget they really had to improvise. From the bar location which they set up in their University’s Mass Communication studio, to the backdrops, colorful lights, and bottled drinks to meet the mood of their setting -- all of these were achieved through team effort.
“We are all aware how costly film production is, and since we are all students, there’s no other way but to think of alternatives. That is actually the beauty in filmmaking, we make things happen even in the most impossible circumstances,” Comediero proudly shared.
Indeed, the film 'Kolorete' mirrors reality. It will show you the real faces behind the beautiful and extravagant image of a drag queen as he embarks on a journey towards forgiveness, acceptance and embracing one’s identity.
“I guess, it was a mission accomplished. We managed to share a beautiful story that will touch people’s lives. And at the same time, challenge them to be more accepting and loving, Comediero ended.
If there is one thing I truly admire about these young filmmakers, it would definitely be their fighting spirit. Passion is already there, but it takes a lot of hard work to make things happen.