Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

The 2016 Most Out­stand­ing Ka­pam­pan­gan Awardee in the field of Arts is Ja­son Paul C. Laxamana.

At the age of 26, Laxamana, an in­de­pen­dent film­maker, is al­ready reap­ing the fruits of his la­bor.

Laxamana is known for his third full-length film “Magkak­abaung” (The Cof­fin Maker) which won the net­work for the Pro­mo­tion of Asian Cin­ema (NETPAC) award and Best Ac­tor honor for Allen Di­zon from the third Hanoi In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (Han­iff) in Viet­nam.

Barely a week be­fore that mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion, Laxamana’s short film “U.S.F.A.” won the three first prizes in the 26th Gawad CCP for Al­ter­na­tive Film and Video short fea­ture cat­e­gory.

Com­par­ing “Magkak­abaung” to his pre­vi­ous full-length films “As­tro Maya­bang” and “Babagwa” (The Spider’s Lair), the young film­maker re­vealed that he was given more cre­ative free­dom in his new project.

In film­mak­ing, Laxamana used fast-paced, long takes, hand-held shots, and real time sto­ry­telling. Ev­ery scene is one con­tin­u­ous take with­out any cuts. Some of his films just fol­lowed that char­ac­ter.

Laxamana pre­vi­ously worked as script su­per­vi­sor for Star Cin­ema in Maryo J. De­los Reyes’ “A Love Story” in 2007. He worked in the same po­si­tion the fol­low­ing year for Bril­lante Men­doza’s “Ser­bis”. He com­pleted the Star Cin­ema scriptwrit­ing work­shop un­der Ricky Lee and Amor Ola­guer in 2012. He also shot var­i­ous Ka­pam­pan­gan short films and mu­sic videos.

Laxamana con­sid­ered tal­ent and abil­ity to speak the Ka­pam­pan­gan lan­guage in cast­ing for the films.

A grad­u­ate of BA Broad­cast­ing Com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines-Dil­i­man, the Ka­pam­pan­gan ad­vo­cate was not into film­mak­ing in col­lege but ad­mit­tedly en­joyed his di­rect­ing and video pro­duc­tion classes that time. As an un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dent, he was able to work as pro­duc­tion as­sis­tant un­der di­rec­tors Jef­frey Je­turian and De­los Reyes.

Laxamana got to di­rect his first film in 2010 when his screen­play for “As­tro Maya­bang” was se­lected for Cin­ema One Orig­i­nals and it even­tu­ally won the Au­di­ence Choice award.

Although he se­cured an­other film grant from the Cine­malaya Philip­pine In­de­pen­dent Film Fes­ti­val for “Babagwa,” he lamented the sorry state of in­de­pen­dent film­mak­ing in the Philip­pines.

At a young age, Laxamana still has a lot of dream projects in mind. He wants to make a Ka­pam­pan­gan mu­si­cal. He is also into mu­sic pro­duc­tion to pro­mote the lan­guage to the youth. He would just like to merge his pas­sion for film and mu­sic, as mu­si­cal can make the youth sing along to the songs. It is a big boost to his ad­vo­cacy if ever it pushes through. He also wants to make a film com­mem­o­rat­ing Ka­pam­pan­gan ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the Pi­natubo eruption.

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