JASON PAUL C. LAXAMANA
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.