I stopped watching Filipino movies (done all at home) during my early teenage life. Honestly, aside from the entries at the Binisaya Film Festival in 2019, I’ve only watched two Filipino films in the cinema: Heneral Luna (2015) and Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (2018). Frankly, I don’t also have the plan to watch any of the ongoing entries of the Metro Manila Film Festival. Filmmakers and artists must prove they are worth spending time and money on.
That Boy in the Dark made me watch a Filipino movie again during its premiere on January 8, 2023 (two days ago). Needlessly to say, I watched the film to support Joaquin Domagoso, the son of Former Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso. The multiple awards (a total of 14 as of this writing) made me more excited to see the film. As expected, for just a few minutes while watching the movie, Joaquin’s acting has already given me a good impression.
Prestigious Awards and Recognition
Among the fourteen awards Joaquin, also known as JD, has won include the Best Actor Award at the 16th Toronto Film and Script Awards. He also took home the Best Actor trophies at the Boden International Film Festival in Sweden and the Five Continents International Film Festival 2022 in Venezuela.
As brilliant as he is, Adolfo Alix Jr., the film director, also won Best Director at the International Manhattan Film Awards for the same movie. Kiko Ipapo, one of the relevant cast of That Boy in the Dark, also received the Best New Movie Actor of the Year 2023.
Commendable Acting and Filmmaking
Joaquin and Kiko are both new faces in the Filipino film industry. Nevertheless, they are joined by four veteran artists: Lotlot de Leon, Ramon Christopher, Glydel Mercado, and Nanding Josef. The four long-time artists are noticeably good at the craft of acting. But Joaquin and Kiko have surprisingly appeared to be talented and capable of acting. Aneeza Gutierrez, the daughter of Glydel Mercado, is also one of the peculiar cast.
The blend of drama, suspense, thriller, and horror makes the film more interesting and breathtaking. Aamon, one of my top Facebook fans who accompanied me in watching the movie, said that Joaquin deserves all the awards he received. And that’s the same with Direk Adolf and Kiko as well. I want also to extend a big salute to the writers, cameramen, and all the crew of That Boy in the Dark.
Due to the lack of government support, Filipino filmmaking is struggling to create better movies with high-end cinematography and special effects. As such, filmmakers have to focus more on making the storyline and acting exciting and worth watching. #ThatBoyInTheDark could be a better start for me and others to love Filipino movies again.