These past two weeks, I had the pleasure co-presenting three films at 35th Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
But, first, my crew went to the World Premiere of Diana Paragas' "Yellow Rose" which opened the festival. It was the first time in festival history a Filipina American filmmaker's debut film opened the festival. The feature film stars Eva Noblezada, Princess Punzalan, Dale Watson and Lea Salonga. Later, it won the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Film while its lead actress won the Breakthrough Performance Award.
The first film I co-presented was the North American Premiere of Mikhail Red's EERIE on May 3rd at the Downtown Independent Theater.
The director could not make it as he was filming "Block Z" in the Philippines. "Eerie" producer Malou Santos was present to introduce the film.
I also co-presented (with Craig Obligacion Wilson) the shorts program that included "The Patients" by Tess Paras and the Academy Award nominated, "Weekends" by Trevor Jimenez.
Though Shiang An Chuang's "Mama Pingpong Social Club" was a bloody good time!
The last film I co-presented (with Annie Nepomuceno) was "Journey To Ifugao" documentary from Nicanor Evangelista Jr.
At the sold-out Closing Night, I went to the World Premiere of Andrea A. Walter's beautiful "Empty By Design" that starred Rhian Ramos (above), Osric Chau, Chris Pang and Dante Basco.
Thank you to Melanie Ramos and Janna Wang for guiding us along the way. And, much thanks to the Executive Director of Visual Communications Francis Cullado for another successful film festival!
Until next year -- for the Centennial Celebration of Philippine Cinema!
I co-emceed last night's REEL Awards in Film and Television along with Lora Bofill presented by the Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival headed this year by Fe P. Koons.
Here with two out of the six awardees, Mark Anthony J. Nazal, Emmy winning VFX artist of "Gotham," "Lucifer, "Westworld," "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", etc. and Anthony Francisco, Senior Visual Designer for Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy," "AntMan" "Thor: Ragnarok," "Doctor Strange," "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame." Part of the costume design for "Black Panther." Creator of Groot.
Other honorees were journalists Janet & Ruben Nepales, musician Winston Ravel and Chenza Puno who picked up a Special Award for her late father, Philippine crooner, Rico J. Puno.
A short film I acted in, Rawmix Productions' NO REGRETS screens at the Asian World Film Festival tomorrow Saturday, October 27 at 3pm.
The "Philippines Short Film Day" Program at the ArcLight Cinemas Culver City is sold out but there will be a rush line at the link below.
I will be signing autographs for Samurai Cop 2 at DragonFest this Saturday, August 25 in Burbank, CA.
It will be held at Burbank's Pickwick Gardens Convention Center. I will be there tomorrow Saturday for autographs and pictures so, bring your "Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance" stuff. (I am the Producer and Actor in the film) Come by and say "Hi." I'll be at the Cinema Epoch booth from 10am - 5pm.
I will have a supply of Blu-rays, DVDs and official tees for me to sign. If nothing to sign, come by and say "Hi," shoot the breeze and feel free to take a picture, if you want. Hope to see you all there!
Enjoyed working (as an actor) with the cast & crew of RAWMIX Productions' new film, "No Regrets" set to premiere on Sunday, August 19, 2018 - 2:00pm at the Regal Cinemas LA Live in DTLA. (Screening Group J - Tickets: https://ab-aut.ticketbud.com/la48filmfestival2018).
This was my first time doing the Los Angeles 48 Hour Film Challenge and my second time directed by Rommel Andaya since 2017's "What You Don't Say."
Director - Rommel Andaya
Director of Photography - Homer Dulu
Grip - Brian Bascal
Grip - Tony Garbanzos
Production Manager - Joya Camaisa
Productions Assistant - Elizabeth Yun
Production Assistant - Vince Cruz
Production Assistant - Sarnica Lim
Production Sound - Sam Yee
Editor - Amy Fan
Jeff Gadigan as the Time Guardian Judge
Mary Grant as Liz Bootley, Time Guardian
Tony Garbanzos as Time Guardian 2
Melissa Rodriguez as Ashley Cheevers
Michael Kuya as Sam Joel (Best Friend)
Steve Lim as Ed Marlina, Fiancee
Danni Gadigan as Carly Fitzwater, Fiancee
Lora Bofill as Kim Wallace (Event Planner)
Elizabeth Yun as Lorraine
Sarnica Lim as Marlene
Edwin Santos as George
Vince Cruz as Marty
It's a wrap for me on the feature length science fiction adventure film, THE MONSTERS WITHOUT.
It is directed by Randal Kamradt and starring Jessica Neistadt (formerly Jessica MacCleary) and Jake Macapagal. Produced by Soliloquy Films.
Synopsis: When a terrifying ancient Yablo called Nameless arrives with a plan to forcibly return his kind to their home dimension, only the members of P.H.A.S.E. resolve to stop him. Their leader is Setsuko, a Japanese-Korean woman who has clawed her way to the top of her field, only to request a P.H.A.S.E. assignment. Her fiance, Rommel Romero (Jake Macapagal), is an ex-police detective and the second in command. Two Americans, April and Richard, specialize in security and technology, respectively. Rommel's sister Wonder has a unique connection with the Yablo and serves as team biologist. The new intern Benito still has trouble believing everything he sees with P.H.A.S.E. And the newest recruit, Miranda (Jessica Neistadt), holds a stunning secret that will change everything. Though Nameless is nearly invincible, these lonely, conflicted, difficult, loving, and altogether human men, women, and monsters of P.H.A.S.E. must band together to save the world.
My First Time As A Special Guest Speaker - at Long Beach Acting and Film Association's Asian In Showbiz Panel Series
As many panels I've attended and after seven panels I've created and produced since 2015, last week I was asked to partake as a special guest panelist.
I was asked in 2017 to be one of the guest panelists about Film Distribution, but my plate was full at the time. This year, I accepted the invitation at the Long Beach Acting and Film Association's themed guest panel discussion, "Asian in Showbiz" last week Sunday, May 27 at Forbidden City in Long Beach, CA.
My entire career flashed before my eyes at first look of the other guest panelists on the card. And, this was before I spoke. Some of them I have worked with before in various capacities while another handful were of mutual friends we've known for years.
I was the last one up and decided to speak the truth. My first time as a guest speaker who has gone thru the trenches for more than twenty-five years, the intent was to have all those listening (including some of the panelists) to be alert and to be prepared. Because there are "sheeps in wolves' clothings" out there. No one is immune from the negatives the Hollywood industry seem to attract, unfortunately.
I was about to write what my speech was about but, I remembered I was rambling on near the end .. like as I did three times while typing this sentence and deleting it three more times. I think it is best for me (and to my readers) to expand more about my speech in greater detail on future blogs (under Beyond The 4th Wall category) from here on out. So much has happened since; each with defined increments of hindsight, perspective and outlook.
It's Friday today and I have a busy week ahead of me. I want to spend this weekend to not think of serious things.
Although, the one thing I was reminded of before and after my guest speaking engagement as well as networking with the attendees just starting out -- as I try to expel my knowledge to them without rambling -- was that I am not comfortable being me on stage. I am very comfortable playing and portraying characters in front of the camera (it is the actor in me) and very comfortable playing an exaggerated extension of myself on stage (it is the improvisor / comedian in me).
But, being real? I had my MTV: The Real World moment last week. I was real with battle scars and war stories at LBAFA. I was honored to have been asked to participate and to share my experiences.
FilAm Creative Hosts Edwin's 4th Annual Hollywood Actors Panel; Saturday, June 9th, 2:00pm at Pilipino Workers Center
Created and produced by Edwin A. Santos, FilAm Creative hosts the 4th Annual Hollywood Actors Panel for Actors -- a panel discussion and networking event featuring our special industry guest panelists who represent the craft of acting across the board while shining a spotlight towards Filipino American talent in entertainment and media today.
Hear the panelists discuss about their explorations of the process and profession of acting; their reflections on personal experiences and artistic influences that informed and shaped their careers; their discussions of past and current projects and share valuable insights into the craft and the industry.
Get a chance to ask the panelists questions, learn about open opportunities, and build your network.
INDUSTRY PANELISTS INCLUDE:
- Ginger Gonzaga of NBC's Champions and HBO's Togetherness
- Jon Jon Briones of FX's American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace
- Karina Walters, CSA of CBS' S.W.A.T. and Lifetime's UnREAL
- Reggie Lee of NBC's Grimm
- Ellen D. Williams of FX's Baskets and CBS' How I Met Your Mother
The panel will be moderated by Mary Grant. The event takes place at the Pilipino Workers Center in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles. RSVP TODAY: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-hollywood-actors-panel-tickets-46098144792
FilAm Creative (FAC) is an all volunteer community organization dedicated to the advancement of Filipino-Americans in entertainment and media.
Last week, I had the pleasure co-presenting three films at 34th Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The first film was the documentary, THE CLEANERS which premiered on May 7th.
The filmmakers of this fascinating documentary were unable to attend, but the people featured in this fascinating doc, United Nations Special Rapporteur/University of California, Irvine Law Professor David A. Kaye and Artist Illma Gore (pictured below) were present for audience Q&A after the screening held at the Regal L.A. Live Cinemas in Downtown Los Angeles.
Two nights later, myself along with filmmaker Craig Obligacion-Wilson (Lolo Pepe) co-presented both THE FRET AND THE FEVER and NEOMANILA, each one having premieres as well on May 9th.
All three films won awards from each of their respective categories. Thanks to Janna Wang, Lailanie Gadia and Melanie Ramos for guiding us along the way. And, much thanks to the Executive Director of Visual Communications Francis Cullado for another successful film festival! Until next year!
Born in America, but trained and wrestled at Japan’s World Wonder Ring Stardom since 2014, Filipina American wrestler Kris Wolf recently embarked on her 2018 Wolf Tour currently competing at various wrestling promotions all over the world. Third time’s a charm as she returns to the Los Angeles region at Baldwin Park’s Bar Wrestling this Thursday, April 12 with a match against current Impact Wrestling’s Knockouts Champion, Allie.
The following interview is almost a year in the making since July, 2017 as I found Kris’ story fascinating; from how she began to where she is going. Not to mention, she is the first female wrestler of Filipino descent that came to my attention. Finally met up with her at the RISE 6 – BRUTALITY wrestling show in October, 2017. Intuitive and personable, her journey is universal — especially among creative artists.
Read my exclusive interview with the Box Breaker, Kris Wolf.
Edwin Santos: This interview is going to be a bit about creativity and inside the wrestling ring, it is all about telling stories. Your backstory is close to becoming folklore. So please, introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a little bit of your journey -- presented in a folkloric tale..
Kris Wolf: My animal beginnings started two weeks into my stay in Japan. Prior to my migration, I worked as a freelance photographer, running around hustling and juggling five part-time jobs. As my photography took off, I was able to shed the part-time work. Unfortunately, my fiancee at the time felt distanced and decided that we weren’t gonna work out. I was devastated but understood. Yanno? I mean feelings change, people grow apart. It’s unfortunate, but these things happen. Nevertheless, I was broken. I had a friend living in Niigata, Japan who offhandedly suggested I come for a visit, and without much thought I bought a ticket and set out to another world. I spent two weeks crying on the sofa watching Breaking Bad. When I finished the series, resolved to GET UP. I rented a bicycle and tent, and cycled from Niigata to Hiroshima. It was almost 1000km and I spent twenty days crying up mountains and camping and pissing wherever I pleased. In the madness of hallucination, fever, hunger, and exhaustion, I think the soul of Kris Wolf was born…or released. Somehow I made it to Hiroshima. The biggest lesson I took from the experience, was that no matter what the odds, risks, or opinions of others are…if I want something I can get it…as long as I just keep going.
Edwin Santos: Wikipedia states you’re originally from Chicago, Illinois while other interviews mention New Jersey. Which is it? Or, are you one of those transcendent werebeasts?
Kris Wolf: AHAHAHA Good question! I flew out of the birth canal in Chicago, but spent much of my adolescent years in New Jersey.
Edwin Santos: Two years ago, I was there with my friends at the live taping of Lucha Underground when I saw the match between Pentagon Dark against Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani and Kairi Hojo (currently Kaire Sane at WWE NXT). If it wasn’t for Lucha Underground, I wouldn’t have known about World Wonder Ring Stardom. Tell us about your home promotion and why you chose them to train at.
Kris Wolf: Stardom I imagine is like any other promotion that grows and evolves with time. The promotion I’m in is not the same as the promotion I joined in the beginning. I think there are many things that have improved since then and management knows how to handle their product. Believe it or not, was the first result in a YouTube search, and was also a suggestion from a friend. The fact that they were these little Asian girls, flying through the air doing all these amazing things made me believe I could do it too. Their image was much different from the image I had of the average pro wrestler.
Edwin Santos: Tell us about Oedo Tai? And to see original member Ruby Riott(Heidi Lovelace) challenging Charlotte Flair’s WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship title at WWE Fastlane?
Kris Wolf: I may have grew up in Stardom, but Oedo Tai is my home. For everyone that didn’t quite belong, Oedo Tai became their family. Misunderstood monsters is how I like to think of it. Misunderstood outcasts with the biggest hearts. I…f**king…love Heidi…and her as Ruby Riott makes me so proud. She has worked so hard and continues to do so. I admire her and wish her all the best! Nikki Storm (currently Nikki Cross with the faction, Sanity at WWE NXT) is also Oedo Tai alumni. But yes, Heidi is OG.
Edwin Santos: Are there any wrestlers, then and now, you look up to, appreciate the work that they do or motivate you to keep on going?
Kris Wolf: Act Yasukawa, Kairi Hojo, Alpha Female (Jazzy Gabert), Kay Lee Ray, Nixon Newell, Deonna Purrazzo, Toni Storm, Viper (Piper Niven), Thunder Rosa, Santana..man…really there are too many. Reality is I admire all the girls I meet. I admire each and everyone for gambling their luck and health in this game.
Edwin Santos: Being from a Filipino American family, I take it that your parents weren’t too thrilled with your career choice? What did you major in college? And, what career choice(s) your parents wanted you (or still wants you) to pursue instead?
Kris Wolf: Haha yeah, my mom wasn’t exactly thrilled with my decision. I majored in photography and graphic design, which she eventually approved of….but really now. What Filipino family doesn’t want their child to be a nurse, doctor, or some sort of lawyer?
Edwin Santos: Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, Filipinos are the second largest group of Asian Americans in the U.S. and are the largest population of Asian Americans within the City of Los Angeles. Since your first visit to Los Angeles in 2015, how was the welcome like when you returned two years later with RISE Wrestling and the Alternative Wrestling Show (AWS)?
Kris Wolf: It was raaaad. I saw some fellow “Balut Club” members out in the crowd. I felt the love. I hope this time around I can grab some FILIPINO FOOD cuz it’s been a while yo.
Edwin Santos: What are your thoughts on the growing interest of women in professional wrestling overall (examples: the Knockouts at Impact, WWE’s Mae Young Classic / WWE’s pay-per-view main event women’s matches and Ring of Honor’s Women of Honor tournaments?).
Kris Wolf: I think it’s amazing that women are getting featured more all over the place. I love that women’s rights and issues are being discussed more openly. And I’m proud to have been in a ring with these awesome humans. Having these different talented women on TV and in these tournaments is great. It shifts the idea of who can be a wrestler and what’s cool or admirable. More variety and appreciation for all is what I’m after.
Edwin Santos: Tell us about RISE Wrestling, its mission statement and your involvement with the promotion?
Kris Wolf: They’re pretty neat! They’re a wrestling promotion that holds seminars and gives chances to new wrestlers of all backgrounds to connect with people in the business who can help them grow as wrestlers and within the business. I’m pretty new to RISE myself, but I assisted Bull Nakano as her translator and helped with a training session before. I will be doing the same again in Chicago, so I’m looking forward to that.
Edwin Santos: What would be your dream match?
Kris Wolf: A deathmatch with Jelly beans, dorito chips, and tacos…ah..and beer….Also I would like to wear a sumo costume…or something of that nature.
Edwin Santos: Who are your musical influences? I ask this based on your singing, guitar playing and piano playing from your videos. Were there thoughts of pursuing a musical career early on?
Kris Wolf: I grew up listening/watching Broadway musicals and old folk bands that my mom liked. So that definitely played a hand at developing my musical tastes. I thought about singing or being in a band for a bit, but not seriously. I don’t think I sing that well to be honest. I like to do it though.
Edwin Santos: If you were inducted into a wrestling hall of fame, who would you want to induct you and why?
Kris Wolf: I think they’d have to be some crazy mofo, I’m not so much for awards to be honest. I think I live too much in a realm of chaos where nothing means anything. My prize is energy and adventure.
Edwin Santos: If you could go back in time, what would Kris Wolf today say to Kristina Hernandez then before she made the big life change?
Kris Wolf: Keep going…you’re gonna hit something that’ll change your life…but stretch and do yoga!
Edwin Santos: Lastly, to end this interview, do a promo as Kris Wolf, or in a folkloric presentation (or both). Your choice.
Kris Wolf: DEAR UNIVERSE,
THANK YOU FOR ALL THIS TERRIFYING, EXCESSIVE ENERGY.
I WILL TRY MY BEST TO USE IT EFFECTIVELY AND SHARE MY JOY.