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!
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!
Spend Lent this year at "Asian AF Presents: Filipino AF" this Friday, March 2, 2018 at 9:30pm at the Upright Citizens Brigade's Inner Sanctum Stage at UCB Sunset in Los Angeles. FREE Admission!
"Asian AF Presents: Filipino AF" is a comedy variety show featuring the best Filipino American talent in Los Angeles. Improv, sketch, standup, and maybe even some music and dance.
STAND UP by Nico Santos (Superstore)
CHARACTER by Marques Ray
SKETCH by Jason Palmer
Featuring Jason Palmer, Gilbert Galon, Tony Garbanzos, Daryl Jim Diaz, and Vince Yap
Directed by Allyn Pintal
MUSICAL COMEDY by Alfred Aquino II
COMEDIC SPOKEN WORD by Laurie Len Magers
CHARACTER by Mark Bertuldo, Madonna Refugia, and Angelie Meehan
VIDEO by Alfred Aquino II & Gilbert Galon
HIP HOP DANCE SKETCH written by Joy Regullano
Choreographed by Ally Vega
Featuring John Bacolores, Melanie Anne Padernal, Joy Regullano, Jeffrey Sabino, and Ally Vega
IMPROV with Sini-Gang, a UCB Fil-Am mashup team
with guest monologist Tess Paras (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
guest improviser Rene Gube (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
guest accompanist AJ Rafael
and improvisers Albert Andrade, Kay Kaanapu, PJ McCormick, Allyn Pintal, Joy Regullano, Christopher Renfro, and Erich Tamola
ACHARA the food truck will be providing a special seafood option for those observing Lent.
Hosted/Produced by Allyn Pintal, Joy Regullano, & Erich Rheinhart Tamola
Executive Produced by Will Choi & Asian AF
Asian AF Presents: Filipino AF
Friday, March 2nd at 9:30pm
UCB Sunset Inner Sanctum - 5419 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027 (entrance through the cafe)
FREE ADMISSION - seating first come, first served. The space will be able to fit everyone!
Parking: RIDE-SHARING RECOMMENDED. Valet for $5 (may fill up quickly) or street parking available.
I just realized that after originally writing these memories back in February 13, 2018 - when it was announced that iO West was closing - that I never took a class in improv or sketch writing there...
I knew of Improv Olympic's existence since its Complex Theater years and while I was with Monkey Butler Comedy (the latter closed in 2014). After studying improv at Upright Citizens Brigade in 2012, I was indecisive on which sketch classes I'd take... iO West or the Pack Theater?
During that time, I joined the sketch comedy team, Oi! Oi! Oi! (Elizabeth Ebeling, Javier Ortiz, Kate Rodman and Corey Slater) and we performed live at iO's Mainstage in the last three consecutive Saturday nights of 2013 -- performed a Christmas sketch called Twas The Night Before Drunk at the Sketch Holiday Theme Party Show hosted by Animal Style...
...performed a musical sketch at the Comedy Music Circus! show hosted by Keith Saltojanes...
...and performed a sketch I originally wrote for Go Sketch Yourself hosted by CLIVE RICE! -- in front of Saturday night audiences (except for the one drunk guy in the back who was booted out of the club).
Recorded the 13th 'Super Awkward Funcast' episode with Elle Latham and Linnea Snyder at iO during the SNL 40th anniversary year...
...help in making the documentary short for the host about improvisor, actor and teacher Craig Cackowski about improv at iO...
Our team "The Olympian Beers" from the last two games became "Brainiac 3" and won the Pub Quiz hosted by Suzi Barrett. Also, I joined the three-persons team at the "Win, Lose, Draw, or Drink...The Booty Call" drawing competition at iO WEST Main Stage (April 27, 2012). We were tied from the get-go against the other team but, sadly we lost. But, I did learn how to draw simpler illustrations to get my team to guess the right answers quicker.
Received words of wisdom and practical applications from casting director Dorian Frankel, Jessica Makinson, actress Janet Varney, comedian Jason Horton and Joshua Mattingly at iO's 10th LA Improv Comedy Festival. And, supported my friends' (Nick Rasmussen, Moses Storm, etc.) shows by seeing their shows at iO. Lastly, assembled and edited a video tribute about my late friend, Billy Spindler. It was screened at his memorial hosted by Joanna Ke and Ai Yoshihara held at iO West in 2014
Participated in afternoon trivia games with other improvisors and comedians while I wondered if that one comedienne/actress who hosts a popular podcast stared at me or stared out the window from the bar, attended live WWE Viewing Parties hosted by Joshua Lassman and Steve Kaufmann along with other improvisors and comedians who happen to be wrestling fans (thank you!).
...and took a date to see a show at iO only to be abandoned when she went to Second City to get her friends yet never returned. Still wondering if that was a bit? In any case, iO West will surely be missed especially all my favorite improv teams. Most importantly, the trio of Dasariski. Because with them, it is okay to perform improv slowly...and not always quick and fast all the time. The trio consists of Bob Dassie, Rich Talarico, and Craig Cackowski. And, Dasariski is known for their “slow play” style of longform improvisation, creating an hour-long piece of theater with a focus on believable characters and relationships inspired from a single audience suggestion. Love them! iO, thanks for the crazy and humble memories -- like this February 23, 2013 (4 years ago today) Harlem Shake video we did at iO.
This past October, I produced an educational panel discussion and networking event for the Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival held at the Cinemark Cinemas at the South Bay Pavilion Mall featuring special guest panelists bridging the Philippines and Hollywood who represent the craft and the business sides of being a working actor.
Actors Panel Discussion:
"From Aspiration To Action: What Does It Take To Be A Working Actor"
Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm
- Ruben Maria Soriquez (Of Sinners & Saints, ABS-CBN's Dolce Amore)
- Bernardo Bernardo (Imbisibol, Home Along da Riles)
- Sheila Tejada (Sequins, Showtime's Ray Donovan, Driving While Black)
- Abe Pagtama (Lolo Pepe, Kamera obskura, The Diplomat Hotel, Rekorder)
Moderater: Angel Qinan
CLICK BELOW TO WATCH:
That was my second actors panel I assembled together in 2017. The first one was my third panel I produced this year for FilAm Creative back in June at the Clubhouse in Hollywood. The special guest panelists were with:
Vincent Rodriguez III, Actor/Singer; (The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, ABC's Designated Survivor)
Angela Relucio, Actress; (CBS' Code: Black, History Channel's SIX , Casual Encounters, The Cabining)
Manny Jacinto, Actor; (NBC's The Good Place, ABC's Once Upon A Time, The Romeo Section)
Aina Dumlao, Actress; (CBS' MacGyver, IFC's Brockmire, HBO's Ballers, ABC's The Fosters)
Moderater: Maurus Dumalaog
CLICK BELOW TO WATCH: