Wednesday April 1, 2015

CJ Liamzon 2He came in for the interview wearing only a simple black shirt and a pair of city shorts. Nobody in the café would have known by first glance that this guy with the hesitant smile and shy façade swept the awards during the 8th Mindanao Film Festival.

CJ Liamzon doesn’t have the classic “filmmaker” look perhaps because he’s generally new to the industry. A registered nurse by profession, this 27 year old film festival green horn ventured into video production business with his longtime pal, TonTon Navales, after feeling that there was “something” missing in his life.

The two friends’ mutual interest in photography and video production lead to the birth of Laid Back Creatives – a name fitting of their personalities.

He says that what attracted him to becoming a nurse was the idea of being able to help other people. Indeed, one can see CJ’s gentle and compassionate leanings with the kinds of films and stories that he likes. He is easily touched by movies that carry sentimental themes. And true enough, this melancholic side of him sings out in his breakout independent film “Sintunado”

The film was one of the outputs of the Guerrilla Filmmaking Workshop annually organized by the Mindanao Film and Television Development Foundation, Inc. in preparation for the Mindanao Film Festival. Though CJ and his teammates were not necessarily filmmaking virgins, the festival would be their debut into the regional arena of cinema.

Some people may call it beginner’s luck but for those who believe in CJ’s talents – the film festival judges for that matter – there was certainly nothing off-key with his first film. “Sintunado” brought home the much-coveted eagle trophies for Best Guerilla Film, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best workshop film, and as a record-breaker for being the first guerrilla workshop film to win the highest honor Best Film of the 8th Mindanao Film Festival in 2012.

All his hard work as producer, director, writer, and editor for the film “Sintunado” definitely paid off. It’s only a matter of time before CJ surprises us again with another “pitch-perfect” independent picture.

CJ Liamzon interview

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The writer Zchenn Charl Nadela is a Communication Arts graduate of the University of the Immaculate Conception and one of the founding members of FinD. She is also a dancer, actress, and currently a marketing executive for an Italian brand sports bike. 

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