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    Posted July 24, 2013 by
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    iReport at the movies

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    A story of hope and inspiration

    CAN a film be delightful even as it tackles a difficult subject such as child protection?
    Reviewers of the award-winning independent film “Boses” have said that the film has done exactly just that.
    With its heart-warming story of a boy made mute by harsh experiences and who is transformed by his love of music, “Boses” (The Voice) was recently identified by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines as a “powerful advocacy tool” for the promotion of child rights.
    The DepEd issued an advisory on the film on March 4 to inform all education officials and personnel nationwide on the film’s usefulness to educate the youth on the campaign.
    The advisory was issued in connection with the department’s child protection policy which outlined the prohibited acts under it like child abuse, discrimination against children, child exploitation, violence against children in school, corporal punishment and similar acts.
    “Boses,” a collaborative work between director-producer Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil , writers Froilan Medina and Rody Vera, was first shown in 2008 and has been viewed and acclaimed after select screenings in the Philippines and in key cities around the world.
    Now on its fifth year, the team admits to being amazed that the film is “still alive.” Screened in September last year to high school students in Quezon City, the film continues to gain positive response. Marfil said this prompted her to “finally go mainstream” with the film. A fateful move by SM Cinema now enables the indie film to gain wider viewership. Select SM Cinemas nationwide will hold public screenings on July 31.
    “Boses” is a poignant story of hope and inspiration, revolving around the boy and his emotionally damaged mentor. Both find their voice through the redemptive and healing powers of music. The boy’s introduction to violin transforms his life, as well as his mentor who is played in the movie by the country’s premier violinist and artist Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata.
    The young boy, who is now in his teens, is played by prodigy Julian Duque, one of Bolipata’s violin scholars in Casa San Miguel in Zambales. Both Julian and Coke provided soulfulness to the characters, reaping rave reviews, nominations and awards. Both were able to match the standard set by a distinguished cast including thespian Ricky Davao, Cherry Pie Picache and Meryll Soriano.
    “Boses” was produced by Erasto Films with grants from Cinemalaya, National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC). The production was also in cooperation with Casa San Miguel and its cast and creative staff, all acclaimed artists in their own right, who took on the work as some kind of experiment on social enterprise.
    “Boses” also manifests other facets, so much like a unique gem that sparkles differently to each viewer. It carries other ends such as music, art and film as tools for healing, art and film as tools for education, providing teachers and school officials other handles to advance education of the youth.
    On the film, Urian critic Mario Hernando wrote: "Never has a local move integrated social advocacy and the promotion of classical music so seamlessly, movingly and beautifully… movie collaboration at its creative best."
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