MNL 143. A plate number, a code for maybe "Manila Love", but most definitely a title of one of the most anticipated and talked about independent films. Directed by Emerson Reyes and a controversial non-entry finalist to this year's Cinemalaya New Breed category, a non-entry because there were some debates with the foundation on casting. Director Reyes has since vowed to finish the film- "totoong independently".
Having seen the teaser, it is indeed deserving of all the attention it's been getting. The story revolves around an OFW man (played by Alan Paule) who comes home, gets into driving an FX around town, in search for his long lost love. Not a bad premise at all. The film raised controversy when it was dropped by Cinemalaya due to their decision that two of the lead actors (Alan Paule and Joy Viado) weren't cast right for their roles.
Efforts to support the film have caught on like wildfire, the most recent being a fundraising concert at Craft, in Fort Bonifacio. The event featured an interesting collection of independent musicians, from the JR Oca Experience's jazz-infused jams to the soulful bedroom voice of Jensen Gomez. Each of the performers that night played their hearts out in support of MNL 143, some even selling their recordings and albums with proceeds all going to the film. Host Ramon Bautista was even willing to auction off a kiss to the hesitant but soon-after-welcoming crowd.
Artiste Connect (www.artisteconnect.com) was also there in full force, represented by the always progressive Mark Laccay. Artiste Connect is a crowd-sourcing website that enables the fans, supporters, and friends of an artist to directly support their projects via pledges and even direct deposits.
You can support MNL 143 here: http://artisteconnect.com/projects/mnl-143