Not just another drama Indie Philippines: ‘Edward’ tackles a public health issue

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Film director Thop Nazareno and the cast of Edward receive the Special Jury Prize. (Photo by Kiko Cabuena)

By Ces Noble

Cinemalaya is the institution for new and avant-garde films, discovering gifted filmmakers, featuring promising talents and addressing social issues in the Philippines. Featured in this year’s (2019) festival is Edward, a poignant coming of age film directed by daring filmmaker Thop Nazareno, and starred by Louise Abuel, a promising talent, who is also under contract with ABS-CBN.

Photo: EDWARD’s official movie poster. (@EdwardMovie Official Facebook Page)

Louise Abuel is a popular teleserye child actor well remembered in highly rated and acclaimed Kapamilya dramas. He was Kevin Delgado in 100 Days to Heaven, Pikoy in Juan dela Cruz, and as the young Franco Hidalgo in Ikaw Lamang. He is also a commercial model
Edward tackles the distressing issue in Philippine public health, and exploring using the lens and developing psyche of young people, Edward, Daisy and Renz.

Happy-go-lucky teenager Edward (Louise Abuel) was left by his older half-brother Renato (Manuel Chua) to take care of their ill father Mario (Dido dela Paz) at a busy public hospital. He spent his days with his rascal friend Renz (Elijah Canlas), treating the hospital premises as their playground.

One day, nurse Daisy (Sarah Pacaliwagan-Brakensiek) asked Edward to watch over Agnes (Ella Cruz), an accident victim admitted without a watcher. With Ella, Edward’s days in the hospital brightened up considerably, even as his father’s condition to suffer from his illness.

As Edward, Abuel was very natural and unpretentious, as if he was not acting at all. Being a minor, Edward was cruelly and helplessly trapped in a situation not of his making and beyond his control.

Reality bites in Philippine public health. Edward confronts a myriad of problems in hospital care such as poor service delivery and corruption.

Sadly, people have no choice but to endure, and hopefully survive the literal ordeal.

On its 14th year, Cinemalaya is featuring 10 full-length films, plus short feature entries, documentaries, and Asian-themed films (Visions of Asia).The full-length films are ANi (The Harvest), Belle Douleur (A Beautiful Pain), Children of the River, Edward, Fucc Bois, Iska, John Denver Trending, Malamaya (The Color of Ash), Pandanggo sa Hukay, and Tabon. For film schedules visit http://www.cinemalaya.org. Enjoy these heartwarming indie films with the entire family.

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