Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New Child Star from Zambales

Cinemalaya entry 'Boses' discovers new child star

When film director Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil was looking for a new child actor to portray a mute character in her project “Boses,” she was amazed at the turnout of the audition.

A lot of kiddie hopefuls showed up and displayed their acting mettle but she was fascinated no end with nine-year old Julian Duque from San Antonio, Zambales.

“Nang mag-audition si Julian, umiyak siya kahit wala sa instruction. Nagulat ako. Sinabi ko na he was it. Para siyang si Nora Aunor na pag iniharap mo sa kamera, talagang walang inhibitions. Ilalabas niya agad ang alam niya,” said Ellen after the gala screening of “Boses” at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Right there and then, Duque was chosen to play the role of Onyok, a victim of domestic violence from his own policeman-father--a role assigned to versatile actor Ricky Davao.

The lad was so realistic and convincing in his portrayal of a mute violin wizard, who ventilated all his angst and confusion about the physical and emotional pain inflicted on him by father, through music.

In the end, he was triumphant to make his parent realize the liberation one experiences when one puts away cruelty and suppression.

During the presentation of the players in the movie after the gala night, Duque walked onstage confidently in the middle of grownup professionals, filmmakers, moviegoers and observers in the film medium.

A howling response, a deafening applause was accorded Duque who was in his tots' jacket, checkered polo shirt underneath, dark denim pants and boys' shoes. He was clearly on equal footing already among his adult co-stars and production staff.

When Ongkeko-Marfil called on her little star to say a word or two, she felt his way through and sensing he wouldn't know what to utter, the woman director held his artist gently by the shoulder, turned to his ears and whispered something.

By the time Duque held to the mike, he managed to murmur just a single, barely audible word; but it didn't diminish the admiration that the audience felt toward him. Clearly, Duque is the new child wonder of Philippine cinema through the 2008 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga tao na nanood at nagustuhan ako,” he finally said, still in a soft voice.

Duque is enrolled in a Montessori school in Zambales and yes, he plays the violin very well.

“Likas sa kanya ang talent sa violin playing pero nag-aral din siya,” attested his dad Allan Duque.

Duque became an instant superstar at the CCP, as autograph seekers, young and old alike, trooped to him after the showing of "Boses" and also tried to have photographs taken with him. By BOY VILLASANTA - abs-cbnNEWS.com

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