Last August, we featured a movie that we knew would blow your mind. Well, we got that right! Christian Linaban, the young but incredibly talented director behind the movie Aberya had a second round of Q&A with us. Also check out some of the behind the scenes photos. 

032: Can you share a little background on your film making history?

CL: I worked as a cinematographer in “Ang Damgo Ni Eleuteria”, “Di Ingon’ Nato”, and “Byernes Byernes” before directing “Aberya” which is my first attempt for a feature length.

032: How did you get your break in film making?

CL: Before venturing into full length, I co-produced a number of short films under Panumduman Pictures. One of which is “To Siomai Love” directed by Remton Siega Zuasola which drew great attention.

032: We knew from your previous interview with us that the characters were intense. What’s the inspiration behind the story and its characters?

CL: About a decade ago a close friend of mine, Ariel Llanto, expressed a desire to write a screenplay for a short film that I was going to direct. We were both fans of Woody Allen so we fashioned it much like his movies: dialogue-driven, character-based, and with an emphasis on the city where the story was set. The latter had the most appeal to me. Having been born and bred in Cebu, I felt I could paint a relevant portrait of the city. We agreed that Cebu is basically an international terminal – there’s constant influx of different cultures intermingling with each other. Hence we came up with characters that embody these differences and have them interact or “bump” into one other.

Sadly, on December 2005 my friend Ariel died of cancer. The story however remained alive in my head, fermenting until it was ripe for insurrection as of December last year. With the help of Ara Chawdhury, we came up with a first draft after working on it non-stop for 4 days. Having another mind to bounce ideas with made the process faster and more efficient. We let people whose opinion we respected read the script for feedback and one of them was Bianca Balbuena. After calling us crazy, she offered to work with us on the project. I felt it was such a privilege to have her onboard as a producer. I pitched the material to Cinema One Originals and the rest is history. I must be very lucky because I also got my dream cast for this project. Will Devaughn, Mercedes Cabral, Nicholas Varela, and Iwa Moto were my first choices and they all agreed to do it when we asked them.

032: What’s next after Aberya? Do you have any other projects/films in line?

CL: I am going to be doing the cinematography of Remton’s new film entitled “P”.

032: Any piece of advice to the young Cebuano film enthusiasts?

CL: Do it for the sake of doing it. Don’t do it for the glamour and prestige – those are just bonuses. You have to enjoy the process because it’s not going to be easy. Plus, wear comfortable shoes like Steven Spielberg said because you’ll be standing up most of the time.

I was left speechless after watching the movie’s teaser. Want to know why? See it for yourself! Aberya Teaser.

Also check out :

Previous interview here.

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