IT IS said that one’s first creative work is a reflection of what and who that person is, snippets of a life poured into a song, tossed in a painting or subtly portrayed in a film.
And for cinematographer-turned-filmmaker Ice Idanan, a huge part of her life is in the film “Sakaling Hindi Makarating (In Case They Don’t
Truth be told, people have different ways of dealing with heartbreak. A remedy for one may not be applicable on someone else. Thus, one turns to traveling while another gets a total makeover or goes binge eating or downs one’s sorrow in alcohol.
But for Ice, she made the darkest moment of her life into something else — her first film “Sakaling Hindi Makarating.”
“The film is really a product of that very dark time of my life. I was in a very long relationship, an eight-year relationship. It just ended abruptly,” said Ice as she shared the concept of the film.
“Sobrang sakit. During that time, wasak na wasak talaga ako. I thought I was going to die,” she added.
“Sakaling Hindi Makarating” follows the story of Cielo (portrayed by Alessandra De Rossi), whose life got stalled due to a recent heartbreak. And eventually receiving painted postcards from an anonymous sender — that became an invitation for her to travel across the Philippines.
Much more than finding herself in the journey, it got her through her heartbreak while making someone else’s life complete. The movie also stars Pepe Herrera, JC Santos and Therese Malvar.
A LOVE LETTER TO THE PHILIPPINES
With a lot of films tackling various themes about the Philippines, Ice chose to look at the bright side and explored some of the islands in the archipelago.
“When I was writing this, I also wanted it to be a love letter to the Philippines, that this is our home. And despite everything bad that’s happening, there are so much to look forward to, and one of them is really the sunset,” said Ice.
In search of finding the anonymous sender M, Cielo traveled as far as Zamboanga to see the vinta regatta, Siquijor, Marinduque, Ilocos and lastly, in the picturesque Batanes.
“Wherever you go, it’s always the same feeling when you look at the sky, when you look at the sun. You are always home. That is how I felt about sunsets,” shared Ice.
During the recent press preview in Cebu, Ice said the postcards were her way of encouraging the revival of letter writing, in this age when everything is instant via social media.
“I also want to be nostalgic. I want everyone to realize the value of writing letters and sending postcards, that might have lost since everything is going to Facebook, Instagram,” she said.
Like any independent film production, realizing “Sakaling Hindi Makarating,” was no walk in the park.
Since it’s a film that had to be shot in five different locations, it entailed a bigger budget, and no one would take the risk on new filmmakers and producers like them.
“We were always peppered by rejections. They didn’t want to do the film because it’s a very expensive film. But it was Cinefilipino who saw the merit of it,” said Patrick Ostrea, film’s executive producer and boyfriend of Ice. (Yes, she has found a new love!)
Funny though that Ice’s former flame has even reached out to filmmaker and expressed his admiration for “Sakaling Hindi Makarating” after watching the movie twice.
“The story became viral and I did not felt (sic) good because those who read my backstory started bashing my ex. I mean he’s a good guy, it just happened,” she said.
And for Ice, she is more than happy that the film did not only bring her acceptance and a new love in the person of Patrick, but also recognition for her craft as an artist.
One of the entries to last year’s CineFilipino, “Sakaling Hindi Makarating” won seven out of 10 awards. It was named Second Best Picture, Best Actor for Pepe Herrera, Best Director for Ice Idanan, Best Cinematography for Ice Idanan, Best Musical Score for Mon Espia, Best Sound for Raffy Magsaysay and Best Editing for Hannah Espia.
Just recently given Grade A by the Cinema Evaluation Board, the film will finally get a wider release when it opens in cinemas nationwide on February 1.