FFE Magazine

Musical ‘Prison Dancer, ‘ inspired by Cebu’s dancing inmates, wins Canadian filmfest

“Prison Dancer,” the musical series staged by a group of Filipinos in Canada and inspired by the famous “dancing inmates” in Cebu, recently won an award at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.
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The festival’s website said “Prison Dancer” won the Reel Asian Best Canadian Film or Video category.
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The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, largest Asian film festival in Canada, began in 1997.Considered as a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora, the festival showcases films and videos from East and Southeast Asian artists from all over the world.
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”Prison Dancer,” a musical web series that can be viewed on YouTube, stars a Filipino-Canadian cast led by comedian Mikey Bustos. The musical was inspired by the so-called “dancing inmates” from the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines.
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Bustos, a Canadian Idol finalist, rose to fame because of his viral “How to Be Filipino” videos on YouTube.
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On Monday, upon learning that the musical won, Bustos tweeted: Congrats to @prisondancer “Winner of Best Canadian Feature Film/Video” at Toronto’s Reel Asian Film Festival @gmanews pic.twitter.com/Tt5vfkuO
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“Prison Dancer” story
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With an estimated running time of 13 episodes with around “eight minutes of three to four branching videos,” this interactive web musical tells the jail time stories through Matt Wells, the known music and pop culture reporter (playing himself) who is assigned to report about the dancing Filipino inmates who became YouTube sensations.
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The story takes the form of combined “faux documentary styles” and traditional musicals, where Wells “uncovers the personal, poignant, hilarious, and universal life journeys” of  “prisoners” including:
  • Ruperto Poblador a.k.a. Lola (played by Jeigh Madjus), who lets his boredom slip in his tiny cell by coming up with dance routines and song numbers that he performs discreetly with his gay minions, Oo oo (Joseph Seville) and Nana (Pierre Bayuga);
  • Cherish (played by Catherine Ricafort), the Warden’s daughter;
  • Christian (played by Bustos), Cherish’s secret love and the newest inmate;
  • Shakespeare (Nicco Lorenzo), the resident poet; and
  • Hookaps (played by Normal Alconcel), the prison hustler.

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Prison Dancer: The Interactive Web Musical – Teaser Trailer

GMA News Online || BY Gian Geronimo – November 17, 2012 5:30pm
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