Pinoy comic book creator wins at LA Asian Pacific Filmfest for animated short “Milkyboy,” the debut animated feature of Filipino comic book writer and artist Arnold Arre, won the “Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award” at the 30th LA Asian Pacific Filmfest in Los Angeles last Sunday, May 11. This year, the LAAPFF presented over 140 short films from directors across the globe. The dramatic and elegantly executed “Above the Sea” from Keola Racela received the Golden Reel Award, while Arnold Arre was honored with the Linda Mabalot New Directors/ New Visions Award for his animated work “Milkyboy”.
On Arre’s official website, the award is described in his updated biography as “ajuried award that recognizes the creative and innovative use of the language of cinema.” Of the 11 Philippine films accepted in the festival’s feature, documentary and short film categories, only Arre’s “Milkyboy” won any of the festival’s awards. The other Filipino films were Miko Livelo’s “Blue Bustamante,” Borgy Torre’s “Kabisera,” Timothy Mendoza’s “Mikoy,” Dennis Empalmado’s “HindiTao, Hindi Hayop,” John Paul Su’s “The Refuse,” Mikhail Red’s “Rekorder” and Siege Ledesma’s “Shift”.
“Milkyboy” is described on the festival’s website as the story of Rey, a child star whose sole claim to fame is playing a superhero character called ‘Milkyboy’ in a TV milk commercial. Now in his 30s, Rey is an alcoholic stuck in a dead end job in a fading advertising company.
As a comic book creator, Arre won National Book awards from the Manila Critics Circle for his 1999 graphic novel “The Mythology Class” and “Trip to Tagaytay,” a one-shot future fiction short story. He and another celebrated comic book artist, Gerry Alanguilan, teamed up for re- imaginings of Mars Ravelo’s “Lastikman” in 2004 and again in 2011 for “Darna”. Prior to “Milkyboy,” Arre had dabbled in filmmaking and had directed two live-action shorts, “Chapter: One” and “Kaye for Komiks”. His animated works include the four-minute “Andong Agimat: Kanya ang Kalye” which won Best Animation (Category A) and Special Jury Prize at the 7th Animahenasyon Philippine Animation Festival last year. He also directed animated music videos of the Philippine National Anthem “Lupang Hinirang” and “Kaninong Anino, ” the Jose Rizal birth centennial commemorative song which also won Best Music Video also at the 7th Animahenasyon Philippine Animation Festival.
In addition to the LAAPF award, “Milkyboy” was previously honored at the 25th CCP Alternative Film and Video Awards where it won the top prize in the animation category. It also won the Best Screenplay award at the 7th Animahenasyon Philippine Animation Festival.
This year, the film has been making the rounds of several US film festivals and has already been screened at the CAAMFest in San Francisco last March and the Sacramento International Film Festival only last April.