‘Busong’ DVD now available in the U.S.

Palawan native Bonivie Budao makes her film debut in ‘Busong.’

Palawan native Bonivie Budao makes her film debut in ‘Busong.’

The film, “Busong (Palawan Fate),” had its U.S. and international DVD release on May 1st. The DVD will be available from the official website busongpalawanfate.com.

Set on the island of Palawan in the Philippines, the film maps the quest of a brother and sister. Punay, born with wounds on her feet so severe, cannot step on the earth. Her brother Angkadang, carries her as they search the changing landscapes of Palawan for a healer.

Different people help: a woman searching for her husband, a fisherman who has lost his boat, and a young man on a journey to find himself. Each one finds his/her ‘busong.’

Inspired by his mother’s stories, the legends and myths of Palawan, director Auraeus Solito explains that “busong” is the indigenous Palawanon concept of fate or instant karma. “What you do to nature, you do to yourself.”

“Busong” marks the first Palawanon film directed by Solito, one of the Philippines’ leading independent filmmakers. His first feature film “The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros” won numerous awards, was the first Filipino film screened at Sundance, and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

Solito comes from a lineage of Shaman-Kings from the Palawan tribe and is one of the first born outside his tribal land. He is also known as Kanakan-Balintagos, a tribal spirit name meaning “Hunter of Truths.”

“Busong” has garnered international accolades. It premiered as an official selection at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival’s Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight). It won awards for best direction, best sound, and best original music score at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival in July of 2011. It also earned the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the Eurasia International Film Festival in September 2011, the Emile Cantillon Tomorrow’s Cinema Award at the Brussels International Festival of Independent Films in October 2011, the Merata Mita “Best of Stories” Award at National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival in September 2012, and two awards, the Special Award for Artistic Achievement and the Terroir of Cinema Award, at the Santa Rosa International Film Festival also in September 2012.

“Busong” has been screened in over 25 international film festivals in Europe, the U.S., Canada, Asia, South America and the Pacific. Fittingly, the final festival screening will be at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival in New Zealand this May 30-June 3, 2013, as a tribute to the pioneering Maori filmmaker, the late Ms. Merata Mita.

“Busong” stars Alessandra de Rossi, Clifford Banagale, Bonivie Budao and Dax Alejandro.

For more information, please visit busongpalawanfate.com, or contact Jong de Castro via Facebook.

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