- June 01, 2023 06:21
By Janna Mae E. Bobier
Far Eastern University (FEU) Advertising alumnus Dylan Ray Talon bagged the top acting prize for his performance in the short feature “Journey to Ultimate Jowa” at the Gawad Sining Short Film Festival 2020 Awards Night held virtually last January 15.
Supposedly a one-week full-house screening, Gawad Sining shifted to YouTube, a digital streaming platform, for the festival’s third edition due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions—social distancing, including health and safety protocols.
Talon’s versatility in acting was able to clinch double nominations for the Best Actor award. Directed by Matthew Ignacio, Talon portrayed a hopeless romantic in pursuit of his Mr. Right in the film “Journey to Ultimate Jowa,” while he played the role of a depressed student filmmaker in the film “Cut” that was directed by Jake Consing.
Moreover, both films dominated the roster of nominations with “Journey to Ultimate Jowa” receiving seven nods including Best Director, Best Editing and Best Music, while “Cut” bagged the Best Screenplay award in addition to six other nominations.
The latest edition of the festival showcased LGBTQ+ stories of any genre. In an online interview with FEU Advocate, Talon emphasized the essence of playing non-binary roles.
“Mayroon pa ring mga taong judgemental sa gender ng ibang tao pero it doesn’t matter. Ang importante 'yung pagkatao niya, 'yung puso niya sa pagmamahal ng ibang tao (There are still some people who judge other people’s gender but, it [gender] doesn’t matter [when it comes to love]. The important thing is his personality and his heart in loving other people),” he stated.
Furthermore, as a former member and scholar of FEU Theater Guild (FTG) and FEU Center for the Arts (FCA), formerly known as President's Committee on Culture (PCC), he shared how earning multiple nominations for a single category flusters him, yet makes him proud and grateful as he is a product of FEU and FTG.
Highlighting how he 'owes everything’ to FTG, FCA, and the University, Talon expresses his gratitude to the institute and the organizations.
"Malaki 'yung pasasalamat ko sa FTG and to Sir Martin Lopez na executive director ng PCC. Kung hindi dahil kay Sir Martin, sa FCA at FTG, siguro hindi ako makakarating kung nasaan ako ngayon, kung ano 'yung craft na ginagawa ko ngayon, kung ano yung passion na ginagawa ko ngayon (I am thankful to FTG and to Sir Martin Lopez, PCC’s executive director. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today, I wouldn’t be doing this craft and passion that I am doing now,” he mentioned.
Talon also shared the struggles of working in the art industry amid a global health crisis. He described the situation as difficult, yet it has opened an opportunity for the industry to expand.
“Hindi namamatay 'yung teatro. Hindi yung venue yung theater. The theater is the people, kaming performers and the audience. Dati natatakot ako personally na namamatay na yung theater. Mawawalan na kami ng trabaho pero hindi. It's evolving (The theater is not dying. The venue is not the theater. We, the performers and the audience, are the theater. Before [when the pandemic started], I was afraid that we would lose our jobs but we didn’t. Theater is evolving),” he firmly said.
His tip for art students and artists that are undergoing crisis: “Just create. Just have fun with it. Kahit malungkot ka, kahit galit ka, desperate or miserable ka. Create something out of it. I-maximize mo 'yung medium and material para i-channel 'yung emotion (Just create. Just have fun with it even though you’re sad, angry, desperate or miserable. Create something out of it. Maximize the medium and material to channel your emotions)."
Currently, Talon works alongside renowned actors Dingdong Dantes, Agot Isidro, Angel Locsin, and Atom Araullo among others at Aktor – League of Filipino Actors, an organization that aims to collectively voice out their stand on different issues may it be outside the entertainment industry.
Out of 26 official short film entries, 24 are still up and available for viewing on Gawad Sining’s YouTube channel.
(Photo courtesy of Dylan Ray Talon)