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Closing Night Of The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival Review - A Great Ending

By Erika Flores

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The NYIIFVF was founded by Stuart Alson in 1993, and has since been recognized as a strong platform for emerging and established film makers to gain exposure and possibly distribution deals.

Myrna J. De la Paz at the world premiere of her film "Abadeha - Neo Ethnic Rock Cinderella"

"Abadeha – Neo Ethnic Rock Cinderella” was as surprising as the title. The best thing about this film is that I have never seen anything like it, which was very refreshing. Imagine Cinderella goes History Channel, add a touch of Bollywood, some Spanish soap opera histrionics and a good sense of humor and you’ve got Abadeha.

Myrna J. De la Paz writer/producer/director/lyricist, places the old-age fairy tale in a contemporary Filipino setting, and takes the audience through a journey of music, song, dance, indigenous rituals, and ancestral wisdom.

Although loaded with culture and history, and at times melodrama, the film does not feel pretentious and it doesn’t make you feel like De la Paz is taking herself too seriously. At times you feel as if she makes fun of the characters, or as if they make fun of themselves, which lightens the whole thing up and gets the audience to laugh while learning about Filipino culture.

I learned about burial, engagement, coming of age and wedding rituals; about the Phillipino's relationship with nature, their beautiful traditional outfits and their simple way of life.

My favorite character was the step-mother, played by actress Jersafe Salatandre. She was more evil than the wicked witch of the west, had a wardrobe worthy of Filipino Vogue (thanks to costume designer Evangeline Buenacruz) and her “Chicagoesque” song about landing a new husband and pretending to be a good person was just brilliant. At one point she gets mad at Abadeha’s pet bird and calls him a “feisty disrespectful son a b….. ird”. Funny. 

Other fun highlights include a hot prince, a tree that grows jewelry instead of fruit, evil step-sisters that say everything in unison, a bird called a Sarimanok that looks like a rainbow (the feisty son of a bird), very talented traditional dancers, and a song that sounds like a nursery rhyme that goes “the girl who can remove the ring from the prince’s finger will be his bride, will be his bride” that I can’t get out of my head.

I am practical and somewhat cynical when it comes to fairy tales. But when the film ended, even I left firmly convinced that Abadeha and her prince indeed lived happily ever after.

Then it was on to the closing party at club LAX.

The crowd at LAX dancing the night away

LAX is modern and full of funky aero décor including a hydraulics-raised door, and lights that make the bar feel like an airport runway. It caters to Hollywood’s young and chic and runs regular parties from Thursday to Sunday. Manager Aaron told me that Sunday’s is “DJ AM’s party and crowd”, so if you are looking for celebs on their chill night out, that’s the night to hit LAX.

Dancer at LAX

DJ David Rockwell was honoring his name and…. Ummhh… Rocking-it-Well! He kept the dance floor packed all night and played hip-hop, rock, house and everything in between.

DJ David Rockwell rocking-it-well

In the outdoor terrace, my favorite part of the club, bartender Christine who is fun, friendly, and cute made me a mean Cosmo and told a guy off for not paying attention and pushing me. That is what I call good service…

Christine, bartender extraordinaire and defender of the universe

On my way out, I ran into Myrna J. De la Paz who got to see a little bit of the Hollywood fairy tale in action: Pretty model meets hot actor and… they live happily ever after... not.

My perfect ending? A hot dog on the way home.

The hot dog on the way home

For more information on the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival you can go to: www.nyfilmvideo.com

For more information on “ ABADEHA NEO-ETHNIC ROCK CINDERELLA” you can contact Myrna J. De la Paz at 323.259.8918 or email her at [email protected]

And check out: LAX   at   www.laxhollywood.com

DJ DAVID ROCKWELL at    www.djdavidrockwell.com

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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