UST alumnus’ hip-hop drama ‘Respeto’ bags 6 awards in Cinemalaya film fest

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A Thomasian director’s film about a young rapper’s quest to gain respect — with Martial Law and the bloody war on drugs as backdrop — won six awards including best film in the 13th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

Alberto “Treb” Monteras II’s “Respeto” emerged as the audience’s choice, and won best cinematography along with Joseph Israel Laban’s “Baconaua,” during the awarding ceremony last Aug. 13 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

“Respeto” also took home best sound and best editing awards.

Dido de la Paz, who plays the seasoned poet “Doc” in the film, won best supporting actor.

Set in Manila, the film revolves around Hendrix, played by Filipino hip-hop artist “Abra” (Raymond Abracosa).

Hendrix wants to become a famous rapper, and finds the right verses with the help of Doc (de la Paz), a victim of Martial Law.

In Doc’s diary, Hendrix finds inspiration and incorporates its text into different beats, creating new rhythmic hip-hop verses for fliptop battles.

Monteras finished advertising arts in the old College of Architecture and Fine Arts and was the Varsitarian’s art director from 2000 to 2001. He ran the comic strip “Tomas U. Santos” and introduced his own version of “Tom-Tom,” the paper’s tiger mascot.

Monteras has directed live concerts, commercials and top-rating TV shows, and has made some 300 music videos and album cover shoots.

He trained at the Mowelfund Film Institute and the International Institute for Film and the Arts, and recently attended the American Cinematographer’s Masterclass in Los Angeles, California.

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