Neil Daza, an alumnus of the defunct College of Architecture and Fine Arts. (Photo by Deejae S. Dumlao/ The Varsitarian)

VETERAN cinematographer Neil Daza won the “Best Cinematography” for the film “Oda sa Wala” in the  QCinema International Film Festival (QCinema) last Oct. 26 at  Novotel in Araneta, Quezon City.

The film, directed and written by Dwaine Baltazar, revolves around Sonya (played by Marietta “Pokwang” Subong), an old maid whose life withers away like the corpses she handles in her family’s funeral parlor. Her life changes when the parlor receives a mysterious corpse that brings luck into her life for a while.

In designing the movie’s photography, Daza said he got his inspiration from the melancholic and haunting atmosphere of funeral parlors.

“The over-all feeling of dusk; it’s that time of day when the colors slowly start to fade and the sunlight slowly disappears,” said Daza in an interview with the Varsitarian. 

Daza, alumnus of the old College of Architecture and Fine Arts, also bagged the best cinematography award in the 2018 Cinemalaya last Aug. 12 for the movie “Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon.”

Daza said he was pleased with the results of his work despite a limited budget and tight schedule for shooting. 

“It mixes in terms of genre, there isn’t a specific category; some [scenes] are silent while others are filled with life and drama, so you really can see the extremes of the movie,” he said. 

“Oda sa Wala” also clinched five other awards in QCinema, best picture, best screenplay, best director and best actress.

QCinema is the official film festival of the Quezon City government.

Daza’s other notable films are “Nabubulok” and “Ghost Bride” (both 2017), ““Etiquette for Mistresses” (2015), “Bwaya” (2014), “Dekada ’70” (2002), and “Yamashita: The Tiger’s Treasure” (2001).


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