2009 TIFF movie three, If I Knew What You Said

So my last movie of my first day at TIFF was If I Knew What You Said or Dinig Sana Kita.  While Shameless was very enjoyable, this was the star of the day.  Nina, played by Zoe Sandejas, is a teen that gets into trouble, but not really that much, but has an overbearing father, and is sent to a camp that attempts to bridge communication issues between hearing kids and deaf kids.  At the camp she at first fights with, and later develops a deep relationship with Kiko who is deaf and is a dancer, he is quite good.

The movie is in Tagalog, although the speaking characters sometimes speak English, and of course there is sign language.  Everything is subtitled which works very well, especially when sign language is used.

While the movie is a bit predictable at times, there are plenty of twists, and a lot of emotion.  The relationship between Nina and Kiko are the main thrust of the story, but there are also very important relationships between Dr. Mendoza the director of the camp and Kiko, Nina and her parents, Nina and her band, and Kiko with other members of his deaf community.

The story is very powerful because it deals with so many types of relationships and at times has us travelling at break neck speeds on an emotional roller coaster.

Zoe Sandejas, Nina,  is the real life daughter of director of Mike Sandejas.  Zoe really is a singer-songwriter.  Other family members of theirs were part of creating the movie.  Mike reported that it has made a huge difference in acceptance of the deaf community in the Philippines.  Kiko is played by Romalito Mallari who really is deaf and a dancer.  Romalito was not at this screening due to visa issues, but was on route during the screening.  My friend Chris should see all of them on Sunday.

It was clear during this screening there was a small group of deaf audience members who were pleased with the film.

Mike and Zoe were available for Q&A, and were very nice and approachable.  So much so, that I have this picture of me and Zoe, and the other of her father continuing to answer questions after we had to leave the theater.

Me with Zoe Sandejas

Me with Zoe Sandejas

Mike Sandejas

Mike Sandejas

I really hope this movie gets a North American distributor,  it really needs to be seen widely.  And I hope that I will see more work from this director and the actors.

Here is the trailer:



1 Comment

  1. may sandejas said,

    July 7, 2010 at 1:50 am

    DINIG SANA KITA (IF I KNEW WHAT YOU SAID) will have a theater run at Carlton Cinemas@Toronto on August 13, 2010. We hope you could help us spread the word. Thank you.

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