Inspired by the real-life dancing rehabilitation program that became a worldwide viral sensation on YouTube, Prison Dancer tells of the poignant and hilarious stories of six prison dancers whose group dancing turned a maximum security prison into a world stage. Simulated surveillance footage, interviews with inmates, and good old-fashioned investigative journalism blend fact and fiction in this hilarious mockumentary. Behind the prison walls, we meet inmates Ruperto Poblador aka Lola (Jeigh Madjus), who choreographs the first prison dance routines, the prison hustler Hookaps (Norman Alconel), the prison’s resident poet Shakespeare (Nicco Lorenzo) and the prison’s newest inmate Christian (Mikey Bustos), to discover a tale of life, death, dreams, fears, and ultimately, redemption.
Prison Dancer has had many forms: as a web series, a stage musical and more. Here at Reel Asian it will be presented as “performative cinema”, a one-of-a-kind combination of video, live performance and audience participation you will not see anywhere else. Ultimately, Prison Dancer is a great time, carried out by immensely talented people both on-screen and behind the camera, and showcases the amazing talents of its stars, brought together from Broadway, film, recording studios, television and YouTube. Guiding this presentation of Prison Dancer is its creative team: writer/director Romeo Candido, writer Carmen De Jesus, and producer Ana Serrano, who together have created a unique experience that defies definition and changes the way we think about performance and media.
Director: Romeo Candido
Producer: Ana Serrano
Writers: Romeo Candido, Carmen de Jesus
Cinematographer: Barry Cheong
Editor: J. Lee Williams
Music: Romeo Candido
Cast: Jeigh Madjus, Mikey Bustos, Catherine Ricafort, Matt Wells, Nicco Lorenzo, Norman Alconcel, Pierre Angelo Bayuga, Joseph Sevillo, Ron Josol
An award-winning transmedia producer and creator, romeo Candido directed Ang Pamana: The Inheritance (Reel Asian 2007), the first Philippine/Canadian co-production that was released theatrically in the Philippines to critical acclaim. His directorial feature film debut, Lolo’s Child (Reel Asian 2002), that won the prestigious Ishmael Bernal award at the 2002 CineManila Film Festival…Carmen de Jesus has written for film, television, stage, web and mobile web content. She co-wrote the feature length film Ang Pamana: The Inheritance with Candido. Carmen and Romeo’s collaborations centre around creating artistic projects that elevate Filipino culture and talent, and take modern storytelling to the next level…A three-time Canadian New Media Award-winner, including Visionary of the Year, Ana Serranois the Founder of CFC Media Lab, the world-renowned and award-winning institute for interactive storytelling she created in 1997 at the Canadian Film Centre.
Official Selection – San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival 2012
Outstanding Ensemble Performance, Outstanding Individual Performance, Excellence in Choreography – Prison Dancer: The Musical, New York Musical Theatre Festival 2012