JOSELITO ALTAREJOS is a Filipino director born in the 70’s renowned as one of the innovators of gay cinema in the Philippines. His films are known for their strong identity and gay subjects, and have been screened at many international and local festivals.
Altarejos’ films often tackle current social issues, mainly related to gay identity – ANG LIHIM NI ANTONIO/ Antonio’s Secret (2008); poverty and inequality – ANG LARO SA BUHAY NI JUAN/The Game of Juan’s Life (2009); war and children PINK HALO-HALO (2010); and UNFRIEND (2013) on social media and youth suicide.
UNFRIEND is at the Panorama Section of the 2014 Berlinale and has been getting international and local media attention for “highlighting dangerous power of social media.”*1 It will be released internationally by Fortissimo Films.
His Pink Halo-Halo was also a finalist in Cinemalaya 2010 Directors Showcase category and won Best Editing. It is also the first ever long feature Tigaonaon, the language of the people of Ticao Island in Masbate. It was hailed by critics for its “sophisticated insight into our country’s precipitous decline into a culture of violence.”*2
His other films were celebrated at international LGBT film festivals. The Game of Juan’s Life (2009) won Honorable Mention-Narrative Category at the 2010 Chicago Reeling in USA; while Antonio’s Secret (2008) was proclaimed Best Feature Film at Festival de la Luna 2010 in Valencia, Spain and Festival del Mar in Ibiza, Spain.
His projects in the pipeline include KASAL, a finalist in this year’s Cinemalaya – Directors Showcase category which is his take on the concepts of love and commitment and how the same are tested and redefined by time and circumstances. He does television and events directing on the side.