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The Boy from Nowhere

Philippines / Canada 2023
produced by
Josh Hoculiak (executive), Nikki Stier Justice (executive), Matthew Helderman (executive), Luke Taylor (executive), Grady Justice (executive) for Buffalo 8, Reveal Creative
directed by S.J. Findlay
starring Gary Jumawan, Ronald Abugan, Balugto Marcelino Necosia, Datu Migketay Victorino L. Saway, Felicisimo Morales, Dodoy Villanueva, Waway Saway
written by S.J. Findlay, music by Andrew Judah

review by
Mike Haberfelner

14 year old Gary (Gary Jumawan) has been living in a small fishing village somewhere in the Philippines all his life and was meant to follow in his father's (Felicisimo Morales) footsteps and become a fisherman one day - but then his village is mysteriously burned down, and Gary's tribe is relocated to a camp in the next city. Never having been out of his village or away from the sea before, Gary finds it difficult to adjust to city life, and thus he decides to go track down his mother, member of another tribe, on his own - but he doesn't get very far as he doesn't have enough money for the bus fare. Being pretty much stranded in God-knows-where, Gary happens upon NackNack (Ronald Abugan), who takes an instant liking in the boy and takes him under his wing, making him one of his gang. For Gary, NackNack, despite not being much older, is some kind of father figure - but thing is, Gary's a gangster and seems to get into one scrub after the next, which eventually leads to him skipping town and head to the jungle to join the Mindanao People's Front, a group of guerrila fighters who have taken it upon themselves to defend their tribe's land against gouvernment interference by force. Despite NackNack's objections, Gary tags along, and the Mindanao People's Front is happy to accept fighters as young as Gary into their lines. Thing is, Gary has little idea what war he's fighting and whose side he's fighting on. And then the group gets into an ambush by gouvernment soldiers, the group scatters, NackNack is killed, and while Gary manages to slip away from the ambushers, he once again feels uprooted, so much so that when a benign farmer (Waway Saway) from a nearby village offers to take him in, his first reaction is that of distrust ...


A very compelling film that despite being based on true events and thus very specific about locations, political backgrounds and the like, has a very universal feel to it as it manages to make Gary's alienation palpable, his journey relatable even if he's (innocently) on the wrong track most of the time. And a directorial effort that manages to set bright spots in the film's dark story, beautiful and beautifully filmed locations, and a solid ensemble cast make this one an immensively watchable movie.




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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD