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The importance of the phrase “think before you click” increases with the growth of social media, and the effects of our online activity can mean so much to one person. Inspired by a real story, John Denver Trending gathers a number of first-timers — with the presence of Cinemalaya veteran Meryll Soriano — to showcase the tale of a boy whose life turns around once a video of him goes viral.

The production value of John Denver Trending exceeds all expectations, given how amateur the studios and crew people involved are, yet they still manage to display such an affecting narrative brought about by online behavior and societal perceptions. The people in Pandan, Antique — director Arden Condez‘s hometown — played their part in the shooting of the film, and unbelievable talent is found in first-time actor Jansen Magpusao who plays the titular character. He performs so well that he may have outshined Meryll herself.

Still from Cinemalaya’s website

With no large studio backing the production, and banking on a low budget, the film shines like a gem, each technical aspect playing its part in delivering a clear-cut message that online activity is much bigger than we think. We can never know for sure entire stories behind the screens we stare at day in and day out, but John Denver Trending does what it can to show us the sides that matter. Condez, Magpusao, and Soriano hit all the right keys, and they present a feature that demands to be seen and heard.

Catch all the films in #Cinemalaya15 from Aug. 2–13 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and select Ayala and Vistas cinemas nationwide.

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