Colma: The Musical

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Colma: The Musical
Colma- The Musical FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Richard Wong
Produced by Richard Wong
Paul Kolsanoff
Screenplay by H.P. Mendoza
Story by H.P. Mendoza
Richard Wong
Starring Jake Moreno
H.P. Mendoza
L.A. Renigen
Sigrid Sutter
Larry Soriano
Brian Raffi
Music by H.P. Mendoza
Cinematography Richard Wong
Edited by Richard Wong
Production
  company
Greenrocksolid
Distributed by Roadside Attractions
Release date(s)
  • March 21, 2006 (2006-03-21) (San Francisco International
    Asian American Film Festival)
  • June 22, 2007 (2007-06-22) (United States)
Running time 100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $41,131

Colma: The Musical is a 2006 American musical independent film directed by Richard Wong and written by H.P. Mendoza. Wong's feature directorial debut, shot on location in the city of Colma, California and parts of San Francisco, is a coming of age story based on the lives of and the relationships between three teenagers living in Colma and how they deal with newfound problems that challenge their friendship. Along the way, they also learn what to hold onto and how best to follow their dreams.

The film features 13 songs all written and produced by H.P. Mendoza. Colma: The Musical was released through Roadside Attractions in partnership with Lions Gate Entertainment.

The film premiered March 21, 2006 at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. After a year of touring the film festival circuit and winning three Special Jury Prizes, Colma: The Musical was theatrically released on June 22, 2007.

Plot[edit]

The film follows three teenagers, Billy (Jake Moreno), Rodel (H.P. Mendoza), and Maribel (L.A. Renigen), and their exploits only weeks after graduating from high school. After Billy decides to audition for the regional musical, he meets a college student, Tara (Sigrid Sutter), who is also an aspiring actor. Billy's ambition expectedly puts a strain on his relationships with his best friends, Rodel and Maribel. Rodel, meanwhile, struggles with coming out of the closet to his single father (Larry Soriano), while Maribel struggles to figure out what to do next in life.

Cast[edit]

  • Jake Moreno as Billy
  • H.P. Mendoza as Rodel
  • L.A. Renigen as Maribel
  • Sigrid Sutter as Tara
  • Larry Soriano as Rodel's father
  • Brian Raffi as Julio
  • Gigi Guizado as Kattia
  • Paul Kolsanoff as Kevin
  • Allison Torneros as Amanda
  • Kat Kneisel as Joanna
  • David Scott Keller as Michael

Release[edit]

The film was distributed by Roadside Attractions theatrically on June 22, 2007. The DVD was released on November 20, 2007 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment with deleted scenes and an audio commentary by director Richard Wong and writer H.P. Mendoza.

Reception[edit]

The film received mostly favorable reviews and the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes shows Colma: The Musical with a 90% "fresh" among all reviews.

Colma: The Musical premiered at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and won its Special Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature.[citation needed] The premiere was held at the AMC Kabuki 8 in its 700 seat house which was packed with people who knew nothing about the filmmakers, but possibly appeared based on the title of the film alone.[citation needed] The film was praised by young Asian Americans who identified with the lost, if a little wayward, teenagers.[citation needed]

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called it "an itty-bitty movie with a great big heart"[1] while Ruthe Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle said that the film "deserves to be seen for its sheer originality and audacity".[2]

Negative reviews came from the Village Voice with Julia Wallace saying "it's unfortunate that Colma pays so little attention to Colma; it may as well be set anywhere."[3] while Kyle Smith of the New York Post says "The songs sound like they were recorded on a toy synthesizer in someone's basement, and neither of the two male leads can sing."[4]

After years of life on DVD and online instant viewing via Netflix, Colma: The Musical has been considered a cult favorite by many and has been paid tribute by various YouTube clips and high school musical renditions of the film. Ruthe Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle likens the film to American Graffiti and Diner,[2] while Jurgen Fauth of About.com compared the film to Mallrats, Ghost World, and Once.[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dargis, Manohla (July 6, 2007). "Big Teenage Dreams, Small-Town Doldrums". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b Stein, Ruthe (June 24, 2011). "Restless Colma teens burst with life -- and into song". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  3. ^ Julia Wallace (2007-06-26). "Colma: The Musical - Page 1 - Movies - New York". Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  4. ^ Smith, Kyle (July 6, 2007). "Amateur, Off-Key Indie Has Sour Notes". New York Post. 
  5. ^ "Colma: The Musical - H.P. Mendoza - Richard Wong - Movie Review". Worldfilm.about.com. 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 

External links[edit]