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Lamberto V.

Avellana, director for theater and film, has the distinction of being called
The Boy Wonder of Philippine Movies as early as 1939. He was the first to use the
motion picture camera to establish a point-of-view, a move that revolutionized the
techniques of film narration. Avellana, who at 20 portrayed Joan of Arc in time for
Ateneos diamond jubilee, initially set out to establish a Filipino theater. Together with
Daisy Hontiveros, star of many UP plays and his future wife, he formed the Barangay
Theater Guild which had, among others, Leon Ma .Guerrero and Raul Manglapus as
members. It was after seeing such plays that Carlos P. Romulo, then president of
Philippine Films, encouraged him to try his hand at directing films. In his first film Sakay,
Avellana demonstrated a kind of visual rhythm that established a new filmic language.

Sakay was declared the best picture of 1939 by critics and journalists alike and set the
tone for Avellanas career in film that would be capped by such distinctive achievements
as the Grand Prix at the Asian Film Festival in Hong Kong for Anak Dalita (1956); Best
Director of Asia award in Tokyo for Badjao, among others.

Avellana was also the first filmmaker to have his film Kandelerong Pilak shown at the
Cannes International Film Festival. Among the films he directed for worldwide release
were Sergeant Hasan (1967), Destination Vietnam(1969), and The Evil
Within (1970).