Gil Portes, acclaimed filmmaker, dies at 71

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Gil Portes via Facebook

Veteran filmmaker Gil Portes has passed away at 71.

On the night of May 24, Wednesday, Portes was reportedly rushed to East Avenue Medical Center but was pronounced dead on arrival. The cause of his death is still not disclosed as of this writing. Some friends in the industry confirmed his death on social media.

As of Thursday morning, no funeral arrangements have been settled yet, since the family is still awaiting the arrival of some relatives from their hometown in Quezon province.

Fellow film director Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr. were among those who posted in social media about Portes’ death. Citing Portes’ multi-awarded and internationally acclaimed film “Mga Munting Tinig”, Alix expressed his gratitude to Portes.

Image: Screen grab of Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr.'s Facebook post

Image: Screen grab of Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr.’s Facebook post

Fellow filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes also expressed his sadness in a Twitter post yesterday.

Image: Screen shot of Joey Reyes' Twitter post

Image: Screen shot of Joey Reyes’ Twitter post

Alessandra De Rossi, who top-billed “Mga Munting Tinig” also took to Instagram just over a few hours ago to express her gratitude to the director.

Image: Screen grab of Alessandra De Rossi's Instagram post

Image: Screen grab of Alessandra De Rossi’s Instagram post

Portes is considered one of the finest directors in Philippine film history.

His excellent body of work include “Merika” (1984), “Andrea, Paano Ba Ang Maging Isang Ina?” (1990) and “Mulanay” (1996), “Markova: Comfort Gay” (2000) and “Mga Munting Tinig” (2002).

A Journalism graduate from the University of Santo Tomas, Portes started as a production assistant for network giant ABS-CBN. He then became a producer-director and eventually landed his own show, the horror anthology “Limbo”. The shutdown of the network during martial law halted his career.

In 1974, he was able to finally produce his own drama anthology “Huwaran” for the government station PTV4. But it was in 1976, that he debuted as a filmmaker for the movie “Tiket Mama! Tiket Ale! Sa Linggo ang Bola”.

In his late years, he was still able to complete two full-length period films, “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli” (2016) and “Moonlight Over Baler” (2017). JB

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