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Alapaap/ Above The Clouds

Talent Project Market 2012

Project information

Talent Bianca Balbuena
Role of participant Producer
Director Pepe Diokno
Producer Bianca Balbuena
Screenwriter Pepe Diokno
Status finished

Production details

Running time 80 min
Genre Drama
Budget in Euro 380,000 EURO
Year of production 2012
Country of Production Philippines
Website http://abovetheclouds.ph

still / picture for Alapaap/ Above The Clouds


"Above the Clouds" is about a 15-year-old boy, Daniel, who loses both of his parents to the flood, and is forced to live with his estranged grandfather in a province far from the city.

Now, imagine losing everyone you love and everything you own in the blink of an eye. Imagine being sent to live in a strange place, with a man you don't even know. So Daniel becomes withdrawn. He's always on his iPhone. No one can get through him — not even his grandfather.

So Grandpa gets an idea: He shows Daniel old photos of Daniel's parents hiking up a mystical mountain. We see shots of them before a crystal-blue lake; walking through a century-old woods; and at the peak of the mountain, overlooking a sea of clouds that stretches as far as the eye can see.

They embark on an overnight hike, retracing the steps of Daniel's parents. But they get to the mountain, and see it's totally unlike the pictures. The place has been destroyed. The lake is dry; woods have been cut down; the whole mountain is polluted.

It begins to rain, forcing Grandfather and Daniel further up the mountain. But through this journey, the two find each other. They realize they weren't as alone as they thought — that they have a family, even though they’ve felt they lost everything.

As Grandpa tells Daniel in a pivotal scene. “It doesn’t matter what life takes away from you. Life is what you do what whatever you have left.”

They find a boulder where the names of Daniel's parents are carved. There’s trash all around it, so Daniel cleans it up. He then asks Grandpa if they can climb to the peak, but the old man is hurting so he sends Daniel off on his own. Then, he pulls the boy in for a tight hug, and this is the first time we ever see them embrace.

Daniel the runs up a long pathway. When he reaches the peak, he sees the most amazing sight — a sea of clouds that stretches to the horizon, like waves of white dancing in the air, covered in a wash of yellow sunlight.

Daniel whistles at Grandpa. Grandpa whistles back. Music swells in, and the film ends.


DanielDaniel Padilla
GrandfatherPepe Smith


French co-producerPhilippe Avril
CinematographerCarlo Mendoza, FSC
Production DesignerBenjamin Padero


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