A promising and diverse line-up which features ten stories on comedy, drama, romantic comedy, and animation have made the cut for this year’s Cinema One Originals finalists, coming from a pool of veteran and up-and-coming film makers who are allocated with P2 million each to showcase their films in November for the annual film fest.
Raymond Red, the only Filipino who has won the coveted Palme D’Or in the short film category at the Cannes Film Festival is back in the film competition scene with his Cinema One Originals 2015 entry, “Mga Rebeldeng May Kaso,” a youth drama film revolving on the aftermath of the 1986 People Power Revolution which spawns a group of young dreamers who immerse themselves in the culture of independent and alternative cinema.
Red’s fellow veteran indie filmmaker Loy Arcenas debuts his first Cinema One Originals film this year with “Mirador,” a heavy drama story that showcases a widow’s obsession with her dead husband’s illegitimate son. Arcenas is the director of the Special Jury Prize back-to-back winning films “Nino” and “Requieme!” in the Cinemalaya Festival.
Filmmaker and award-winning actor Bor Ocampo proves his mettle once more in “Dayang Asu,” an action drama about a son who tries to show to his father that he can survive in a dog-eat-dog world despite legalized corruption. Ocampo is a Gawad Urian Best Supporting Actor nominee and the brains behind the critically acclaimed short film, “Mabuhay Ang Pilipinas.”
After four years, Sari Dalena makes a comeback to Cinema One Originals with “Dahlin’ Nick,” a docu-drama that explores the life and works of National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin. Dalena directed the 2011 Cinema One Originals, “Ka Oryang.”
Another filmmaker that makes a comeback to Cinema One Originals is Ara Chawdhury, the assistant director of “My Paranormal Romance” and production designer of “Aberya,” two Cinema One Originals films. This year, Ara is set to direct “Miss Bulalacao,” a small town drama that chronicles the story of Dodong, a young drag queen who joins a gay pageant in the hopes of gaining acceptance in his father’s community.
“My Paranormal Romance” director Victor Villanueva enters the competition once more with “Ricky Boy: The Wonder Boy,” a comedy story about a famous child faith healer who suddenly loses his powers, but meets someone who prompts him to go on a journey with friends to get his healing powers back.
Writer director Joel Ferrer showcases the lone romantic comedy story among the list with “Baka Siguro Yata,” a film on intertwined stories of a dysfunctional extended family showing different views of love in each generation.
Newcomer Ivan Andrew Payawal adds an interesting addition to the lineup with “The Comeback,” a story that follows a 32-year-old former famous actress who loses everything in her life and decides to commit suicide. On the day she decides to kill herself, she receives a package containing four letters and a dead man’s ashes.
Aspiring filmmaker and software engineer Carl Joseph Papa’s animation entry, “Manang Biring” tells the moving tale of a terminally ill but feisty old lady who learns to accept that she will soon pass away. One day, she receives a letter from her long estranged daughter saying that she will be home for Christmas. Knowing that she will not make it, Biring will go to great lengths to prolong her life just to give her daughter a happy Christmas.
Meanwhile, the horror entry, “Bukod Kang Pinagpala” by Sheron Dayoc features a mother-daughter tandem who lives in an old house replete with images of Catholic icons and symbols. As the daughter struggles with the demented religious fanaticism of her mother, she seeks help for her mother’s behavior that makes their relationship turn horrific.
Cinema One Originals is now on its 11th year and is home to critically acclaimed films including the highest grossing indie film, “That Thing Called Tadhana.”
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