Cinema One Originals turns ‘intense’

THE annual cinema event of the Philippines’ no.1 cable channel, Cinema One, is now a decade older. And as it celebrates 10 years, the people behind it is using “Intense” as theme.

Alongside full-length digital movies, the film festival also features innovative short films, restored Tagalog movie classics, and new works by globally renowned masters. 

The festival runs from today till the 18th of this month  and movies features are screened in four venues: Fairview Terraces, Glorietta, Trinoma, and Greenhills Dolby Atmos theaters.  

Director Adolf Alix with Nora Aunor
“Cinema One Originals is definitely bigger, bolder and better. That’s why we are describing this year’s festival as ‘intense,’” says Cinema One Channel Head Ronald Arguelles.

The centerpiece of the filmfest are the 10 new films chosen from countless script submissions. These are: Di Sila Tatanda by Malay Javier, Seoul Mates by Nash Ang, Red by Jay Abello, Violator by Eduardo Dayao, Soap Opera by Remton Slega Zuasola, Lorna by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Bitukang Manok by Alec Figuracion, Abel/Cain (Esprit de Corps) by Kanakan Balintagos, That Thing Called Tadhana by Antoinette Jadaone, and The Babysitters by Paolo O’Hara.

Today’s biggest stars are starring in some of these films, among them Jericho Rosales, Angelica Panganiban, JM de Guzman, Angel Aquino, Lovi Poe and Rocco Nacino. 

C1 Originals’ Best of Asian Cinema is proud to showcase the dramatic masterpiece of Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan entitled Winter Sleep, winner of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival Palme D’Or. Also in this section are famous films from China—Diao Zinan’s Yinan’s mystery film Black Coal, Thin Ice, winner of 2014 Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear Award; and Zhang Yimou’s historical drama love story Coming Home that premiered in this year’s Cannes.

The Philippines’ most notable independent filmmakers such as Joel Ruiz, Adolf Alix, Jr., Pam Miras, Keith Sicat and Eliza Esquivel will unveil their new short films in the C1 Originals short film program.

Mike de Leon’s Hindi Nahahati ang Langit, a melodrama based on Nerissa Cabral’s komiks starring Christopher de Leon and Lorna Tolentino, heads the list of C1 Originals’ lineup of restored classics.

With over 20 films to be screened, this 10th edition is the biggest since C1 Originals started in 2005. Arguelles says, “We aim to constantly rejuvenate the Filipino movie industry by supporting works of independent filmmakers and by offering the audience world-class films. We, the organizers, took special care in creating the program and we are excited to present them to our viewers.”

Flurry of Asian Cinema

Jericho Rosales plays the titular
role in Red
The newest acclaimed works by Asia’s most celebrated directors feraturd at the 2014 Cinema One Originals Film Festival. This year marks the first time that C1 Originals is screening international films through its Best of Asian Cinema section. Heading this list are two films that made waves at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival. The first is Turkey’s Winter Sleep, from director Nuri Bilge Ceyland. The movie is about a rather smug hotelier and his relationships with his family and community. Winter Sleep won the Cannes Palme D’Or. The second film is Coming Home, by celebrated Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Set in the 1970s, it tells of a convicted rebel who escapes to reunite with his wife and daughter both of whom he has not seen in years. Coming Home stars Gong Li, one of China’s most famous actresses.

Another film from China—Black Coal, Thin Ice—makes its Philippine premiere at the C1 Originals.  The story is about a detective who is trying to solve the mystery of dismembered body parts found in coal shipments. Black Coal, Thin Ice directed by Diao Yinan won the Best Feature film at the 2014 Berlin International Filmfest.

There are also two films from South Korea: the Oscar-entry Haemoo, (Sea Fog) which is based on the true story of illegal immigrants who were transported via a fishing vessel; and Hill of Freedom, which tells of a Japanese man who travels to Seoul to find the woman he pines for.

The Golden Era, the life story of pioneering female novelist Xiao Hong, is also screening at C1 Originals. It is Hong Kong’s entry to the Oscar Foreign Language category and a film by Ann Hui, one of HK’s foremost female directors.

Completing the list is The Lunchbox, a heartwarming film from India about a botched-up lunchbox delivery that links a young wife and a middle-age office worker. The Lunchbox has won 22 awards from international filmfests, including the Grand Golden Rail at the 2013 Cannes International Filmfest.

Jericho Rosales in Red

Urian Best Actor Jericho Rosales stars in Red, a crime action drama set in Bacolod. Red is among the ten new Filipino films competing in the 2014 Cinema One Originals Film Festival.

The title refers to the lead character named Red, a shy orphan who grew up in a girlie bar. Red is actually a “fixer” who can bail anyone out of trouble. One day, a rich kid is gunned down in a drug bust that results in the disappearance of eight million pesos worth of drugs. Red is hired by Art, a socialite, to settle the mess; but later on, the dutiful fixer gets framed for the crime.

Sharmaine Buencamino with director Sigrid
Andrea Bernardo in Lorna
Red is directed by Jay Abello, the man behind the culinary-themed romance Namets, the documentary on the Negros sugar industry Pureza and quaint ode to letter-writing Ligaw Liham. Direk Jay offered role of Red to Jericho because the actor’s range can give justice to the complex character. Although Red circumvents the law, the guy seems to have an honest core.

Direk Jay got the idea for Red from real people and actual events that occurred in his hometown. He says, “It’s about the power of storytelling. This happens in Negros where everyone knows everyone else and a single story can be magnified into different versions of the truth.”

Mike de Leon melodrama restored

The 29-year old film Hindi Nahahati ang Langit, directed by Mike de Leon, is the centerpiece of restored classics of the 2014 Cinema One Originals Festival.

Hindi Nahahati ang Langit stands out because it is so far the only melodrama in de Leon’s filmography.The director is noted for trailblazing films such as the comedy musicale Kakabakaba Ka Ba?, the crime thriller Kisapmata, the socio-political coming-of-age Sister Stella L., among many other films.

With a screenplay by Mia Concio based on the komiks serial by Nerissa Cabral, Hindi Nahahati ang Langit is about Noel and Melody who became siblings because of the marriage of their parents Agnes and Ariston whose respective spouses have passed away. Noel and Melody grow up fighting but their feud is just a mask for the true love they have for each other.  Hindi Nahahati ang Langit stars Christopher de Leon, Lorna Tolentino, Dina Bonnevie, Edu Manzano, Gloria Romero and Nestor de Villa.

The film will have a celebrity premiere on Nov. 11, Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Trinoma Cinema.

(From left) Hindi Sila Tatanda cast Anthony Falcon,
Dawn Jimenez, Mara Lopez, and Kean Cipriano
Also in the Cinema One Originals Festival restored classics lineup are: Kapag Langit ang Humatol, a drama directed by Laurice Guillen starring Vilma Santos as an oppressed housemaid who transforms herself into a successful businesswoman. Richard Gomez plays the leading man of the Star for All Seasons.

One More Chance, is one of the biggest box-office hits of the John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo love team and the romance that made their characters Popoy and Basha household names. Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, it tells of how a couple’s break-up is made more complicated because they’re still part of the same barkada.

Oro, Plata, Mata, Peque Gallaga’s WW II epic set in Negros, was previously restored by ABS-CBN in 2012. Now the masterpiece has a more improved audio track and will debut at the C1 Originals Festival.

Completing the list is Anak, the heartwarming OFW story directed by Rory Quintos starring Vilma Santos and Claudine Barretto. Released in 2000, it was the highest-grossing movie of that year and one of the biggest blockbusters in Star Cinema’s history. The unveiling at 2014 C1 Originals marks the first time the restored version of Anak will be seen on the big screen.

Nora Aunor-starrer leads  Cinema One Originals short films

No less than Nora Aunor leads the lineup of stars in the Cinema One Originals short films that will be shown at the 2014 Cinema One Originals Festival.

In a rare and special appearance in her illustrious career, the Philippines’ Superstar headlines the 19-minute film entitled Kinabukasan by Urian Best Director Adolf Alix. The story centers on Ernest and Niles who talk about the secrets of the past while trying to forego a brewing conflict. Nora’s co-star is GMA Network matinee idol Alden Richards. The screenplay is written by Palanca award-winner Jerry Gracio.

(From left) Garry Lim, JC Santos, director Kanakan-
Balintagos, and Lharby Policarpio in Esprit de Corps
Cinema One Originals’ short film selection is composed of new works by experienced and fast-rising directors, all of which can be best described as “intense”—the theme of this year’s festival. Aside from Direk Adolf’s Nora Aunor-starrer, there are five other short films: Konsesiya is by young director Elyza Esquivel of the College of Saint Benilde. It tells of a wife who is torn between following her conscience and resorting to dishonest means to resolve her problems. An ensemble of talented actors gives life to Konsensiya: Irma Adlawan, Alma Concepcion, Mon Confiado, Dennis Padilla and Suzette Ranillo.

University of the Philippines’ Petersen Vargas weaves a tale of friendship in Lisyun Qng Geografia (Geography Lessons). Starring Earl Policarpio and Ross Pesigan, this short shows how Tib follows a map to visit places in his hometown of Pampanga to recreate memories of his friend Tric.

The power of the mind is underscored in Porferia, by Pam Miras who made the Cinema One Original Best Film Pascalina. Award-winning Meryl Soriano and Ketchup Eusebio portray a wife and husband who are abducted by the military for being suspected insurgents.

Another C1 Original alumnus, Keith Sicat, gets inspiration from the warrior culture in Blade of the Maiden. Here, he tells of how warriors duel to death for a maiden’s hand in matrimony.

Rounding up the list of 2014 Cinema One Originals short films is Joel Ruiz’s The End is Bigger Than Love starring Joem Bascon and Chanel La Torre in an apocalyptic romance about a former couple who meet again and give their love another try.

All these short films were carefully chosen from about a hundred works from filmmakers from all over the Philippines: NCR, Luzon, Bicol, Cebu, Davao and Zamboanga.

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