MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The dramatic and controversial-themed "Immaculada, Pag-Ibig Ng Isang Ina”, starring award-winning actress Ara Mina, is the Opening Film of the 2019 Singkuwento International Film Festival Manila Philippines (SIFFMP).
This Philippine premiere of the said film will be screened on February 15 (Friday), 7;00 PM, at Leandro Locsin Theater of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), #633 General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila.
Written and directed by broadcast journalist and filmmaker Arlyn Dela Cruz, “Immaculada, Pag-Ibig Ng Isang Ina” also stars seasoned and likewise award-winning actress Ms. Elizabeth Oropesa, John Estrada (his first independent film), promising actors Akihiro Blanco, Elijah Canlas, and more.
The film is a dark tale of a mother's love to his son. A continuation of a twisted love that seemed like a curse, one that was ended by an incomprehensible act of a mother's love. Based on true stories.
“All the actors in this film gave their all. I have never seen Ara Mina succumb in total abandon to a character. John Estrada's silent agony was infectious.
“Ms. Elizabeth Oropesa displayed an understanding of her character that allowed her to deliver what could be the most unforgettable yet disturbing portrayal of La Oropesa on screen. Watch out for Akihiro Blanco, he is a revelation,” said writer-director Dela Cruz.
In celebration of the 100th year of Philippine Cinema this year and the National Arts Month this month, the festival will be held from February 15 to 22 exclusively in the said venue (NCCA).
Founded by its festival director Perry Escaño, himself an independent filmmaker, this film event is presented by MPJ Entertainment Productions, in cooperation with Asian Television Content Corporation and Film Development Council of the Philippines.
The festival’s main objective is to feature works of various Filipino and foreign filmmakers. It is an avenue for Filipinos both here and abroad to share their voice, sentiments and thoughts via the films they have created.
It is also the festival’s aim to provide a channel for non-Filipinos to share their impressions of the Philippines and its people.
This year, legendary and iconic actor Mr. Eddie Garcia is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, based on his outstanding achievements during his long career, and whose contributions to the improvement and promotion of the local film industry over the years are truly exceptional.
During the previous years, the festival bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Awards to world-renowned Filipino director Brillante Mendoza and multi-awarded actress, Superstar Ms. Nora Aunor.
The exciting SIFFMP Awards Night 2019 will be held on February 22 (Friday) at NCCA Theater, where Mr. Garcia will receive his award, as well as the winners in the various categories.
It will have a delayed telecast over IBC-13 (airing date to be announced).
The Jury members in the Documentary Shorts and Full Length Films are: entertainment journalist Marinel Cruz, film critic Noy Lauzon, and award-winning director Joselito Altarejos.
Meanwhile, the Jury members for the Short Film competition are: award-winning filmmaker Zig Dulay, FDCP Executive Director Will Fredo, and producer-filmmaker Albert Almendralejo.
This year’s official finalists -- a collection of films that explores various topics and other thought-provoking social issues are:
FULL LENGTH FILMS:
1. “KAPAYAPAAN SA GITNA NG DIGMAAN” (historical drama) -- directed by Nestor Malgapo, Jr.
CAST: Richard Quan, Celina Talavera, and Christopher Roxas
SYNOPSIS: In the midst of war, the only thing Yoshiaki wants is, in his own little way, he ensures that Filipinos are safe.
2. “PROMDI” (drama) – directed by Charlotte Dianco
CAST: Kiko Estrada, Shaira Diaz, Chris Leonardo
SYNOPSIS: “Promdi” is a story about farm boy Fernie who dreams of a better future not just for himself but for his family. He leaves his simple life in the province to study in the city thru a scholarship. He takes part-time jobs just to support his daily expenses.
3. “RENDEZVOUS” (fantasy drama-romance) – directed by Marvin Gabas
CAST: Ms. Gina Pareño, Patani Daño, Jiana Aurigue, Tonz Are
SYNOPSIS: “Rendezvous” is about a water entity named “balud”, a merman, who fell in love with a girl, Mira.
4. “PLAYGROUND” (drama) -- directed by Dave Cecilio
CAST: Neptali Toribio, Buboy Villar, Lance Raymundo, China Roces, and Rosanna Roces
SYNOPSIS: “Playground” is about an out-of school boy from the province who goes to Manila with a dream of becoming a professional dota player to earn enough money for the educational needs of his younger sister.
5. “PUR LAINE” (comedy-drama) – directed by Filipino-Canadian filmmaker Alexander Cruz, based in Quebec, Canada
CAST: Christian Paolo Lat, Celestine Caravaggio, and Issabelle Lafond
SYNOPSIS: “Pur Laine” is a story about an old man who suddenly dies, leaving his most recent wife to sell the house and start a new life. When his daughter from a previous marriage appears and claims the house is hers, all hell breaks loose.
DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS:
1. “Durungawan” (Window) by Daniela Mariel Laygo
2. “Landong” (Shadow) by Ma. Toiza Gorantes
3. “Takip Sining” (Hidden Art) by Sophia Louise Geslani
4. “Serbedora” (Servant) by Roxanne Gomez
5. “Liwanag” (Light) by Arby and Christine Laraño
25 SHORT FILMS:
The awesome line-up of 25 new short films in competition, both from film students and professional practitioners are (random order):
1. “Limang Oras” by Maricel Cariaga
2. “No Man Is An Island” by Nash Ang
3. “Saranggola” by Cielo Bagabaldo and Gloria Soriano
4. “Bisperas” by Ralph Lauren Quincena
5. “Dalit” by Belle Kay Loyola
6. “Healing” by Karla Urquiaga
7. “Saglit” by Divine Angeo and Kristine Medenilla
8. “Paano Bihisan Ang Isang Ina?” by Tim Rone Villanueva
9. “Delta” by Eluigi Macalintal and James Garcia
10. “Ang Huling Bucket List” by Bibo Ebuen
11. “Dama” by Trisha Marie Antonio
12. “Cicatriz” (Scar) by Rosahlee Bautista
13. “Theo” by Margaret Summer Castro
14. “Wa, Nan” by Marie Bernadette Tayag
15. “Kung Di Man Dumating Ang Gabi” by Margarette Jane Lirio
and Therese Marie Victoria Bayabo
16. “Starlight” by Reinette Natividad
17. “Apo-Dios” (God) by Victor Elijah Gador
18. “Ang Lumunod Sa Atin” by Sonia Regalario
19. “Kumari” by Angela Aguila and One Carlo Diaz
20. “The Rookie” by Jojo Nadela
21. “Ang Nagliliyab Na Kasaysayan ng Pamilya Dela Cruz” by Jade De Chavez Valencia
22. “Brujo” (Witch Doctor) by Kurt Neil Johahn Jimenez
23. “Joker” by Egai Castañeda
24. “Sintas” by Arjanmar Rebeta
25. “Sayote Man” by Conan Altatis
Closing Film is “Tale Of The Lost Boys”, an LGBT-themed movie starring Oliver Aquino and Ta Su, directed by Joselito Altarejos. The film will be shown on February 22, 5:00 PM, before the awarding ceremonies.
adobo Magazine is an official media partner of the 2019 SIIFMP