Film festivals are real gems to Philippine cinema. They’re instrumental to creating more films and to giving them enough exposure. This year’s Cinemalaya beckoned Filipino audiences to places they thought not to explore (see: “Debosyon”), and so, they embraced it. This is a major success. With “Sana Dati” and “Transit” headlining the film-fest news, there’s no denying that local audiences are more open than ever.
This year’s Sineng Pambansa, headed by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and SM Cinemas, enters in great timing. Ten full-length features (directed by Filipino film giants) are to be screened commercially in leading SM Cinemas, which, I hope, will give the industry enough monetary returns to green-light even more films in the future.
The following are the entries you can watch starting tomorrow, September 11th until the 17th in SM theaters nationwide.
Set in the 70’s,in the darkest hours of Philippine History where two young male NPA warriors in their pursuit for National Democracy found themselves entangled in a web of frustrations,despair and victory as thet struggled to fight for their love in the middle of war against despotism and dictatorship. “Lihis,” directed by Joel Lamangan, is a story of a fight for freedom and against bigotry.
In 1955, the residents of a small idyllic village in Quezon are jolted to discover the dark, disturbing secret of a soldier and his common-law wife. The incomprehensible act floods the town with guilt and recrimination. This takes the protagonists on a six decades’ journey to find remorse, forgiveness and retribution. (Directed by: Mel Chionglo)
Hoping to reconnect with his roots in the city of his birth, Lex returns to Manila. He writes a screenplay for an indie film based on his neighbors in a flat he moves into and what he believes is going on behind their closed doors…but are they really the people he thinks they are?
He realizes that his perceptions are in conflict with the objective facts. Is it even possible to create a work of fiction that is true to the facts when the very act of writing entails reimagining those facts? In the process, he discovers that his illusions of filmmaking, romance and the city itself are at odds with the truth. (Directed by: Elwood Perez)
“Sonata” is the story of a woman whose whole life is her art. This is her world, her passion, and when she loses it, she loses her hold on the world. She disconnects from life and from everyone because her life was her art. (Directed by Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes)
“Ano ang Kulay ng mga Nakalimutang Pangarap?”
“Ano ang Kulay ng mga Nakalimutang Pangarap” (What are the Colors of Forgotten Dreams?) traces the life of Teresa, who has dedicated sixty years of her life to the service of a middle class family at the expense of her own happiness and fulfillment. Now that the matriarch of the family has died, the children who were under her care have flown back from abroad to bury their mother and decide on the fate of their nanny. (Directed by Jose Javier Reyes)
“Tinik” a film that will present a sober and impartial study of homosexuality through the story of a middle-aged gay couturier and his attempts to hold on to his dignity amidst the dilemmas and problems of his being gay. (Directed by Romy Suzara)
“Eman” is a coming of age story about Emmanuel A. F. Lacaba, a brilliant young poet who cast his lot with the armed struggle in 1975. He died in an encounter with the PC-CHDF in Asuncion Town, Davao del Norte on March 18, 1976. He was 27 years old. (Directed by Tikoy Aguiluz)
“Ang Tag-Araw ni Twinkle”
A rebellious young lady undergoes drug rehabilitation in the company of her adoptive parents, a retired Army general and his wife, and her biological father – a former NPA leader who came to find her because he is dying of cancer. (Directed by Gil Portes)
“Bamboo Flowers” talks about the lives of the people in Bohol, about married life and single blessedness of young lovers and other strangers, about students’ aspirations and ambitions, about tourists who visit the province, about sons and daughters of the farmers, about tourist guides, cultural workers, children and ordinary people, about a mother returnee and her son who discover her roots and find refuge from her convoluted and problematic past life in Manila. It shows lives of the young and the old Boholanos who have adapted to the changing behaviors of their lifestyles because of the dawning or tourism, technology and the demands of new age. (Directed by Mario J. De Los Reyes)
Nonoy is assigned to take over the role to monitor and guard over a number of people who were in their list of voters committed to vote for their party candidates. His father,the Kapitan is the party leader of their area but had suffered a stroke and is still now partially paralyzed . He had Nonoy take over the grueling task of monitoring and securing their area from vote buyers on the night before the election. (Directed by Chito S. Roño
“Bahay ng Lagim”
Taking place in a convent, the film follows the story of Sister Sofia whose life takes a grave turn upon the arrival of the troubled and haunted Fatima. (In tribute to director Celso Ad. Castillo)