Apocalypse Child review: The hope of modern Filipino cinema


Sid Lucero and Annicka Dolonius at the VIP pre-screening of Apocalypse Child
Sid Lucero and Annicka Dolonius at the VIP pre-screening of Apocalypse Child

PASIG, Philippines – Apocalypse Child held its VIP premiere screening at Robinson’s Galleria on Wednesday evening. Senator Sonny Angara, who graced the event, was impressed. “It’s very charming,” said Angara. “It’s well put together. The story and the music are very good.”

Inspired by the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, the film showcased Director Mario Cornejo’s excellent story telling abilities with effortless movement that flows seamlessly from scene to scene. Tight camera work complemented excellent screenplay, enhanced by clean, quality sound engineering and a well-defined score.

Mario Cornejo at the VIP pre-screening of Apocalypse Child
Mario Cornejo at the VIP pre-screening of Apocalypse Child

The narrative itself incorporates a lot of metaphors, highlighting how one’s approach to life’s struggles can be similar to how one deals with the sea – do you go against the tide or do you ride the waves? How do you deal with failure? Do you see what’s in front of you, or do you stay chained to the past?

Annicka Dolonious shines with her noteworthy performance as Fiona. Ana Abad Santos, Sid Lucero, and Gwen Zamora were equally impressive on the high-definition movie screen.

Mario Cornejo’s Apocalypse Child sets itself beyond most Filipino films, proving that quality production is possible with a solid storyline, excellent acting, and the magical touch of a good storyteller.

Apocalypse Child can be calm, rough, or unpredictable – just like the waves of Baler.

Mario Cornejo’s Apocalypse Child sets itself beyond most Filipino films, proving that quality production is possible with a solid storyline, excellent acting, and the touch of a good storyteller.

Shot entirely in the surfing town of Baler in Aurora, “Apocalypse Child” is a sexy drama follows Ford (played by Sid Lucero), supposed to be the son of a famous American director.

Ana Abad-Santos at the VIP pre-screening of Apocalypse Child
Ana Abad-Santos at the VIP pre-screening of Apocalypse Child

Now a surfing instructor, Ford must come to terms with his identity when his mother Chona (Ana Abad Santos) and his best friend Rich (RK Bagatsing) invited the director to validate paternity.

Meanwhile, conflict is brewing as Ford teaches Rich’s fiancee, Serena (Gwen Zamora), to surf. This upsets Fiona (Annicka Dolonius), a visiting Fil-Am who was secretly-in-love with Ford.

Apocalypse Child can be calm, rough, or unpredictable – just like the waves of Baler.

Apocalypse Child won Best Picture, Best Director (for Mario Cornejo), Technical Excellence in Editing, and Best Supporting Actress (for Annicka Dolonius) at the 3rd QCinema International Film Festival.

Mario Cornejo, Ana Abad Santos, Annicka Dolonius, Senator Sonny Angara and Sid Lucero
Mario Cornejo, Ana Abad Santos, Annicka Dolonius, Senator Sonny Angara and Sid Lucero

Its ensemble cast has gotten nominations from the Film Academy of the Philippine (FAP) Luna Awards and the Gawad Urian. Ana Abad Santos scored two Best Supporting Actress trophies for her portrayal of Chona from the FAP and Urian.

The movie has screened in New York, Korea and Italy, and is now set to screen in five festivals in the coming weeks in Poland, Toronto, Germany, Hawaii and Laos.

The Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) gave it a grade of “A”, entitling the film to a 100% tax rebate. It has thrilled SRO audiences at special screenings in local schools and art house cinemas.

Producer Monster Jimenez, Annicka Dolonius, Ana Abad Santos, Gwen Zamora, director Mario Cornejo and Sid Lucero
Producer Monster Jimenez, Annicka Dolonius, Ana Abad Santos, Gwen Zamora, director Mario Cornejo and Sid Lucero

Among the celebrity admirers of Apocalypse Child include directors Lav Diaz, Erik Matti and Jerrold Tarog, Internet action star Ramon Bautista, actress and former beauty queen Dindi Gallardo.

Produced by Arkeo Films and Skinny People Productions, Apocalypse Child opens in cinemas on October 26.


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