Kakaiba Ka Ba? leads Cinema One original indie films


Raymond Bagatsing is part of Sari Dalena's Dahling Nick in the Cinema One Originals 2015 festival
Raymond Bagatsing is part of Sari Dalena's Dahling Nick in the Cinema One Originals 2015 festival

Ten years is a good round number to wrap up an era. For its first ten years, Cinema One Originals has produced some of the most unique, diverse, adventurous independent films in Philippine cinema. On its eleventh year, it is ready to level up.

Welcome to Cinema One Originals Mark 2.0. As exemplified by its new tagline “Kakaiba Ka Ba?” Cinema One Originals continues to uphold diversity and uniqueness in Philippine Cinema, an exhortation and an affirmation for both filmmakers and film-goers. This year marks the first of another ten years and beyond and promises more of the same only bigger, better, bolder.

Starting everything off are our nine Originals 2015. Joel Ferrer’s cross-generational screwball rom-com “Baka Siguro Yata” which stars Valerie “Bangs” Garcia, Dino Pastrana, Ricky Davao, and Cherie Gil.

Sheron Dayoc’s religious horror gothic “Bukod Kang Pinagpala” featuring real-life mother and daughter Bing Pimentel and Maxie Eigenmann as a mother and daughter in the grip of sinister forces.

Ivan Andrew Payawal’s comedy about suicide and celebrity “The Comeback” features Kaye Abad as a fading star whose life takes an unexpected turn.

Sari Dalena’s “Dahling Nick,” an experimental docu-fiction hybrid that celebrates the life and work of Nick Joaquin with Raymond Bagatsing in the eponymous title role.

Bangs Garcia is part of Joel Ferrer's Baka Siguro Yata in the Cinema One Originals 2015 festival
Bangs Garcia is part of Joel Ferrer’s Baka Siguro Yata in the Cinema One Originals 2015 festival

Bor Ocampo’s “Dayung Asu,” featuring Ricky Davao and Junjun Quintana as a father and son enmeshed in a life of crime, is a homage to Pinoy action set in a unique milieu.
Ralston Jover’s “Hamog” blends neo-realism and magic realism with Zaijan Jaranilla and Teri Malvar as street children.

Carl Joseph Papa’s fully-animated “Manang Biring” is the touching story of a terminal patient and her estranged daughter with Erlinda Villalobos in the title role.

Raymond Red’s “Mga Rebeldeng Walang Kaso” is a look back at the early days of the first wave of Philippine independent cinema with Felix Roco, Epi Quizon, Earl Ignacio, and Nicco Manala.

And lastly, Ara Chawdhury’s “Miss Bulalacao”, which introduces performance artist Russ Ligtas in his first film role, is a comedy about a young drag queen whose life is changed by a strange encounter.

Cinema One channel head Ronald Arguelles (Rightmost) with the Cinema One Originals 2015 festival filmmakers
Cinema One channel head Ronald Arguelles (Rightmost) with the Cinema One Originals 2015 festival filmmakers

Aside from the nine Originals 2015, there will a Special Presentation of Cinema One’s production of Sherad Sanchez’s found footage horror film “Salvage,” with Jessie Mendiola as a reporter lost in a haunted jungle. There will also be an impressive program of films showcasing the best of world cinema, including Miguel Gomez’s “Arabian Nights,” Hou Hsiao Hsien’s “The Assassin,” Hong Sang Soo’s “Right Now Wrong Then,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster,” and Roy Andresson’s “A Pigeon Sat On A Branch.”

This year’s Filipino Classics will be highlighted by a restoration of Ishmael Bernal’s “Ikaw Ay Akin” with no less than Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos, as well as restorations of Lino Brocka’s “Insiang” and Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Karnal.”

In the spirit of commemorating revolutionary cinema, Cinema One Originals 2015 will pay tribute the first wave of Pinoy indies, the short filmmakers from the 80s led by Raymond Red, Nick De Ocampo, Rox Lee and Joey Agbayani, the pioneers of alternative cinema. As an auxiliary program, there will be also a showcase of 10 short films from the Philippines, New Zealand and Iran. Here is the form’s glorious past and it’s glittering future.

From November 9-17, cinemas at Trinoma, Glorietta, Resorts World and SM Megamall will be haven for discerning cinephiles as Cinema One Originals once again celebrates cinema with a difference. Kakaiba ka ba?

Cinema One Originals 2015 independent films

Baka Siguro Yata (Joel Ferrer, genre: Romantic Comedy)

Cast

  • Dino Pastrano as Carlo
  • Valerie “Bangs” Garcia as Melissa
  • Cherie Gil as Remy
  • Ricky Davao as Adrian
  • Katrina “Hopia” Legaspi as Myka
  • Boo Gabunada as Jinno
  • Anna Luna as Nica
  • Chanel Latorre as Mae
  • Nicco Manalo as Japot
  • Jerald Napoles as Gio
  • Alex Medina as Epol

 

 

Synopsis

 

Baka Siguro Yata is a comedy drama which revolves around Carlo, a 29-year old unambitious graphic designer whose only passion is to play music with his co-unambitious long-time friends. After discovering that his girlfriend of 6 years is a lesbian, he seeks to find refuge on a one-night stand with a high school classmate named Melissa. However, Melissa gets pregnant which in turns everything in disarray. Melissa’s sister and her boyfriend mulls over their planned first sex but gets cold feet due to what happened to her sister. Carlo’s divorced parents, on the other hand, discreetly starts seeing each other as they rekindle their 20 year old relationship by having an affair and secret meetings while they cheat on their new partner. Baka Siguro Yata tells a story of love within three generations. It tells how each generation understand and perceive the idea of love.

 

 

Bukod Kang Pinagpala (Sheron Dayoc, genre: Horror)

 

Cast

 

  • Bing Pimentel as Stella
  • Max Eigenmann as Stephanie
  • Paolo Paraiso as Demon
  • Lou Veloso as Mang Nardo
  • Lui Manansala as Aling Natty
  • Kiko Matos as James
  • Senon Palomares as Fr. Atilano
  • Extras as mga deboto

 

 

Synopsis

 

In an old house replete with images of Catholic icons and symbols, a young lady struggles with the demented religious fanaticism of her mother, who it seems cannot differentiate between pious fervour and demonic possession- for both exist simultaneously in her being.  The daughter seeks help for mother’s behavior, but as days go by, their relationship turns from harrowing to horrific, as strange phenomena occur inside the house, driving the daughter to evade and overcome her mother’s deranged machinations.

 

 

Dahling Nick (Sari Dalena, genre: Docu-drama)

 

Cast

 

  • Raymond Bagatsing                       Nick Joaquin/Don Badong/Bro Fernando
  • Alessandra de Rossi                       Virgin Mary / Maria
  • Ma. Isabel Lopez                              Anastasia
  • Adrian Cabido                                  Onching
  • Paul Cedric G. Juan                                   Leocadio Joaquin
  • Banaue Miclat-Janssen                 Doña Salome Joaquin
  • Che Ramos-Cocio                           Sara Joaquin
  • Ping Medina                                     Ping Joaquin
  • Roli Inocencio                                  Mang Emong
  • Kiko Matos                                        Master Novice
  • Angelina Kanapi                              Elizabeth
  • Dindi Gallardo                                  Imelda Marcos
  • Lance Raymundo                            Ferdinand Marcos
  • Bernardo Bernardo                          Adrian Cristobal
  • Emmanuel Dela Cruz                     F. Sionil Jose
  • Nick Lizaso                                       Juan Ponce Enrile
  • Karl Medina                                      Danny Dalena
  • Ross Pesigan                                   Pete Lacaba
  • Thea Yrastorza                                 Marra Lanot
  • Kris Lanot Lacaba                            Serafin Lanot
  • Karla Pambid                                    Elena Roco
  • Opaline Santos                                Virgie Moreno
  • Aba Lluch Dalena                           The Sculptor
  • Ronah Adiel Rostata                       Ninotchka Rosca
  • Darwin Gordon de Roxas               Greg Brilliantes
  • Nico Bagsic                                       Joma Sison
  • Bong Cabrera                                   Mang Jojo
  • Gabby Padilla                                   Agueda
  • Hazel Faith Dela Cruz                    Catalina Montiya
  • Jasmine Capule                               Cousin Marina
  • Jessa Lyn Capule                            Cousin Elena
  • Cos Zicarelli                                      Rodrigo
  • Faye Alhambra                                 Natalia
  • Johnny Regana                               Angelito
  • Kino Sicat                                          Children
  • Paris Sicat
  • Kirsten Moya
  • Rica Abad                                         Mujeres Ilustradas
  • Jane Valderama
  • Noemi Bayoneta

 

 

Synopsis

 

 

Short

 

DAHLING NICK is a documentary drama exploring the life and works of National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin.

 

Long

 

DAHLING NICK is a documentary-drama exploring the life and works of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, who only accepted the National Artist Award on the condition the Marcos administration release a well-known writer who was being unjustly detained during Martial Law. Depicting the “inner world” of this canonical writer, who wrote both novels as well as journalistic works, the juxtaposition of documentary interviews, episodes from his life, and evocative imagery from his literary pieces will create a cinematic collage. DAHLING NICK is a celebration of Joaquin’s life and inimitable contributions to Philippine arts.

 

 

Dayang Asu (Bor Ocampo, genre: Action-Drama)

 

Cast

 

  • Ricky Davao as Mang Peping
  • Junjun Quintana as Tonton
  • Inna Tuason as Jeljel
  • Lui Manansala as Lola Miding
  • Bernard Laxa as Ahmed
  • Elora Españo as Nadjoua
  • Kelvin Vistan as Amor
  • Alex Manansala as Burbos
  • Marco Nepomuceno as Mayor Macapagal
  • Ronnie Tayag as Governor Macapagal
  • Bajun Lacap as Mang Domeng
  • Gina Villa as Aling Lydia

 

Synopsis

 

Short

 

Amidst legalized corruption, a son struggles to prove to his father that he is fit to survive in a dog-eat-dog world.

 

Long

 

Money flows in the quarry business. Running it means constantly keeping a lot of people satisfied. And, digging deeper reveals a scheme designed for legalized corruption. Workers issue “official receipts” for the passway fee collected from every truckload of sand coming from the quarry site, 24/7.

 

A passway marks the delineation between two sides. It is exactly in the middle and serves both as entry and exit.

 

Tonton, the son of a quarry master, enters the world of quarrying.

A newbie to the business, he does his best to toughen up and blend in with his co-workers. On top of that, he struggles to prove to his father that he is fit to be part of and eventually run the business. As his co-workers search for a dog to butcher for his birthday, he tries to deal with a landlord who demands for a higher cut on the earnings. However, his diplomatic attempt on swaying the landlord is futile, proving that his father’s ways are more effective. Things get out of hand and he is forced to make a decision. “Dayang Asu” is inspired by true events.

 

 

Hamog (Ralston Jover, genre: drama)

 

Cast

 

  • Zaijan Jaranilla as Rashid
  • Teri Malvar as Jinky
  • Sam Quitania as Tisoy
  • Bor Lentejas as Moy
  • OJ Mariano as Danny
  • Anna Luna as Paula
  • Mike Liwag as Bernard
  • Lou Veloso as Abdul
  • Kyline Alcantara as Super Girl

 

Synopsis

 

Short

 

A story of 4 street children called “Batang Hamog” who  got hooked in 2 consecutive  and unexpected events in their daily routine of crime and survival in the busy  Manila streets.  One of them suddenly disappears in the hands of a kidnapper, with a clear fate of being oblivious; while the other kid dies in a fatal car accident.  How will the remaining street kids cope with such tragedies?  Where will they go next?

 

Long

 

A child’s play at the end of innocence, heading towards a journey at the beginning of life.  It showcases 4 street children called “batang hamog” who got hooked in 2 consecutive and unexpected events in their daily routine of crime and survival in the busy streets.  One of them, Jinky, the only girl in the group, suddenly disappears in the hands of a kidnapper, a taxidriver they victimize with haphazard thievery while his vehicle got caught in heavy traffic.  The youngest, Moy suddenly dies in a fatal car accident during a petty heist.  Rashid, the Moslem boy, could not fathom the thought of leaving his dead friend in the morgue after finding out that he is an escaped ward from the orphanage; Moy has no known relatives to take care of his burial.  Rahid needs to learn the Christian tradition of burying their dead. Meantime, the eldest in the group, Tisoy, Jinky’s boyfriend feels equally lost looking for her in their regular hangouts.  He gets haunted by his sordid past when he spots a crying boy, shouting his mother’s name. Until he experiences something beyond the ordinary when he starts seeing an animated character he only used to watch on television and in some animated films. Tisoy believes his dreams have finally come alive.

 

 

 

Manang Biring (Carl Joseph Papa, genre: Drama-Comedy)

 

Cast

 

  • Erlinda Villalobos as Biring and JerryMailes Kanapi as Eva
  • Alchris Galura as Terence
  • Patrick Sugui as Yohan
  • Bea Benedicto as Amanda
  • Lance Raymundo as Richard Abadilla
  • Cherry Pie Picache as Nita
  • John Carlo Tan as CJ

 

Synopsis

 

MANANG BIRING is a dark comedy-drama about a feisty, terminally ill old lady who has long accepted her imminent passing due to stage-4 breast cancer but then receives an unexpected letter from an estranged loved one announcing their return for Christmas

 

Mga Rebeldeng May Kaso (Raymond Red, genre: Youth Drama)

 

Cast

 

  • Felix Roco (Rem)
  • Nicco Manalo (Pat)
  • Epy Quizon (Deo)
  • Earl Ignacio (Sid)
  • Angela Cortez (Mara)

 

Synopsis

 

The film is based on true events surrounding the emergence of the underground alternative cinema movement of the 1980s. Just after the February ’86 People Power revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship, a band of young filmmakers organize their own independent film & video festival and declare the legitimacy of the emerging “new wave” movement of alternative cinema. The film also touches on crossing paths with the brewing underground music scene, and their fateful collaboration with iconic pioneer Pinoy punk band Betrayed.

 

 

Miss Bulalacao (Ara Chawdhury, genre: small town drama)

 

Cast

 

  • Dodong – Russ Ligtas
  • Lisa – Chai Fonacier
  • Poldo – Ferdinand Mesias
  • Mercy – Tessie Tomas
  • Peter – Keith Deligero
  • Fr Tony – Mon Confiado
  • Marlina – Nanette Inventor
  • Esme – Gen Mijares
  • Toto – Tita Chris
  • Hilda – Paz Tabuldan
  • Belen – Nikki dela Paz
  • Dario – Ronyel Compra
  • Kriston – Jeff Ogario

 

 

Synopsis

 

Short

 

 

Miss Bulalacao is about a young drag queen, Dodong, who joins a barangay gay pageant to gain acceptance in his father’s community. He is instead met with hostility from his father, who chases him to a jungle, where he sobs to a lone bright star. What follows is the strangest night in his entire life, and an even stranger 9 months when he realizes he is pregnant. With only his stepmother, Lisa, as support, Dodong deals with ridicule from a barangay who does not believe him – until the rumors becomes a headline in a tabloid, “BAKLA, INA NG DIOS!”.

 

 

Long

 

 

On the eve of the fiesta of Punta Bulalacao, somewhere in the island province of Biliran, 15 year old Dodong joins a gay pageant and is asked the question, “What is the essence of being a woman?” He answers “Motherhood”, and is crowned Miss Bulalacao”. His victory is greeted with rage from his father, Poldo, who takes after him with a dos por dos. He spends the night in the jungle, sobbing to a lone star. The star grows larger and larger, until Dodong’s hiding place is engulfed in white. In the morning, he remembers nothing and is swept up in the village’s fiesta preparations.

 

Aside from Poldo, he lives with his young stepmother, Lisa, who is cold to him. He assists her with odd jobs around town – most frequently for their rich neighbor, Maam Mercy, who has a son named Peter. Dodong only has eyes for the city-bred Peter but he never notices him or anyone in their small village. The village folk spend their days gossiping about each other and life continues as it always has.

 

And then Dodong gets sick. He and Lisa visit the barangay health official who recommends they get an ultrasound to rule out gallstones. Instead of gallstones, the monitor reveals a tiny heartbeat. Dodong is confused. The health official suggests that maybe Dodong is biologically female, except his genitalia is submerged, or his clitoris overdeveloped. They are recommended to go to an OB, who laughs at them as soon as Dodong claims he is pregnant.

 

Soon, word spreads about Dodong’s claims. At first, the news is met with repulsion, then amusement, and then bewilderment when some of the villagers realize he isn’t lying. The rumors reach the tabloids, where Dodong’s situation is transformed into a miracle. The community members one by one become devotees, fashioning themselves into a cult. Only his father is unconvinced. Poldo spends more and more time with his old girlfriend-turned-mistress, Esmeralda – further detaching himself from the household.

 

Soon church officials are knocking on their door to verify the “miracle”.

 

 

 

The Comeback (Ivan Andrew Payawal, genre: Comedy-Drama)

 

Cast

 

  • Patrick Garcia
  • Kaye Abad
  • Valeen Montenegro
  • Matt Evans
  • Adrienne Vergara
  • Julia Enriquez
  • Bea Galvez
  • Kate Alconga
  • Sheena Ramos

 

Synopsis

 

Short

 

The Comeback is a comedy about a 32 year old crazy, OA fading superstar actress who loses everything in her life and decides to commit suicide but on the day she decides to kill herself, she receives a package containing 4 letters and ashes in a vase: a dead man’s ashes in search of a home.

 

Long

 

Angela Velasco had it all: Fame, money, expensive clothes, a mansion, true love, fans that adore her, friends that support her. Even though she lost her parents at a young age, she has been a fighter and made it on her own. But that was before…Before the nasty rumors, before her showbiz downfall, before her deepest heartbreak, before all of her friends leave her, before the never-ending debts, before her disgusting diva attitude, before the drugs and alcohol, before the parties, before her attempted suicide.

 

Feeling like she lost everything, on the decided day of her suicide, her attempt gets cut by an arrival of a package that contains 4 letters and a vase with ashes in it. One letter is addressed to the owner of the house. She then gets the surprise of her life when she finds out that the ashes are remains of a dead man named Kiko who used to be the owner of the house Angela is staying in. Kiko is requesting if the owner of the house can help him find his real destination: to the arms of the 3 names: Melanie, Letty or Irene,that are written on the letters.

 

The arrival of Kiko’s ashes sparks like a good luck charm for Angela as she tries to juggle her “comeback” with her old antics while she embarks on a journey finding a home for Kiko but in the process she finds a home for herself.

 


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