Friday, June 17, 2011

Cinemalaya 2011 Entry: Ang Babae sa Septic Tank


Starring: Eugene Domingo, Kean Cipriano, JM de Guzman and Cai Cortez

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank chronicles a day in the life of three ambitious, passionate but misguided filmmakers as they set out to do a quick pre-prod at Starbucks, a courtesy call to their lead actress, Eugene Domingo, and an ocular inspection of their film’s major location, the Payatas dumpsite. Director Rainier, Producer Bingbong and Production Assistant Jocelyn are well-to-do, well-educated film school graduates who are dead set on making an Oscar worthy film. They believe they have a winning script, the energy and the drive to make their dreams come true. Like most filmmakers they know, they have devised a screenplay that will show the real essence of our culture: poverty. In the course of one day, they brainstorm and exhaust all possible treatment of their project: the story of Mila (Eugene Domingo), a mother from the slums, who out of desperation to survive, has sold her child to a pedophile. As they discuss the possible executions of the story, the movie-within-a-movie gets reborn in Jocelyn’s imagination several times. As a gritty no frills neo-realist film, as a glossy musical, as an over-the-top melodrama and as a docu drama using non-actors. For their last task of the day, they visit the dumpsite for the first time. As filmmakers gunning for authenticity, they get excited with the ”beauty” of the squalor around them. Soon enough, they are faced with reality as they come face to face with the real effects of their chosen subject. Babae sa Septic Tank is a comedy about misguided ambitions, the art of making art and the romanticization of poverty.

Cinemalaya 2011: NIÑO by Loy Arcenas

Cinemalaya 2011: NIÑO by Loy Arcenas


Fides Cuyugan Asensio, Shamaine Buencamino, Tony Mabesa , Raquel Villavicencio, Art Acuna, Diana Malahay, Joaquin Valdes and introducing Jhizhelei Deocareza

The once illustrious Lopez-Aranda family has faded. Celia, once the darling of Philippine opera, and Gaspar, a distinguished ex-congressman, lacked the shrewdness to maintain their once elegant status. Saddled with a failed marriage, a vanishing career and mounting debt, Celia sold her share of their house to Gaspar, now bedridden. She managed to stay for free in exchange for being Gaspar’s caregiver. Gaspar loves listening to Celia’s arias. This idyllic arrangement is shattered when he slips into a coma. His daughter, Raquel, comes home from the US, determined to sell the house to salvage her own economic woes abroad. This signals Celia’s impending homelessness. With only a few heirlooms to sell, she is at her wits’ end. A fervent believer of the Sto. Nino, she hopes for a miracle. She dresses up her grandson, Antony, in Sto. Nino robes to prepare him for the coming fiesta. She insists this will invoke a miracle that will awaken Gaspar and stop Raquel from selling the house. Antony’s father, Mombic, while processing his travel papers to work in Dubai, tries to strike a deal with Raquel in selling the property without his mother Celia’s knowledge. Merced, Mombic’s sister, reluctantly takes on the burden of taking care of Celia and a household sliding to ruin. The family members clash in a confrontation that reveals their weaknesses and their hopeless ideals. Mombic leaves his son to the care of his mother and sister, Merced, the only family member who quietly accepts her fate. As a final ditch to awaken Gaspar, Celia holds a tertulia, inviting her aging opera singer friends. They sing arias, oblivious to the ravages of time, crippled reminders of a glorious past. In the middle of a chorus, Gaspar quietly dies, sealing the fate of his sister and the mansion that once was called Villa Los Reyes Magos. Celia looks out into her once beautiful garden. She sees Antony, still in his Sto. Nino robe, playing in the garden, offering a little illusion of hope to a past that can never be rekindled.

Cinemalaya 2011: Cuchera

CUCHERA by Joseph Laban

Based on a true story, Cuchera is about Filipino drug mules, drug couriers and their recruiters. It follows the story of Isabel, a veteran drug mule, in her first attempt at running her own drug transshipment operation between Manila and China. Isabel’s character is based on the story of an actual Filipina drug mule who was caught with eight capsules of heroin lodged in her sex organ, 48 in the rectum and 11 in her abdomen after an x-ray was conducted by Chinese authorities. Cuchera presents an accurate depiction of how some Filipinos end up becoming entrenched in the world of illegal drugs. Currently, the Philippines leads all Southeast Asian countries in the number of nationals arrested for drug smuggling charges in China. As of 2009, there are currently 95 Filipinos languishing in various jails in Chinese territories---four of whom are on death row. Violators include minors who enter China with fake passports.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cinemalaya 2011 Entry: Bisperas



The eve of Christmas, the Aguinaldo family’s residence is burglarized, causing its members to identify stolen items and uncover lingering sentiments they have hidden from each other. Amidst the tension brought about by the burglary, the Aguinaldo family realizes how treasured sentiments have been lost, relationships have evolved as they arrive from church at a house in shambles.

Major Credits: Cast:

Tirso Cruz III, Raquel Villavicencio, Julia Clarete, Jennifer Sevilla, Edgar Allan, Aryanna Santiago, Jen Donaire, Kimmy Maclang, Troy De Guzman

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cinemalaya 2011 Entry: Amok

Cinemalaya 2011 Entry: Amok


The bustling and sweltering rugged intersection of Pasay Rotonda serves as the main setting for this story of interconnected fate and destiny. As a raging man’s bullets strays into different directions, the fate of several different characters are sealed and determined. As the temperature rises, the tension escalates and the story unravels with unforgiving immediacy and explodes in the end as each one struggles to survive and escape their inevitable end.

Cinemalaya 2011: ISDA (Fable of the Fish)

ISDA (Fable of the Fish) is another indie film from Adolf Alix Jr. Starring Bembol Roco and Cherry Pie Picache.

Cinemalaya 2011 Entry: Bahay Bata

BAHAY BATA : Sarah is a nurse at a Public Maternity Hospital. The hospital is abuzz with pregnant mothers of all shapes and sizes in different stages of labor. The hospital is short on staff on Christmas Day so Sarah is forced to put in a double shift.

Sarah observes the women coming and going in her ward, noting who is a first-timer and who is a veteran. Meanwhile, the wards are over-crowded : two women and their babies sharing single beds while those in labor are spilling unto the hallways. Sarah takes these all in stride, her heart and mind laboring over her own personal pains.

Starring: Diana Zubiri, Yul Servo, Sue Prado etc.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cinemalaya 2011 Entry: Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me

LIGO NA U, LAPIT NA ME is a sexy-comedy featuring Edgar Allan Guzman and Mercedes Cabral. It is based on the novel with the same title by Eros Atalia. The movie version is written by Jerry Gracio under the direction of Erik Salud.

Here's the summary:

Karl Vladimir Lennon J. Villalobos, aka Intoy, is secretly in love with his friend Jenny, the most beautiful girl in the campus. Jenny is rich and quirky; Intoy is street-smart and ordinary. But this friendship is not simple, since Jenny has bestowed on Intoy some perks and privileges, including going to bed with her on the condition that they will not fall in love with each other.

Before graduation, Intoy feels that he has to shed his pretensions of being astig and finally profess his love for Jenny. But he is devastated to learn that Jenny is pregnant. Worse, Jenny tells him: “Don’t worry, this is not yours.”

Based on the bestselling novel of Eros S. Atalia, Ligo Na U, Lapit na Me is an examination of post-modern love and relationship and the way this generation deals with their love and fear.

More information at

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cinemalaya 2011 Entry: Teoriya Trailer

Actor/Politician Alfred Vargas is back in the Cinemalaya scene. He is the lead actor in the Cinemalaya entry Teoriya by Zurich Chan. It is a story of a balikbayan who went back to the Philippines to find out where his father was buried.

Also included in the cast is indie favorite Sue Prado

Cinemalaya 2011 Entry: I-Libings Trailer

Director: Rommel Sales

Starring: Glaiza de Castro, Carlo Aquino, Earl Ignacio

I-LIBINGS – a dramedy about a funeral videography intern’s journey to the lessons and realizations on life and death.

I-libings is a relatively new funeral videography company that provides people an opportunity to witness the funerals and the burials of their loved ones even though they are not physically there for the event.

The company is not just a place where videographers make money out of other peoples misfortunes but is a place where the dead and the grieving receive special attention.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cinemalaya 2011 Entry: Patikul Trailer

Joel Lamangan joins once more in this year's Cinemalaya. This time, he presents another political film entitled 'Patikul'. Marvin Agustin plays a role of a teacher in Mindanao who was abducted and beheaded by the rebels. Also included in the films are Allen Dizon, Ciara Sotto and Glaiza de Castro.