With the Golden Globe awards unfolding on Sunday, January 15, and the Oscar Awards on February 26, the local versions of award-giving on film achievements here literally are massing now at the starting line.
Members of the URIAN, the FAMAS (with two factions co-existing), the CMMA, the FAP, the PMPC, the Young Critics’ Circle will soon troop to review films exhibited in 2011 for their consideration.
In 2011, a total of 78 local feature-length films were shown in cinema-houses—34 mainstream films and 44 digital or indie films. Of this output, eight films were rated A by the Cinema Evaluation Board of the Film Development Council of the Philippines and 24 were rated B.
Logically, the award-giving bodies will focus their attention on the rated films and eventually review them one after another—not necessarily on the chronological basis of their exhibition in local cinemahouses nor the ranking of movie critics and the like.
To make matters simple, therefore, let us list the Rated A films first then scan the much larger grouping of Rated B films. In order not to insinuate bias into the proceedings, the Rated A films are presented alphabetically.
Ang Babae sa Septic Tank
A 2011 Cinemalaya entry in the New Breed category, it is directed by Marlon Rivera from the screenplay of Chris Martinez and produced by Martinez Rivera Films, Quantum Films and Straight Shooters Media, Inc. It stars Eugene Domingo, JM de Guzman and Kean Cipriano. The film follows a day of three film school graduates (Jocelyn, Rainier and Bingbong) as they go through pre-production activities that include a courtesy call to their lead actress played by Eugene Domingo as herself and their on-the-spot inspection of the Payatas dumpsite, their film’s major backdrop. (Shown August 3, 2011)
Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story
Produced by Scenema Concept International and Viva Films, it is directed by Tikoy Aguiluz who demanded that his credit be deleted as director before the filmfest. It stars Laguna Gov. Jeorge “E.R.’ Estregan in the title role, as well as Carla Abellana, Philip Salvador, John Regala, Baron Geisler, Yul Servo, Amay Bisaya, Ronnie Lazaro, Dennis Padilla, Ketchup Eusebio, Ping Medina, Gerald Ejercito, Roi Vinzon, Joko Diaz, Archi Adamos and Roldan Aquino. This is another remake of the Asiong Salonga legend as the kingpin of Tondo in the early 1950s. (Shown on Dec. 25, 2011)
No Other Woman
Produced by Star Cinema, it is directed by Ruel Bayani from the story and script of Keiko Aquino, Ricardo Fernando III and Kris G. Gazmen. It stars Anne Curtis, Derek Ramsay, Cristine Reyes, Tirso Cruz III, Carmi Martin and John Arcilla. The film unravels the story of a successful businessman whose perfect marriage with his young wife degenerates into a complicated love triangle when he plunges into an adulterous affair with his millionaire client’s daughter. (Shown on Sept. 28, 2011)
Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa
Produced by Ignatius Films for the 2011 Cinemalaya, it is directed by Alrin B. Yapan. It stars Paulino Avelino, Rocco Nacino and Jean Garcia. Weaving the essence of poetry and dance into the unlikely triangle among a poetess, her student and a male dance teacher with the student caught in the middle. The cast includes members of the FEU Dance Company and the Company of Dance Artists CODA). (Shown on October 26, 2011)
Produced by Star Cinema, Agosto Dos Pictures and MJM Productions, it is directed by Joyce Bernal for the last Metro Manila Film Festival where it was the second top grossing film. It stars Kris Aquino, Dinghdong Dantes, Angelica Panganiban, Bangs Garcia, Jhong Hilario and Helen Gamboa. An intricate horror-suspense drama that draws a thin line between the living and the ghostly that finally delivers a jolting discovery at the climax. (Shown on Dec. 25, 2011)
Produced by Digitank Studio and Metric Films, it is directed by Jerrold Tarog. Featuring real high school students who have no film acting experience, the story focuses on the experiences that come in the final year of high school life for students of a private Catholic high school in Manila. (Shown on March 9, 2011)
Produced by Star Cinema, it is directed by Paul Soriano from a script he has co-written with Froi Medina. It stars Maja Salvador in the lead role with Jason Abalos, Tetchie Agbayani, John Arcilla and Elma Muros as herself. The story revolves around a tomboyish lass from Ilocos Norte who discovers that her uncanny physical ability to run may be the only mans she can lift her family to a decent life. (Shown on Sept. 7, 2011)
Zombading:Patayin sa Shokot si Remington
Produced by Origin 8 and Reality, it is directed by Jade Castro, starring Mart Escudero, Roderick Paulate, Lauren Young, Janice de Belen, John Regala with the guesting of Eugene Domingo and Marian Rivera. The film follows the slow metamorphosis of a young man into a gay because of a slighted fairy’s curse. A horror-comedy film, the climax unleashes gay zombies into the streets of Lucban as the now gay leading man tries to revert to his lost manhood. (Shown on August 1, 2011)
(Next week: The Rated B films of 2011)
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