WITHOUT WANG²: Young Filipinos’ film festival

by Nickie Wang

Meryll Soriano and Lovi Poe went home bagged the Balanghai Best Actress trophy in last week’s closing ceremonies of the digital-driven Cinemalaya film festival. So, those who did not care to watch the conclusion of Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and Competition held at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo would ask: were they a tie?

The answer is, both young actresses were awarded Best Actress on the night of July 18th, only that Meryll was nominated in the Directors Showcase and Lovi’s film Mayohan competed in the New Breed category.

For the very first time, Cinemalaya opened its doors to established directors to be part of the annual festival. From the usual short films and full-length feature categories, another category was added. The Directors Showcase gave special attention to five Filipino directors who have directed at least three full-length films and released commercially.

As an all-digital competitive film festival, Cinemalaya has been discovering, encouraging and honoring the works of directors that boldly articulate and freely interpret Filipino values, thus the main focus is on the New Breed Category, as it always does.

The star-studded night honored Sheron Dayoc and his film Halaw as the festival’s Best Director and Best Film. The digital feature that centers on the story of an illiterate Badjao that crossed the boarders of Philippines and Malaysia also bagged Best Editing and the Best Actor plum for character actor John Arcilla.

Apart from Lovi’s first acting award, Mayohan won three other honors including Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Musical Score.

Special Jury Prize went to Sampaguita, National Flower and the Audience Choice was given to Magkakapatid. Other winners were: LJ Reyes as Best Supporting Actress for the film The Leaving; Emilio Gracia as Best Supporting Actor (Rekrut); Rekrut, Best Sound Recording; The Leaving, Best Production Design; and Shieka, NETPAC winner.

Third installment no more

Those who supported A Very Special Love and You Changed My Life might feel disappointed if they would know that Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz are no longer interested to do a third installment to the two highly successful films.

The pop singer admitted that she is afraid to do the third installment of Laida Magtalas and Miggy Montenegro’s love story. She’s worried that they won’t be able match the mammoth successes of her previous films. The two movies raked almost 500 million pesos in the tills making both John Lloyd and Sarah be honored as the Box Office King and Queen for two consecutive years.

For John Lloyd, whose colorful love life has been the talk of the town of late, he respects whatever decision Sarah will make about their supposed third team-up. Just asking though, do their respective personal and romantic affairs have something to do with it? And what’s Sarah’s apprehension all about? There must be a deeper reason in it aside from fear of disappointment.

Willie or Krissy?

If the rumors were true then Willie will no longer return as host of Wowowee and the show itself that has been on the air since February 2005 will fade out. We couldn’t get anything but speculations regarding the fate of the noontime show. First, talebearers said that Robin Padilla would finally take over the hosting slot vacated by Willie. Then here comes the report that the controversial host is buying out his contract so he could transfer to a different station to host a similar program.

The latest rumor, on the other hand, about the controversial game show is that Willie is set to make a big comeback in August. That makes Mariel Rodiguez and Pokwang shiver prompting them to leave Wowowee as soon as it happens. Adding to the twist to the circus, the program’s timeslot has reportedly been offered to Kris Aquino and she gladly accepted it. The viewer-rich timeslot was offered to Kris, who is currently vacationing in the US with Joshua and Baby James, just last week and full details of the show’s concept will be discussed once she returns.

Like the previous hearsays, we can’t still verify these speculations. But as they say, where there’s smoke there’s fire and things don’t normally start out of thin air without some other elements. For now, Kapamilya fanatics will need to brace themselves for any changes in their noontime viewing. Let’s just wait and see as both Willie and Kris make their respective return.

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