Tag Archives: Philippine Cinema

Unpopular films win big at Star Awards


Historical action drama Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo scooped the Movie of the Year plum at the glitzy Star Awards for Movies staged by the Philippine Movie Press Club last Sunday. Continue reading

All roads lead to SINGKWENTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL


A total of 51 filmmakers and 53 films will be showcased in this year’s Singkuwento International Film Festival, which opened on February 21, 6pm, at the Tanghalang Leandro Locsin  of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, at the NCCA Building, 633 General Malvar Street Intramuros, Manila.
Three movies that tackle the harsh realities faced by impoverished Filipinos here and abroad, will open the week-long film derby on February 21.
They are, Roberto Reyes Ang’s “TNT” (Always on The Run), a short film that tells of the life of an illegal immigrant living in the United States.
TNT poster
Ang’s short film recently won the Best Ensemble award from the 2014 International Film Festival Manhattan in New York City.
Perry Escano’s “Ang Platinong Buhok,” a short docu-film about the late theater, TV and film actress Amable “Ama” Quiambao. The docu talks of the much missed Quiambao and her life  as mother, friend, teacher and actress.
Nash Ang’s “Paraiso,” a 60-minute documentary that follows the lives of child survivors and their remaining families one month after the tragedy of Super typhoon Yolanda. It reveals their struggles as they live on and rebuild their lives in what was once their “paraiso” or paradise.
These screenings will be followed by  Jun Lana’s award-winning drama “Barber’s Tales,” which features Eugene Domingo, Iza Calzado, Nonie Buencamino and Eddie Garcia.
The Singkuwento Film Festival, with screenings until February 28, started in 2013 as a non-competition festival that showcased short films by a small group of filmmakers.
This year, it will start its first competition that is open to the public. Fifteen short films will battle for awards for Best Short Film, Best Cultural Short Film and Best Documentary Short Film, among others.
The festival’s objective was to “give Filipinos both here and abroad a channel where they can share their impressions of the Philippines and its people,” said festival director Perry Escano.
Winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on February 28.
For his invaluable contributions to the movie industry, filmmaker Brillante Mendoza will be the recipient of this year’s Singkuwento International Lifetime Achievement Award.
Aside from the competing short films, the Singkuwento International fest will also exhibit 15 shorts and screen full-length films from directors Jason Paul Laxamana, Nick Olanka Olanka, Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, Sarah Roxas,Diane Ventura, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Mes de Guzman Will Fredo, Francis Xavier Pasion, Benito Bautista, Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes.
Films by young directors Kip Oebanda (“Tumbang Preso”) and Don Gerardo Frasco (“Waves”) will likewise have their first international film fest screenings during the Singkuwento fest. Screening schedules will be announced soon.
Concluding film of the Singkuwento Film Festival is Joselito Altarejos’ “Kasal” on February 28 at 6 p.m.
 The movie, a slice of life of a gay couple played by Arnold Reyes and Oliver Aquino, bagged the Best Film award (Directors’ Showcase) at the 2014 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.
After the screening, awarding of the Best Short Film, Best Cultural Short Film and Best Documentary Short Film happens at 8pm.
The weeklong event is in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and MPJ Entertainment Productions. For tickets, visit ticketworld.com.ph.

Romantic-comedies dominate 2014 box office


LIGHT-hearted and humorous plotlines centered on true love with happy ending are the main themes of local films that dominated the box office in 2014.

Romantic comedies have a long history of doing well at the box office and this year is no exception. Out of 10 top-grossing films this year, eight movies were in the rom-com category.

Two of the films that made the elite list but did not follow the same theme were Star Cinema’s horror-comedy Da Possessed and horror-drama Maria Leonora Teresa. They raked in an estimated box office gross of P120 million and P72 million, respectively. Continue reading

Will Philippines finally earn an Oscar nomination?


After what the seven-member committee of the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) described as a very careful deliberation, they decided to send Hannah Espia’s Transit to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood, CA as the country’s entry to the annual Academy Awards in the Foreign Language Film category that will be held in 2014 and will be called the 86th Academy Awards. Continue reading

Towards sustainable cinema


A symposium for film professionals and enthusiasts was held last Saturday as the closing event of the International Film Exposition (IFX) held at the SMX Convention Center. Continue reading

Crime film On the Job gets Hollywood remake


ACTION thriller On The Job with Piolo Pascual and Gerald Anderson may just get a Hollywood remake.

In a recent interview, Gerald was ecstatic while disclosing that Tom Cruise and Mark Wahlberg’s camps have expressed their interest in doing a Hollywood version of the Erik Matti-helmed film. According to the actor, the director who is also the producer of the film had a series of talks with the camp of the actors after the film’s run at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Continue reading

It’s official: It Takes a Man and a Woman is the highest-grossing Filipino film of all time


After earning more than P4o1 million at the tills, the John Lloyd Cruz-Sarah Geronimo starrer romantic-comedy is now the most successful Filipino film to date in terms of box office revenues.  Continue reading

Will there ever be a Pinoy movie on IMAX?


Watching high-octane action and animated movies in Imax makes us wonder. Will there ever be a Filipino film that can be shown in Imax theaters? Continue reading

End of movies in film


Soon the 35 mm movie format will be a thing of the past, at least in commercial movie exhibition and this might sound both good and bad news for local film producers. Continue reading

Piolo Pascual and Angelica Panganiban’s Every Breath U Take earns P42.82 million in 2 weeks


Star Cinema’s romantic comedy film Every Breath U Take top-billed by Piolo Pascual and Angelica Panganiban grossed P42.82 million pesos after two weeks at the tills.

The film helmed by Mae Czarina Cruz, released domestically on May 16, was Graded B by the Cinema Evaluation Board and rated PG-13 by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. Continue reading

The dying industry’s elusive dream


by Nickie Wang

Filipino audiences have become much more discerning today than they were in the previous decades. No wonder, our local multiplexes are teeming with foreign films, mostly from Hollywood, because they are the only moving pictures that can, so far, match what audiences look for in a film. Continue reading

Movies you loved but snubbed


by Nickie Wang

A swarm of local films hit all movie theaters last month due to the annual Metro Manila Film Festival. That gave us an additional eight mainstream movies and five additional independent films to the 74 full-length features previously released in 2010. Twelve of these 87 movie titles now are from Star Cinema and 58 of them are independently-produced. Continue reading

Intensifying campaign against film piracy


by Nickie Wang

A film pirate that records the movie you are watching might be just sitting next to you. This line sounds familiar, you always see this whenever you watch a movie in theaters.

In many years that I have been in and out of the major multiplexes, I have not seen any film scalawag who got apprehended by authorities for recording even just snippets of a movie. Yes, we have appropriate laws but they are loosely implemented by the concerned groups. Well actually, apart from this fact, our laws don’t have the fangs. Continue reading

Top-grossing Pinoy films of 2009


As of October 4, 2009, the top-grossing  film in the Philippines is Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz starrer, You Changed My Life. Based on the data released by Box Office Mojo, the movie has earned more than 4.7 million US dollars in Metro Manila alone.

Here is the list of top-grossing local films of 2009: Continue reading

Cinemanila: Haven for young filmmakers


By Nickie Wang

Independently-produced films do not earn much, most of the time they are not even close to breaking even. But why is that” indies” still proliferate in the country? Are we really trying to prove or profile the Philippine cinema as the new mecca of independent films?

Anita Linda in Brillante Mendoza's Lola

Anita Linda in Brillante Mendoza's Lola

Producing “indies” is not about business. To most independent filmmakers, “It’s more of a passion.” Yet, their passion only pays off when their films are recognized abroad, but it is not always the case. Not all “indies” are acknowledged overseas. Continue reading

Top-grossing Pinoy Movies of 2008


Nix top 12 lists down the twelve top-grossing flicks of 2008. Two entries in the 34th Metro Manila Film Festival are already included based on their box  office performance from Dec. 25 to 31, 2008.

a_very_special_love1. A VERY SPECIAL LOVE – P179.23 million (Star Cinema/Viva Films)

Romantic-comedy film featuring the first team-up of Sarah Geronimo with John Lloyd Cruz, this movie directed by Cathy Garcia Molina received an “A” rating from the Cinema Evaluation Board.

caregiver2. CAREGIVER – P139.54 million (Star Cinema)

Stars Sharon Cuneta portraying the role of Sarah, a mother who left her son in the Philippines and also a teacher who relinquished her profession in lieu of care giving in London, in hopes of augmenting her salary. Chito S. Roño directed the film and Chris Martinez wrote its screenplay.

forthefirsttime13. FOR THE FIRST TIME – P134.7 million (Star Cinema)

Romantic film that features Richard Gutierrez and KC Concepcion. It was shot in the Philippines and in Santorini, Greece.KC’s  first movie  also marks the first time that actors from two rival networks have been allowed to team-up for a film. Richard is a GMA 7’s  star while KC  is an exclusive contract artist of Star Cinema.

4. ANG TANGING INA ‘NYONG LAHAT – P 102.5 million (Star Cinema)*

5. MY BESTFRIEND’S GIRLFRIEND – P101.24million (GMA/Regal Films)

6. DOBOL TROBOL GET REDI 2 RAMBOL – P90.51 million (Octoarts Films)

7. WHEN LOVE BEGINS – P89.38 million (Star Cinema/Viva Films)

8. MY ONLY U – P79.18 million (Star Cinema)

9. MAG-INGAT KA SA KULAM – P76.6 million (Regal Films)

10. ISKUL BUKOL: 20 YEARS AFTER – P72.6 (OctoArts/M-Zet/APT)*

11. MY BIG LOVE – P68 million (Star Cinema)

12. SUPAHPAPALICIOUS – P66.98 million (Star Cinema)

* the list did not include the films’ earning from Jan. 1 onwards

Baler wins most of filmfest awards


By NICKIE WANG/ Manila Standard Today

What can a moving tale of forbidden love in the middle of a war do to change the landscape of Philippine Cinema? The awards and the accolades are just frosting on the cake, what is more important is for a film to highlight social issues and promote cinematic excellence by raising the benchmark in filmmaking.

Baler, the historical love epic produced by Viva Films, walked home with not one but 10 awards including Best Picture in the recently concluded 34th Metro Manila Film Festival Awards Night on Dec. 27 at the Harbor Garden Tent of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City.

The film that depicts the Siege of Baler in 1898 won Best Director for Mark Meily, Best Supporting Actor for Philip Salvador, Best Screenplay for Roy Iglesias, Best Cinematography for Lee Meily, Best Production Design for Aped Santos, and Best Editing for Danny Anonuevo.

“I’m so excited. This is the second time I joined the festival. I’m so happy that there are people who made aggressive move to produce this film,” Mark Meily, director of the runaway winning movie Baler, told Standard Today.

Meily first joined the filmfest in 2003 with the entry Crying Ladies starring Sharon Cuneta. The film received multiple awards including Best Picture. When asked about his feeling outshining other veteran directors this time, the humble filmmaker said: “ Hindi ako 100 percent sure na mananalo kasi there are film directors na magagaling talaga like Joey Reyes, we are just blessed and lucky lang talaga.”

On the other hand, it’s a sweet victory for Anne Curtis who portrayed a convincing role of a young Filipina who professes her forbidden love to a mestizo soldier played by Jericho Rosales. Curtis received her very first acting award after being declared Best Actress.

“The feeling is unexplainable. I’m speechless, ’di ko alam ang sasabihin ko but I’m just so happy. I can’t fathom the happiness that I feel. This is my first acting award,” Anne, who wore a striking red Filipiniana dress, told us on her way out of the hall.

Anne dedicated the award to the members of her family who have been very supportive to her career. The Dyosa star bested other actresses like Dawn Zulueta, Maricel Laxa, Jean Garcia, Marian Rivera, and Ai Ai de las Alas.

“I know that the people I was up against were veteran and amazing actresses, nakasama ko pa sila backstage. I was just surprised and forever thankful. All the hard work of the whole team of Baler got recognized here on the awards night. We couldn’t ask for more except for the people to keep on watching sana,” Anne remarked.

Baler also won the Award for Gender Sensitive Film of 2008 and the coveted trophy for the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award. The jurors for the Gender Sensitive Film Award cited Baler as a film that highlighted gender-sensitive issues of love, parenting, and war translated by the intuitive direction of Mark Meily under a well-written script by Roy Iglesias.

Receiving the single award for the Rudy Fernandez tribute film Magkaibigan was Christopher de Leon. He made another history for being the most decorated actor of the festival. De Leon holds the record of most wins of the Best Actor Award in the 34-year history of the MMFF. He now has eight Best Actor trophies courtesy of the MMFF alone.

While Boyet marked another cinematic feat, the country’s first all-digital full-length animated feature film Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia under Cutting Edge Productions won four awards (mostly in the technical category) including Best Visual Effects for Robert Quilao, Best Musical Score for Jessie Lasaten, Best Theme Song for “Lipad” composed by Jessie Lasaten and Artemio Abad Jr. and performed by Lea Salonga, and Best Sound for Albert Idioma and Wally Dellosa.

Sexy comedy flick One Night Only won two awards courtesy of Jose Javier Reyes (Best Original Story) and Manilyn Reynes (Best Supporting Actress).

According to Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando, the two-day gross of this year’s festival exceeded the last year’s gross over the same period by 37 percent.

Top grosser Ang Tanging Ina Ninyong Lahat (Star Cinema) that won Second Best Picture has accumulated ticket sales amounting to more than P41 million on its second day while the festival’s Third Best Picture Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After (OctoArts Films and APT Entertainment) has grossed P37 million at the box office.

Meanwhile, the sequel of Desperadas that stars Ruffa Gutierrez, Rufa Mae Quinto, Iza Calzado, Marian Rivera, and includes Ogie Alcasid got the Best Make-Up plum for Noli Villalobos. Regal Films’ Shake Rattle ‘n Roll X received its single trophy courtesy of Best Child Performer Robert “Buboy” Villar.

The awards night was hosted by Boy Abunda with Phoemela Barranda and Tim Yap as segment hosts. Tony Gonzaga was the trivia host while Sitti, Richard Poon, Karylle, Yeng Constantino, and Sheryn Regis were among the performers who added splendor to the event which had a taped telecast on C/S 9.

The last part of the award’s night, which was exclusive to the people who bought pricey tickets, was a nostalgic presentation of Katy the Musical with maestro Ryan Cayabyab on the piano, and Jericho Rosales and KC Concepcion in the lead roles. The musical featured other performers like Mitch Valdez, Dulce, Eugene Villaluz, Rachel Alejandro, Bituin Escalante, Jonalyn Viray, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Aicelle Santos, Maricris Garcia, Frenchie Dy, Gian Magdangal, Sitti, and Gab Valenciano.

Baler: 34th MMFF’s best


balermovieposterIf you chose to watch this film among the MMFF entries this year, you made the right decision, or if you didn’t watch it, you missed the festival’s best movie. Baler is definitely the only movie in the festival that gives importance to Filipino culture and history. In short, watching Baler in the most expensive cinemas in the metropolis is not a waste of money.

Baler connects with the audience without trying. It’s not Jericho Rosales’ subtle yet effective acting or Anne Curtis’ surprising display of acting flair but it’s the beauty of the story of 19th century Baler translated by Mark Meily into a moving tale of love, hatred, and nationalism that keeps our hearts beating extra faster while watching it. The entirety of this Viva produced movie proves that Philippine Cinema can be better.

Festival Awards

  • Best Picture:
    • 1) Baler
    • 2) Tanging Ina N’yong Lahat
    • 3) Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After
  • Best Director : Mark Meily (Baler)
  • Best Actor: Christopher de Leon (Magkaibigan)
  • Best Actress: Anne Curtis – Baler
  • Best Supporting Actor:Philip Salvador – Baler
  • Best Supporting Actress: Manilyn Reynes – One Night Only
  • Best Sceenplay: Roy Iglesias – Baler
  • Best Story: Jose Javier Reyes – One Night Only
  • Best Cinematography: Lee Meily – Baler
  • Best Sound: Albert Idioma and Wally Dellosa – Dayo
  • Best Visual Effects: Robert Quilao – Dayo
  • Best Production Design: Aped Santos – Baler
  • Best Editing: Danny Anonuevo – Baler
  • Best Make-Up: Noli Villalobos – Desperadas 2
  • Best Musical Score: Jessie Lazatin – Dayo
  • Best Theme Song: Lipad by Jessie Lasaten and Artemio Abad Jr., performed byLea Salonga – Dayo
  • Best Child Performer:Robert Villar – Shake, Rattle, & Roll X
  • Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award – Baler
  • Most Gender Sensitive Film Award – Baler

12 top-grossing pinoy movies of 2008


Philippine Cinema used to be the world’s fourth largest movie producer. The local industry produced almost a hundred films in 1999, but due to crisis and other factors, production has decreased over the years.

Movie producers have released more than 30 films as of November (including indies or digital flicks). Last year, 50 films were exhibited in commercial theaters.

Today’s edition of Nix’s Top 12 is quite special because aside from the 12 top-grossing films of 2008, 9 mainstream losers are also  included. Here are the A-listers:

1. A VERY SPECIAL LOVE – P179.23 million (Star Cinema/Viva Films)

2. CAREGIVER – P139.54 million (Star Cinema)

3. FOR THE FIRST TIME – P134.7 million (Star Cinema)

4. MY BESTFRIEND’S GIRLFRIEND – P101.24million (GMA/Regal Films)

5. DOBOL TROBOL GET REDI 2 RAMBOL – P90.51 million (Octoarts Films)

6. WHEN LOVE BEGINS – P89.38 million (Star Cinema/Viva Films)

7. MY ONLY U – P79.18 million (Star Cinema)

8. MAG-INGAT KA SA KULAM – P76.6 million (Regal Films)

9. MY BIG LOVE – P68 million (Star Cinema)

10. SUPAHPAPALICIOUS – P66.98 million (Star Cinema)

11. ONE TRUE LOVE – P61.58 million (GMA Films/Regal Films)

12. MANAY PO 2: OVERLOAD P34.24 million (Regal Films)


The BIG LOSERS of Philippine Cinema (2008)

1. TOROTOT – P2.71 million (Viva Films)

2. LOVING YOU – P5.78 million (Regal Films)

3. URDUJA – P12.65 million (APT Films)

4. PLONING – P13.94 million (Panoramanila Philippines Co.)

5. SCAREGIVERS – P23.28 million (APT Films)

6. I.T.A.L.Y. (I Trust and Love You) – P23.32 million (GMA Films)

8. IKAW PA RIN, BONGGA KA BOY! – P26.74 million (Viva Films)

9. MY MONSTER MOM – P32.42 million (GMA Films)

source: Box Office Mojo

Note:  The list of top-grossing films and big losers will definitely change after the Metro Manila Film Festival this Dec.25.