Josh Hutcherson plays Peeta for the last time in ‘Mockingjay – Part 2’

The final chapter of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 brings the film’s expansive cast together one last time, with a team headed by Jennifer Lawrence and including Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Mahershala Ali and Natalie Dormer. The lineup for Mockingjay – Part 2 also includes Wes Chatham (Castor), Elden Henson (Pollux), Patina Miller (Commander Baylor), Evan Ross (Messalla), Gwendoline Christie (Commander Lyme), and Stef Dawson (Annie Cresta).

In “Mockingjay – Part 2,” Peeta Mellark – the former victor who was to marry Katniss in a Capitol spectacle – is still in a haunting, dangerous fugue state after being brainwashed by President Snow during his captivity. Though his body has been freed, his mind struggles against nightmarish, instilled thoughts to kill Katniss, the very same person he once most trusted in the world.

Hutcherson sums up where the film finds Peeta: “Peeta’s going through a kind of rehabilitation process, trying to get back to his old self. He’s being held in District 13, but he’s still violently psychotic and his recovery is clearly going to be a very long, hard road. He has moments of clarity but he kind of goes in and out. With all these memories that were implanted in his mind by the Capitol, he has to constantly try to decipher what is real and what has been fed to him – and he has to rely on his peers to help him find that truth.”

For Hutcherson, the film required a 180 from how he normally approaches the character. “Peeta’s always been known as being the down-to-earth, grounded, honest guy. But now he’s out of his mind, I had to turn that inside out,” he says. “It shows a lot about the real feelings that Katniss has for Peeta that she still fights for him and believes in him even in this state.”

When Peeta is sent by President Coin to join Squad 451 – consisting of Katniss, Gale, Finnick, Boggs, Cressida, Messalla, Castor and Pollux – it endangers everyone, but helps Katniss break through to him. “Really, he should not be in this environment,” Hutcherson admits. “It has tons of triggers that could cause him to explode and, and lose control again, which actually happens multiple times.”

Mockingjay Part 2 Fallen Snow Banner

Throughout, Peeta’s true feelings for Katniss keep surfacing in ways that keep him bonded to her at an unspoken level. For Hutcherson finding those breakthrough moments with Jennifer Lawrence after the three previous films came organically. “Jennifer has this quiet strength about her,” he says. “A lot of people might have tried to play up the rebellious side of Katniss, but Jennifer saw from the start that’s not who Katniss is. Jen has played Katniss’ reluctance and groundedness so well, it always feels very real to me. It’s one of the reasons why I think Peeta connects with her and why so many people have connected with The Hunger Games.”

As for how Peeta has evolved since he first left to represent District 12 in The Hunger Games, Hutcherson concludes, “Peeta always had a very realistic view of what was happening around him. He’s more haunted now from having experienced The Hunger Games first-hand, and from witnessing the destruction that Snow’s dictatorship can cause. But deep within, his mentality has always been you have to not let yourself be a piece in the game; you have to try to be yourself even as you fight to survive. That’s still what he would say to this day.”

Like Jennifer Lawrence, Hutcherson says he will miss his character, but he will take a lot from the long and rich experience of playing Peeta. “I definitely will take away great friendships and memories from The Hunger Games,” he says. “I also hope I take away some of Peeta’s values. When you do a project like this, people can get certain ideas about who you should be – and Peeta is a reminder that it’s best to kind of break those expectations and simply be true to yourself.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opens November 18, 2015 in cinemas nationwide as distributed by Pioneer Films.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM PIONEER FILMS

Oscars best foreign language film ‘Secret in Their Eyes’ gets 2015 reboot

Academy Award winner Julia Roberts stars in her latest and another yet Oscar-worthy role in the crime thriller Secret In Their Eyes based on the 2010 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film directed by Juan Jose Campanella “El Secreto de Sus Ojos.”

This year’s “Secret In Their Eyes,” directed by blockbuster filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips,” “The Hunger Games”), and produced by Academy Award and Emmy winner Mark Johnson (“Rain Man,” “Breaking Bad”) brings Julia Roberts in a surprising mystery that explores the personal themes of loss, betrayal, and a parent’s undying will to right a profound wrong.

DA investigator Jess Cobb (Julia Roberts), FBI investigator Ray Kasten (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and Deputy District Attorney Claire Sloan (Nicole Kidman) are rising stars, having been selected to serve on an anti-terrorism joint task force in post 9/11 Los Angeles. Jess and Ray are tight-knit partners who share a deep respect and an easy friendship both on the job and off. Ray and Claire come from opposite walks of life, but have a complicated attraction that is a constant undercurrent in their day-to-day encounters. After Ray and Jess are called to investigate a murder scene, they discover the unthinkable — the victim is Jess’s daughter, Caroline. Ray and Jess join forces with Claire to bring the killer to justice. Their mission, however, meets a cold reality when they discover their suspect is a protected federal witness, and is set free. Thirteen years later, despite their attempts to find an even keel to their lives, Ray, Claire and Jess still bear wounds that won’t heal. But when Ray uncovers a new lead, he returns to L.A. to convince Claire to revisit the case. Despite the risk all face by reopening emotional issues — Jess’ life has been in stasis for more than a decade; Ray’s affection for Claire has never waned — they join forces to pursue the killer: this time vowing to take matters into their own hands to avenge Caroline’s brutal murder. None, however, is prepared for the shocking secret that lurks behind the manhunt and illuminates the emotional cost of vengeance and justice.

Billy Ray and Mark Johnson had known each other and each other’s work for decades, but had never worked together. When they saw the Argentine thriller “El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” neither of them could stop talking about it. “El Secreto de Sus Ojos, is spectacular,” says Billy, “I was completely floored by it, had a reverence for it that bordered on awe. Then Mark asked me if I wanted to adapt it. At first I was hesitant because you don’t want to take on anything that is so great that you feel dwarfed by it before you even start. But I did feel there was an American version of the story worth retelling and exploring.” Every time the pair got frustrated tackling the weighty subject matter, they had an unabashed cheerleader in Juan Campanella, who directed the Argentine film.

“Here was a man who wanted to solve a cold case but the reason why he wanted to solve it was not only to find the culprit but to find the root of his own loneliness,” Campanella says. “That to me was very original. Contrary to what people might think, I really like it when somebody takes a piece of work and turns it into something different.” Billy says an impetus for the American version lay in the events of 9/11. ”The horror of that event was so big and so indelible for anybody who was in America at that time. But it created a story opportunity for our movie that no other context could have.” “Billy found a great twist on the story,” Campanella says. “He respected a lot of the emotion of the original but found a very American way of telling it.” Billy admits that he initially thought he was writing a movie about loss. “But it turns out that I was writing a movie about obsession. Stories do that sometimes, they tell you what they are about.

Secret In Their Eyes opens December 2, 2015 in theatres nationwide as released by Axinite Digicinema.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM AXINITE DIGICINEMA

Secret in Their Eyes - Official Poster

Angelina Jolie Pitt tackles loss, marriage in ‘By the Sea’

Academy Award-winner Angelina Jolie Pitt directs, writes and stars in Universal Pictures’ new romantic drama By the Sea – her first acting work since “Maleficent,” and latest directorial effort after the Oscar-nominated “Unbroken.”

To be shown  “By the Sea” follows an American writer named Roland (Brad Pitt) and his wife, former dancer Vanessa (Jolie Pitt), who arrive in a tranquil and picturesque seaside resort in 1970s France, their marriage in apparent crisis. As they spend time with fellow travelers, the couple begins to come to terms with unresolved issues in their own lives.

A couple in the middle of dealing with unimaginable grief, who doesn’t know how to cope, and whose marriage is being greatly tested by it, Roland and Vanessa are still deeply in love with each other. Yet, this relationship has been temporarily derailed by loss, one to which they are reacting quite differently.

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Jolie Pitt introduces us to the protagonists: “When you meet them, you assume that Roland is a bully and a drunk. You think he’s quite irritated with Vanessa and focused only on himself and his writing. You also assume that she is focused on the way she looks, doesn’t like people and is above it all. In fact, Vanessa is on prescription medication at a time when most people didn’t know what depression even was. Then, you slowly discover that there is a reason that they are avoiding each other…and a reason that they have a lot of anger. They’ve been sitting on something for a very long time, and they both have never addressed it with each other. They’re in so much pain and take it out on one another. By being aware of and studying other people, it allows them to forget themselves for a bit, and it breaks them open so they rediscover each other.”

The director explains the attraction to developing these characters: “Most would probably divorce in Vanessa and Roland’s circumstances, but there is that central idea of commitment to someone to whom you have dedicated yourself. Sometimes, marriage isn’t easy, but you know that you have made that commitment, you have history, and you know why you are with that person. There is a comfort to it. It’s often true that one person wants to give up more than the other, and that it takes one to keep it alive, as Roland does in our film.”

Jolie Pitt admits that this production offered her the opportunity to rediscover her love of the craft of acting. “It’s been a long time as an actor since I felt like I was free to create and play, to be irreverent and inappropriate… and a little too loud and make bold choices. I wanted something where I could be bold and explore and not have it fit into something that needed to be sold a certain way.”

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The filmmaker is the first to admit it’s a different type of stress when you’re on the other side of the camera. She reflects: “When you’re a director who is also an actress in the film, you have very little sympathy for your own character…at least at first. My first pass in editing was very focused on the other characters, and it took me a while to focus on Vanessa and allow her to be important to me a storyteller. I needed that distance for awhile in order to find her.”

Jolie Pitt is currently directing “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers,” a depiction of the Cambodian genocide through the eyes of a child, and is executive producer on the forthcoming animated feature film set in Afghanistan, “The Breadwinner.”

Rated R-18 Without Cuts, By the Sea opens November 18, 2015 exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide as distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES

Young actors lend voices to ‘The Good Dinosaur’ duo

The heart of Disney-Pixar’s new family adventure The Good Dinosaur is the friendship that develops between Arlo and Spot—two characters who begin the story at odds. They don’t share a language and—at least at first—have little reason to come together at all. But thanks to a life-changing journey, Arlo and Spot find common ground and a relationship that will change them both forever.

Young actors Raymond Ochoa (Disney’s “Mars Needs Moms”) and Jack Bright (“Monsters University,” “Disney’s A Christmas Carol”) provide the voices of Arlo and Spot, respectively.

The last to hatch among his siblings, 11-year-old ARLO has yet to make his mark on his family’s farm. Though he is eager to help out with chores, this sheltered Apatosaurus just can’t seem to get past his fear of everything. “Arlo is young and vulnerable,” says character art director Matt Nolte. “He’s so unsure of himself and we wanted to capture that in his look. He’s smaller and thinner than his siblings.”

“We went through a lot of different voices,” Sohn says. “Arlo is at a crossroads—evolving from weak and innocent to a strong, more mature young adult. Everyone we heard sounded too young or too old. Raymond Ochoa has a quality to his voice that’s sincere and really appealing with that gravelly texture. He’s a great performer who was willing to be vulnerable for the more emotional scenes.”

The Good Dinosaur-Arlo-RaymondOchoa
Raymond Ochoa voices Arlo in ‘The Good Dinosaur’

Ochoa, a lifelong fan of Pixar movies, liked taking the journey with Arlo. “To Arlo, the wilderness was a place to fear,” says Ochoa. “Bad things happen there. But the wilderness is actually where he transitions from being a little boy to becoming that mature, brave dinosaur he always wanted to be.”

SPOT is a wild, tough and tenacious human boy who has lived alone in the wilderness for much of his life. He speaks in only grunts and growls, but his strengths are clear: he’s fearless and confident. “This is very much a wilderness movie,” says screenwriter Meg LeFauve. “Spot is the wild animal who shows up to help the boy—in this case, Arlo—in need. Spot is of this place. He is a survivor.”

“It’s really fun to push Spot’s canine quality,” says Sohn. “We want it to be clear that he thinks and reacts like an animal in the beginning, but there’s a boy deep, deep down.”

Jack Bright voices Arlo in 'The Good Dinosaur'
Jack Bright voices Arlo in ‘The Good Dinosaur’

But pairing this human with a dinosaur proved difficult. “Framing Arlo and all of the dinosaurs was a huge challenge due to their size,” says director of photography-camera Mahyar Abousaeedi. “But when something much smaller—like Spot—appeared in the same shot, that complicated our camera strategy. Composing Spot small in frame was important. We wanted to remind the audience that this is a boy-and-his-dog story—and that Spot is the dog. Composing Spot small in frame for most of the movie made for a more powerful connection when the pair begins to bond and we pushed into Spot for a close-up.”

A young actor named Jack Bright provides the voice of Spot. But since Spot doesn’t speak, the role called for equal parts creativity and enthusiasm. “Jack is incredible,” says Ream. “And Peter [Sohn] is such a natural with children—he can explain what he needs in a way that makes it easy to understand. He and Jack really made a really great team.”

Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

Opening across the Philippines on November 25, 2015, The Good Dinosaur is distributed by Walt Disney Studios through Columbia Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #GoodDinoPH.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES

WINNERS: Cinema One Originals Festival 2015

The Cinema One Originals film festival awards night is held at the Dolphy Theater Sunday, November 15.

Cinema One Originals 2015 Winners

Here’s the full list of winners of Cinema One Originals Festival 2015:

Best Film

  • WINNER: Manang Biring, Carl Joseph Papa
  • Baka Siguro Yata, Joel Ferrer
  • Bukod Kang Pinagpala, Sheron Dayoc
  • Dahling Nick, Sari Dalena
  • Dayang Asu, Bor Ocampo
  • Hamog, Ralston Jover
  • Mga Rebeldeng May Kaso, Raymond Red
  • Miss Bulalacao, Ara Chawdhury
  • The Comeback, Ivan Andrew Payawal

Jury Prize

  • WINNER: Hamog, Ralston Jover

Best Actress

  • WINNER: Therese Malvar, Hamog
  • Bangs Garcia, Baka Siguro Yata
  • Bing Pimentel, Bukod Kang Pinagpala
  • Erlinda Villalobos, Manang Biring
  • Kaye Abad, The Comeback

Best Actor

  • WINNER: Dino Pastrano, Baka Siguro Yata
  • Raymond Bagatsing, Dahling Nick
  • Ricky Davao, Dayang Asu
  • Russ Ligtas, Miss Bulalacao
  • Zaijan Jaranilla, Hamog

Best Screenplay

  • WINNER: Miss Bulalacao, Ara Chawdhury
  • Baka Siguro Yata, Joel Ferrer
  • Manang Biring, Carl Joseph Papa

Best Director

  • WINNER: Dayang Asu, Bor Ocampo
  • Baka Siguro Yata, Joel Ferrer
  • Bukod Kang Pinagpala, Sheron Dayoc
  • Dahling Nick, Sari Dalena
  • Hamog, Ralston Jover
  • Manang Biring, Carl Joseph Papa
  • Mga Rebeldeng May Kaso, Raymond Red
  • Miss Bulalacao, Ara Chawdhury
  • The Comeback, Ivan Andrew Payawal

Audience Choice

  • WINNER: Baka Siguro Yata, Joel Ferrer
  • Bukod Kang Pinagpala, Sheron Dayoc
  • Dahling Nick, Sari Dalena
  • Dayang Asu, Bor Ocampo
  • Hamog, Ralston Jover
  • Manang Biring, Carl Joseph Papa
  • Mga Rebeldeng May Kaso, Raymond Red
  • Miss Bulalacao, Ara Chawdhury
  • The Comeback, Ivan Andrew Payawal

Best Sound

  • WINNER: Bukod Kang Pinagpala (Jess Carlos)
  • Miss Bulalacao (James D’Lonsod, Vanya Fantonial, and Nicholas Varela)
  • Dayang Asu (Stephen Lopez)

Best Music

  • WINNER: Manang Biring (Dinno Christopher Parafina)
  • Miss Bulalacao (Rotsanjani Mojica)
  • Mga Rebeldeng May Kaso (Diwa de Leon)
  • Dayang Asu (Ian Puzon)Bukod Kang Pinagpala (Kit Mendoza)

Best Editing

  • WINNER: Hamog (Charliebebs Gohetia)
  • Manang Biring (Carl Joseph Papa)
  • Miss Bulalacao (Christian Linaban)
  • Dayang Asu (Mikee dela Cruz)

Best Production Design

  • WINNER: Bukod Kang Pinagpala (Harley Alcasid)
  • Dahling Nick (Maria Criselda Dacanay)
  • Miss Bulalacao (Philip Sinajonon and Ernest Dino)
  • Dayang Asu (Aldrin Olaguer, Mikee dela Cruz, Ikot Dawgz)

Best Cinematography

  • WINNER: Dayang Asu (Albert Banzon)
  • Bukod Kang Pinagpala (Dustin Uy)
  • Miss Bulalacao (Christian Libanan)

Best Supporting Actress

  • WINNER: Chai Fonacier, Miss Bulalacao
  • Anna Luna, Hamog
  • Cherie Gil, Baka Siguro Yata
  • Angelina Mailes Kanapi, Manang Biring
  • Tessie Tomas, Miss Bulalacao

Best Supporting Actor

  • WINNER: Bor Lentejas, Hamog
  • Ricky Davao, Baka Siguro Yata
  • Epy Quizon, Mga Rebeldeng May Kaso

Champion Bughaw Award

  • Manang Biring, Carl Joseph Papa

The Philippine Cinemas Originals Awards

  • Rox Lee, Joey Agbayani, Mike Alcazaren, Johnny Alcazaren, Nick Deocampo, Raymond Red