3 Filipino films from 2015 World Premieres screens for free at Cinematheque Centre Manila

Celebrating the cinema and culture of the Southeast Asian nations, films from the Philippines will screen for free this March alongside ASEAN films at the Cinematheque Centre Manila! Select pictures from the World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF) 2015 will delve into worlds only Filipino filmmakers can create, with filmmakers Alvin Yapan, Nestor Abrogena, and Ralston Jover sharing their visions of the country on screen.

cinematheque centre manila march 2016 philippines

An Kubo sa Kawayanan

One of these visions, Alvin Yapan’s An Kubo sa Kawayanan, is a meditation on our human place in the world and environment. The film won Best Picture at last year’s World Premieres Film Festival’s Filipino New Cinema section awards. Set in the Bicol countryside, the film focuses on Michelle, a calado embroiderer who finds comfort in her plain hut, vowing never to leave. Even when her boyfriend and others around her convince her to leave and find greener pastures elsewhere, Michelle is convinced that all that she needs is in her kubo and the simple things around it, which communicate happiness and security to her in a language only she can understand. The poetic An Kubo also won Best Cinematography, Editing, and Performance by an Actress at the WPFF, as well as a nomination for Best Asian Feature Film in the 2015 Singapore International Film Festival.

Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa

Similarly meditative is Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa by Nestor Abrogena. Whereas Yapan focuses on ecology, Abrogena fixes an eye on a relationship between filmmaker and teacher, Sam, and aspiring writer and student, Isa. Abrogena adopts a quiet and thoughtful view into the pair’s love story as they navigate through their feelings and lives. Trouble hangs in the air as they decide what to do with each other, as Isa is set to fly to the US upon graduating, and Sam has received an offer to be a fellow in a prestigious film school abroad. Loosely based on the director’s own experience as well as featuring original music, Ang Kwento was nominated for Best Picture in the WPFF, and won the Filipino New Cinema Best Sound Award.

Da Dog Show

Rounding out the selections is Ralston Jover’s Da Dog Show, a true-to-life story about a dog trainer. A grittier picture than its counterparts, the WPFF ASEAN Skies entry follows Mang Sergio, who trains his beloved pet dogs to perform trick shows on the street to sustain his family. Together with his two children, they try to get by living in a public cemetery mausoleum, while Sergio tries to raise enough money to track down his youngest son, who was taken by his wife. Da Dog Show became the only Filipino entry in 2012 at the Cannes L’Atelier, which was created to bridge promising filmmakers with partners and funders to create their work, and the film has since made rounds in the festival circuit.

These beautiful Filipino works of art will be joined by numerous other films from Southeast Asia spanning different genres and cultures. They will run from March 1 to April 3, 2016, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, and screen with English subtitles. ALL films are free of charge. Certain films will be shown at an outdoor screenings, and some will be graced by the presence of their filmmakers for a Q&A session. Film schedules and details are available on our social media channels and on the FDCP website, www.fdcp.ph.


‘The Divergent: Allegiant’ opens in PH cinemas one week ahead of US release

The first of the last part of the bestselling trilogy “The Divergent Series” book-to-movie blockbuster franchise, “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” is about to explode with epic action scenes, spectacular vistas and unexpected twists in cinemas on March 9, one week advance of its US release.

“The Divergent Series: Allegiant follows Tris, Four and their comrades as they escape the walled city of Chicago and embark on their most astonishing adventure yet. With Chicago on the verge of an all-out civil war, Tris (Shailene Woodley) leads Four (Theo James), Christina (Zoë Kravitz), Peter (Miles Teller), Tori (Maggie Q) and Caleb (Ansel Elgort) on a harrowing escape from the walled city, chased by armed guards loyal to self-appointed leader EVELYN (Naomi Watts). Outside Chicago for the first time in their lives, the five find themselves being pursued by EDGAR (Jonny Weston) through a toxic wasteland known as the Fringe before being rescued and escorted to the ultra-high-tech compound of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.

Once there, Bureau mastermind David (Jeff Daniels) singles out Tris for being genetically “pure” and enlists her to champion his mysterious cause. While Tris receives special treatment, including access to “memory tabs” that enable her to relive her own family history, Four joins Bureau soldiers on a supposedly humanitarian mission to remove children from a ragtag Fringe encampment.

Discovering that David plans to use the Bureau’s astonishing technologies for inhumane ends, Tris hijacks his private aircraft and returns with her team to Chicago. Faced with a shocking betrayal, they must try to stop Evelyn before she unleashes a memory-erasing gas on the city’s entire population, including the Allegiant rebel force led by Johanna (Octavia Spencer).

At the heels of the previously released hit movies from the books by author Veronica Roth, “The Divergent” and “Insurgent,” the latest instalment “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” goes on a different world for the heroic team to finally discover what being a Divergent truly means.

Woodley, too, relished the challenge of pushing her character toward new horizons. “When we first met Tris in Divergent, she empowered herself,” says the actress. “In Insurgent, she’s guilt-ridden and winds up being betrayed by her brother Caleb. In Allegiant, Tris goes outside of Chicago because she feels like it’s part of her destiny.”

Director Robert Schwentke wanted to immerse audiences in the world beyond Chicago by filling the screen with bigger visual effects, more monumental vistas and more exciting action sequences than anything featured in the previous films. Between set-ups, cast members were literally left hanging. “You’d just be there for hours,” Woodley laughs. “It’s not very comfortable.”

Woodley, James, Kravitz, Teller, Elgort and Q, spent three days at the quarry, plus five more days shooting on a smaller, less steeply angled wall built to make it easier for the actors to say their lines while climbing. Elgort, an experienced rock climber in real life, had to forget everything he knew to portray his character properly. “Running up a real wall vertically was pretty sick,” he recalls. “My challenge was making it look like I didn’t know what I was doing because Caleb can’t run and climb. I had to slam my body against the wall. I wore all these pads so it didn’t cut me up, but those scenes completely chewed up my costume.”

“The Divergent Series: Allegiant” opens March 9, 2016 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.

‘Pitch Perfect’ star Anna Kendrick pairs up with assassin in ‘Mr. Right’

Produced by hit movie makers, the upcoming romantic action comedy “Mr. Right” sees a hyperactive at the best of times, Martha (Anna Kendrick) has gone full-on manic since her latest breakup. She babbles, parties like a monster, cooks everything in sight — and is looking to do something terrible when she meets Francis (Sam Rockwell; “The Way Way Back”). To anyone else, Francis’s approach would come across as creepy, but Martha can’t help but be intrigued. They seem a perfect match: she’s bananas, he’s bananas… except he’s a deadly sort of bananas. He’s a professional assassin.

Francis is a hitman with a cause: he unexpectedly kills the people ordering the hits. Just as Martha begins to realize her new beau wasn’t joking when he said he had to step out for a moment to shoot someone, things start heating up for Francis. His services are solicited by a dubious client who’s being sought by an equally dubious FBI agent (Tim Roth; The Hateful Eight, Reservoir Dogs). As the bodies pile up, Martha needs to decide whether to flee or join in the mayhem.

Several years before writer Max Landis’ mastery of offbeat storytelling became evident in “American Ultra,” “Victor Frankenstein” and the $122 million-grossing superhero hit “Chronicle,” he dreamed up an outrageous contribution to the rom-com canon in Mr. Right. When the dancing hitman high concept proved too challenging for mainstream Hollywood tastemakers, Circle of Confusion producers Rick Jacobs and Stephen Emery, who also manage Landis, decided to produce the script themselves.

“For all its fun and dynamics, Max’s story didn’t immediately catch the eyes of the studios, so that became an opportunity where Stephen and I decided to put the movie together organically,” Jacobs says. “The great thing about Mr. Right is, it’s got a little bit of everything — action, romance, comedy. The story doesn’t fit in one box, which can make it hard for some people, but for us it seemed like a really fun ride to jump on.”

Making sure Mr. Right featured all the right moves, stunt coordinator Kevin Beard joined forces with fight coordinator James Lew to design Rockwell’s eye-popping stunts. “Our challenge was to make all this action come alive,” says Beard, whose stunt resume includes Texas Chainsaw 3D and The Expendables “Before the shoot began we had a three and a half hour meeting with Paco where the big question was ‘How do you do a dance fight and not make it look stupid?’ He had us go back and take a look at Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin movies from silent era. Once we started working out the moves, we came up with some cool stuff.”

“Mr. Right” opens in cinemas this April 6, 2016 from Pioneer Films.

WATCH: New trailer sets up story of ‘The Angry Birds Movie’

Columbia Pictures has just revealed a new trailer for the animated comedy “The Angry Birds Movie” which finally sheds light on why the birds are so angry. The trailer may be viewed below.

The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds – or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis, “Horrible Bosses”), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad in his first animated role since “Frozen”), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride, “This is the End”) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.

the angry birds movie 3

Featuring a hilarious, all-star voice cast that includes Bill Hader (“Inside Out”), Maya Rudolph (“Bridesmaids”), and Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), as well as Keegan-Michael Key (“Pitch Perfect 2”), Kate McKinnon (upcoming “Ghostbusters”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), Ike Barinholtz (“Neighbors”), Hannibal Buress (“Broad City”), Jillian Bell (“22 Jump Street”), Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black”), Latin music sensation Romeo Santos, and YouTube stars Smosh (Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla), the Columbia Pictures/Rovio Entertainment film is directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis, produced by John Cohen and Catherine Winder, screenplay by Jon Vitti, and executive produced by Mikael Hed and David Maisel.

Opening across the Philippines on May 11, 2016, “The Angry Birds Movie” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling confirms ‘Fantastic Beasts’ trilogy

Author J.K. Rowling has confirmed through her Twitter account that the Harry Potter spin-off under Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be a trilogy.

Right before this announcement, there have been rumors as to the number of Fantastic Beasts in the works under the production slate of Warner. Even its chief Ken Tsujihara hinted on this way back when the first announcement was made in December 2015.

Here is Rowling’s tweet that has just sparked excitement all over the world:

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) stars as the magizoologist Newt Scamander. The film is under the direction of David Yates, who directed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident … were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” also stars Katherine Waterston (“Steve Jobs”) as Tina; Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”) as Jacob; Alison Sudol (“Transparent”) as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Ezra Miller (“Trainwreck”) as Credence; two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (“In America”) as Mary Lou; Oscar winner Jon Voight (TV’s “Ray Donovan”) as Henry Shaw, Sr.; Ron Perlman (the “Hellboy” films) as Gnarlack; Carmen Ejogo (“Selma”) as Seraphina; Jenn Murray (“Brooklyn”) as Chastity; young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty; and Colin Farrell (“True Detective”) as Percival Graves.

Warner Bros. Pictures has slated “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” for a Philippine release in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX on November 17, 2016.