WATCH: Pinoy musical ‘Ang Larawan’ launches first trailer, to open Cinemalaya 2017

The first teaser of musical film Ang Larawan, The Movie has just been unveiled by Culturtain. It will open this year’s Cinemalaya: Philippine Independent Film Festival and is set to open wide in September.

Going along with the tagline “the greatest Filipino play, now on film,” Ang Larawan is the movie adaption of Larawan, The Musical which is based on National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s three-act English play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. It is helmed by multi-awarded Broadway theatrical set designer and director, Loy Arcenas, with the help of supervising producer Alemberg Ang.

The play was transformed into a musical with a libretto written by National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio. The film’s original music is composed by Ryan Cayabyab and performed by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Ang Larawan is set before World War II in Intramuros and tells of the plight of sisters Candida (Joanna Ampil) and Paula Marasigan (Rachel Alejandro), daughters of high-profile painter Don Lorenzo Marasigan.

Since Don Lorenzo has not produced a single painting for a long time, the family is in financial trouble. The unmarried sisters have had to rely on their seemingly more successful brother Manolo (Nonie Buencamino) and sister Pepang (Menchu Launchengco). Their siblings urge Candida and Paula to sell the house.

To have a source of income, the sisters take in a boarder, Tony Javier (Paulo Avelino). Meanwhile, Don Lorenzo becomes a recluse. The painter’s self-portrait fetches a high sum as it attracts the curiosity of many individuals which include pretentious art critics, bonafide journalist and family friend Bitoy Camacho (Sandino Martin), Senator Perico (Robert Arevalo) who asks the sisters to donate the portrait to the government and Tony who tries to convince Candida and Paula to sell it to an American.

Larawan is an ode to the passing of the world of truth and beauty and a celebration of the tenacity of the spirit amidst the rise of materialism and consumerism.

Completing the cast are Cris Villonco, Aicelle Santos, Celeste Legaspi, Cara Manglapus, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Rayver Cruz, Ogie Alcasid, Jojit Lorenzo, Dulce, Nanette Inventor, Jaime Fabregas, Bernardo Bernardo, and Noel Trinidad.

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Music is deeply ingrained in the Filipino consciousness, but that has seldom been fully explored in the realm of film,” Direk Loy tells Cinema Bravo. “And as a nation, we, Filipinos have the tendency to deny and forget our own history in pursuit of the now and the here, which has brought us to messy crossroads that the nation faces right now. I took on Ang Larawan because I felt it touched on these two seemingly opposing facets. Hopefully, the film will help open up a clearer understanding of  why we, Filipinos, are what we are at the moment, both to ourselves and to the rest of the world…”

Here’s the first teaser of Ang Larawan, The Movie:

Nora Aunor takes central seat in MMFF entry ‘Kabisera’

Family drama film Kabisera is headlined by the Grand Dame of Asian Cinema, Nora Aunor. The much-anticipated MMFF comeback of the one and only Superstar is joined by award-winning actors Ricky Davao, JC De Vera, Jason Abalos, Victor Neri and Perla Bautista. Also joining the cast are newcomers RJ Agustin, Ronwaldo Martin (brother of Coco Martin) and Alex San Agustin.

Kabisera is a film about a tightly knit family whose lives fall apart after a tragic incident. Mercy, Nora Aunor’s character takes the central seat (Kabisera) to hold her family together. The film will be Nora Aunor’s return to the annual Metro Manila Film Festival where she won the most number of awards in the past 42 years.

Kabisera is produced by Firestarters Manila Productions, the same studio that produced the award-winning film 1ST KO SI 3RD together with Silver Story Entertainment.

The MMFF Screening Committee citation emphasized the film’s quality in choosing KABISERA as part of the magic 8:

“A sure, steady directorial hand, conscientious script and effective cinematography are matched by the lead actors’ faultless performances.

“This taut and tragic drama will disturb viewers with its stark chronology of what confronts us daily in an often oppressive urban milieu, with the final imagery delivering a subtle footnote to our awareness of the proper place of vaunted justice in our society.”

Produced by Firestarters Manila Productions and Silver Story Entertainment, “Kabisera” opens on December 25, 2016 in Philippine cinemas as an official entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival.