GUIDE: Cinema One Originals Festival 2017

The 13th Cinema One Originals runs on November 13-21 at Trinoma, Glorietta, Gateway, UP Cine Adarna, Cinema 76 and Cinematheque with an extended run on November 22-28 at the Power Plant Mall.

Walang Takot. The tagline of the 13th Cinema One Originals translates into “fearless” in English and is more than an apt descriptor for the festival’s programming ethos and its reputation, the way it has, year in and year out, shepherded unique, adventurous cinematic voices into the limelight.

But Walang Takot also exemplifies not only the way the festival is embracing the changing face and attitudes of cinema, from the paradigm shifts when it comes to new ways of watching films to the influx of a diverse new aJdience, with a deeper sense of cinematic history and new cinematic modes, but also the way it endeavors to ride the changes by closing the gaps, striving for a cinematic experience that allows for the the coexistence of old and new platforms and the convergence of old and new audiences, where past and future cinema occupy the same evolutionary continuum, looking back by moving forward.





This year’s opening film is Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. In this darkly comic drama, a mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder, when they fail to catch the culprit. It is a one-time invitational screening.


The two films that make up this year’s Documentary section are both examinations of a past with uncanny present-day resonances but from diverse vantage points.

Bundok Banahaw by Dempster Samarista

Dempster Samarista’s Bundok Banahaw is an exploration of the titular mystical mountain, using secret histories and sacred knowledge as a way of piecing together our cultural psyche.

Haunted: A Last Visit to the Red House by Phy Grande

Phy Grande’s Haunted: A Last Visit to the Red House focuses on the atrocities visited by Japanese soldiers on comfort women during World War 2, a horrendous collective memory that remains eerily relevant and refuses to be forgotten.


There are seven films in the Narrative section, including two returning alumni, two debuts and two much-awaited second features.

Paki by Giancarlo Abrahan

In Paki, Dagitab director Giancarlo Abrahan cast veteran character actress Dexter Doria in her very first lead role as an 80 year old woman whose children tries to stop her from leaving her husband of sixty years to live the rest of her days out as an old maid. Shamaine Buencamino co-stars.

Nervous Translation by Shireen Seno

Nervous Translation, about a shy girl who discovers a pen that can translate the thoughts and feelings of people when they get nervous, is written and directed by Cinema One alumni Shireen Seno, whose Big Boy was part of Cinema One Originals 2013, itself a slightly odd, often magical childhood reverie. Jana Agoncillo and Sid Lucero star.

Historiographika Errata by Richard Somes

Richard Somes, of Yanggaw, Ishmael and Mariposa fane, returns to Cinema One for his fourth outing in the festival, with Historiographika Errata, is an elaborate historical mosaic that attempts to figure out why we are what we are, throwing in the mix a suicidal Rizal, a cross-dressing Bonifacio and the widow who become the first Makapili. The sprawling, ambitious film features Joem Bascon, Alex Medina, Maxine Eigenmann and Nathalie Hart.

Changing Partners by Dan Villegas

For his first outing with Cinema One, Walang Forever director Dan Villegas adapts Vincent De Jesus’ much-loved stage musical Changing Partners, a bittersweet exploration of a relationship coming apart as the huge age gap between two lovers starts to take its toll, starring Agot Isidro, Anna Luna, Jojit Lorenzo and Sandino Martin.

Nay by Kip Oebanda

Kip Oebanda, fresh off the success of Bar Boys, is directing the aswang inversion Nay, about a man suffering from a terminal disease who uncovers a dark family secret. Enchong Dee, Sylvia Sanchez and Jameson Blake star.

Si Chedeng At Si Apple by Fatrick Tabada and Rae Red

Fatrick Tabada and Rae Red’s Si Chedeng At Si Apple is a dark comedy where Elizabeth Oropesa and Gloria Diaz play two old girlfriends who become accidental criminals and embark on a road trip with a severed head in a fake Louis Vuitton bag,

Throwback Today by Joseph Teoxon

In Joseph Teoxon’s Throwback Today, Carlo Aquino plays a disgruntled young man at the end of his rope who stumbles on an impossible way to rewrite his own history. Annicka Dolonius, Empress Schuck and Allan Paule co-star.


The year’s world cinema highlights also grace this year’s foreign film line-up, a 13-strong progam that includes the following:

  • Robin Campillo’s Beats Per Minute
  • Claire Denis’ Let The Sun Shine In
  • Francois Ozon’s L’Amant Double
  • Ildiko Enyedi’s On Body And Soul
  • Joachitn Trier’s Thelma
  • Hirokazu Koreeda’s The Third Murder
  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Before We Vanish
  • Sebastian Leilo’s A Fantastic Woman
  • Amit Masurkar’s Newton
  • Lucrecia Martel’s Zama
  • The Safdie Brothers’ Good Time
  • Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country
  • Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name
  • 4K restoration of Steven Spielberg’s science-fiction classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind


The restored classics to be showcased this year are the following:

  • Marilou Diaz Abaya’s Moral
  • Jeffrey Sonora’s Asedillo
  • Celso Ad Castillo’s Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw
  • Danny Zialcita’s Langis At Tubig
  • Danny Zialcita’s Karma
  • Marilou Diaz Abaya’s Karnal
  • Lino Brocka’s Cain at Abel


Sari Dalena’s documentary on Ishmael Bernal Ishma. will screen to coincide with the launch of the new Ishmael Bernal book, ProBernal Anti Bio, written by Ishmael Bernal himself with Jorge Ayago and Angela Stuart-Santiago.


This year’s closing film is Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell. This biographical drama-comedy directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris tells the true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

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