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Erik Matti’s ‘Buy Bust’ to open 14th Cinemalaya filmfest

Action-thriller “BuyBust” will open the 14th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival on August 3, at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater). The opening film will be screened at 7 p.m., following the opening program at 6 p.m.

Directed by Erik Matti, the film follows rookie police officer Nina Manigan who joins the anti-narcotic elite squad. Soon, two teams are deployed to conduct a buy-bust operation in the slums of Manila. Realizing that the mission is poorly executed, the anti-narcotic squad finds themselves trapped by a gang of slum settlers and needs to fight their way out to escape.

Co-produced by Reality Entertainment and Viva Films, “BuyBust” is deemed as one of the most ambitious first full-on action films in recent local cinema history. With a budget of over ₱80 million, the film employed more than 300 stuntmen and utilized over 250,000 grams of gunpowder.

Production began in 2016, with the filming lasting 56 days starting in March 2017. The film premiered on June 29, 2018 at the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) and was the festival’s closing feature film.

The film is topbilled by actress Anne Curtis who played the lead role, and MMA fighter Brandon Vera. Completing the cast are Victor Neri, Arjo Atayde, Nonie Buencamino, Lao Rodriguez, Alex Calleja, Levi Ignacio, Ricky Pascua, Joross Gamboa, Sheenly Gener, Mara Lopez, AJ Muhlach, Tarek El Tayech, Maddie Martinez, Nafa Hilario, Ian Ignacio, and Mikey Alcaraz.

The screening of “BuyBust” will be invitational, with limited tickets available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The tickets will be distributed on August 3, starting at 2 pm, at the CCP Little Theater Lobby.

Cinemalaya, the country’s biggest indie film festival in the Philippines, will run from August 3 to 12, at various venues of the CCP and selected Ayala Mall Cinemas. It is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, Inc., the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Ayala Malls Cinemas. Established in 2005, the film festival aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers.

READ MORE: Complete Guide to Cinemalaya 2018

Following the theme “Wings of Vision,” this year’s Cinemalaya features 10 full-length films and 10 short films in the Main Competition section, vying for the major awards.

There are also the festival’s mainstays: Dokyu, the documentary section; Best of the Festivals, which showcases the best films from local festivals; Indie Nation, a special section featuring independent films; Visions of Asia, featuring award-winning Asian and NETPAC films. There will also be a showcase of the final projects of the Directing and Production Management workshops under the 4th Cinemalaya Institute.

Cinemalaya and Nespresso also partnered to bring the Nespresso Vertical Short Competition. Following the theme “Pagmamalasakit (Empathy),” the vertical shorts competition seeks to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers.

There will also be a tribute to Maryo J. Delos Reyes through a special screening of his best films “Bagets” and “Magnifico”; and to Bernardo Bernardo by showing “Manila by Night” by Ishmael Bernal. Retrospective section will feature the 2017 Cinemalaya Best Film “Respeto” by Treb Monteras, and “Baconaua” by Joseph Israel Laban who won Best Director.

On its 30th edition, the Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, considered the longest-running independent film competition of its kind in the ASEAN region, will once again harvest the best of the best, with films competing in various categories such as Short Feature/Narrative, Experimental, Documentary and Animation. Pre-selected entries will be screened on August 4-6 at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde (Dream Theater).

The Cinemalaya Campus, a major component of Cinemalaya, is slated on August 7 & 8 at the Silangan Hall. The Cinemalaya Awards Night will be held on August 12, 2018 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).

For more information, visit www.cinemalaya.org, www.culturalcenter.gov.ph, or Cinemalaya Facebook page. You may also call CCP Media Arts at 832-1125 local 1704 to 1705. For ticket inquiries, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704.

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