The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry ‘Nelia’ started with their promo grind through attending a gathering in Manila-Korea Town at Remedios Circle, Malate, Manila last Friday, November 19. The physical event was graced by the movie’s stars Ali Forbes, Shido Roxas, Juan Carlos Galano, and Raymond Bagatsing.
Also present in the opening of the Manila K-Town Cha Cha Cha Fest were several leaders from the Korean community residing in Manila including Korean Embassy Consul General Kyu Hu Lee, Manila-Korea Town Association Chairman Jae Jung Jang, United Korean Community in the Philippines Chairman Jae Heung Byun. There were also numerous members of the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, Korean Sports Association in the Philippines, and Peaceful Unification Advisory Council.
Nelia’s young stars Ali Forbes, Shido Roxas, and Juan Carlos Galano performed with song numbers for the crowd and guests. Veteran actor Raymond Bagatsing was also welcomed by the community. He once wowed the Korean audience with his performance in a Filipino film that participated in the prestigious Busan International Film Festival in Korea back in 2012.
According to the Korean community, Nelia, more than being an official entry to this year’s MMFF, has a huge potential to have a Korean adaptation because of its unique theme. Nelia is said to be a “daring suspense thriller,” which can be compared to Korean movies such as “The Housemaid” and “Parasite,” which is the first Korean film to win Best Picture at the Oscars. In fact, several Korean film production companies are currently talking to Nelia producer Atty. Aldwin Alegre to make a Korean adaptation of the film.
“We’re really very happy because even though our film hasn’t been released yet, the reception that people has been giving to our film is very good, especially in the Korean community,” remarked Atty. Alegre. “We look up to a lot of Korean films, and for them to acknowledge Nelia to be at par with them is a great honor for us. This is the only suspense thriller genre that entered the MMFF this year, so we are also excited to offer it to Filipino viewers because we can give them a friendly dish, supposedly, this coming Christmas.”
He also confirmed thay they are already in talks with some film production companies in Korea for a possible Korean remake or adaptation of Nelia. “Yes, two production companies from Korea have already approached our team to remake Nelia. A production company from Los Angeles, California also contacted us just the other day, and they are interested in Nelia for a possible distribution in the US.
Directed by Lester Dimaranan, Nelia stars beauty queen and Kapuso actress Winwyn Marquez as the titular Nurse Nelia. The film is one of the eight official entries of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival that will be screened in select theaters throughout the Philippines starting December 25.