UFC Reel Life short film competition names finalists

UFC’s first-ever Reel Life: Nagsasama-samang Sarap Short Film Competition has officially selected thirty (30) finalists from the vast field of submitted entries. 

Launched as part of UFC’s 50th anniversary celebration, the competition seeks to provide a platform for gifted Filipino artists to showcase their filmmaking potentials and tell their stories. 

The Filipino creative spirit was on full display by the entrants for this contest, making it incredibly difficult to narrow down the entries to only 30 finalists. 

The finalists are as follows: “Almusal” by John Renz Cahilig, “Anana” by Quentin Tolentino, “Ang Pagsibol” by Ramil Lantican, “Asam-asam” by Michael Angelo Hernandez Valencia, “Bato-Bato Pik” by Alejandro “Bong” Ramos, “Budjoy” by Marco Paolo Castro, “Byahe Natin” by Rusty Palacio Guarin, “Cancelled” by Crismel Gida, “Crush” and “New Normal” by Niokz Arcega, “Gift Box” by John Kenneth Paclibar, “How’s My Driving?” by Ken Leviste, “Ina’Ko” by Michael John Tuclaud, “Kambal” by Yves Publico, “Ma,” by Dexter De Jesus, “Mabote Na Lang” by John Verlin Santos, “Magpadayon” by Jose Carlo Gloria, “Module Legends: Papa Sir” by Renel Ian Gacayan, and “Modules (Info Sheet)” by Marienel Calma. 

Completing the list are: “Panahon” by Lawrence Lagdameo, “Pasko sa Pandemya” by Armilane Jarin, “Prank” by James Edward Golla, “Project Blessy” by Norman Mark Boquiren, “Reges (The River)” by Jamal Baulo, “Rico” by Ronald John Mendenilla-Teodosio, “Spaghetti ni Mamu” by Raymark Estael, “Stick” by FJ Cancino, “Tatalon” by Don Ralph Diaz, “Uli” by Lexter Taganas, and “Unexpected” by Ron Garcia.

In partnership with CinemaBravo and Mobile Filmmakers Philippines, all entries incorporated one of the following UFC products as an organic part of the narrative: UFC Tamis Anghang Banana Catsup, UFC Sweet Chili Sauce, UFC Tomato Sauce, UFC Gravy, UFC Hot and Spicy Banana Catsup, UFC Hot Sauce, UFC Spaghetti Sauce, UFC Ready Recipes, and UFC Fresh Selections. The entries came in a variety of genres and mediums, proving yet again that there is an enormous reserve of local talents out there waiting to be tapped. 

The 30 listed finalists have automatically won a gift pack from UFC. All are eligible to win the following prizes: 1st Prize (P100,000); 2nd Prize (P50,000); 3rd Prize (P20,000); Best Actor (P5,000); Best Actress (P5,000); Best Cinematography (P5,000); Best Screenplay (P5,000); Best Editing (P5,000); Best Director (P15,000); and People’s Choice Award (P15,000). 

Members of the public are encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice Award by watching their favorite short film online on YouTube. 

A panel of judges will choose winners from the finalists through a deliberation. Results will be announced on December 14.

Vice Ganda to launch own digital network

He already conquered Television, the Movies and even the world of Cosmetics. Now, he’s ready to conquer the universe and be on the same level as Oprah Winfrey as one of the country’s funniest comedians, Vice Ganda opens his own network!

Be the first to have an exclusive access of anything and everything Vice Ganda in the new and fabulous VICE GANDA NETWORK!

Just visit the official VICE GANDA NETWORK website, www.viceganda.com.ph and be the first to catch the good vibes that Vice Ganda sends out everyday. Know the latest Vice News, get some Vice Beauty tips, get a chance to win some Vice giveaways, join the fun Vice Games and get to watch the latest Vice videos. All of these, first and exclusive on VICE GANDA NETWORK.

One of the most exciting things to hit VICE GANDA NETWORK is the latest hit online show GABING GABI NA VICE! And starting July 24, you get to watch it first and exclusive on VICE GANDA NETWORK. Now, you have a new late night gimmick every Friday and you get a VIP treatment, as you are with the one and only Vice Ganda.

You get front row seat of the laugh trip that Vice Ganda brings every week with his guests who are all still fun and games even if it’s already late at night. Vice Ganda has sexy guests, hot guests, and wacky guests. You name it, Gabing Gabi na Vice surely has something for everybody.

Vice Ganda has millions of followers on his Social Network accounts, that’s why he is surely to bring laughter and happiness to more millions of people through VICE GANDA NETWORK. So if you want nothing but laughter and good vibes, just log on to www.viceganda.com.ph.

VIVA not harassing Nadine Lustre — statement

31 January 2020
Statement to the Press:


This is to address the press statements of Atty. Lorna Kapunan involving Nadine Lustre and her Exclusive Agency and Management Agreement with VIVA Artists Agency, Inc. (“VIVA”).

At the outset, we share Atty. Kapunan’s position that the court of law is the proper forum to discuss the validity of Nadine’s Agreement with VIVA, not through innuendos and press statements. Nevertheless, we deem it necessary to clarify the statements of Atty. Kapunan, which aim to discredit and malign the reputation and good will of VIVA.

This is not a David versus Goliath scenario as portrayed by Atty. Kapunan. Neither is this a situation where artists are taken advantage of by a talent management company. Rather, this matter is about respect – respect for the law, respect for contractual commitments, and good faith in professional relationships.

The Agreement that Nadine entered into with VIVA is valid and subsisting. Under this Agreement, VIVA acts as the sole and exclusive agent and manager of Nadine to develop, advance, and promote her as a performing artist. At the time Nadine executed her first Agreement with VIVA in 2009, she was assisted by her parents. Thereafter, Nadine executed subsequent contracts with VIVA to extend their Exclusive Agency and Management Agreement until June 2029. All the elements of a valid contract are present in Nadine’s Agreement, namely: consent of the parties; object certain, which is the subject matter of the contract; and cause of the obligation which is established.

Atty. Kapunan claims that Nadine’s Agreement with VIVA is a simple contract of agency that may be revoked by Nadine at any time. This is false.

The Agreement between Nadine and VIVA created reciprocal obligations between the parties. VIVA, as Nadine’s exclusive agent and manager was obligated to develop, nurture, and promote Nadine’s career as a performing artist. This required VIVA to invest their time, resources, and good will to hone Nadine’s talent and build her reputation. This included investing in workshops, training her talents, pairing her with an equally popular actor in a love team, producing movies and preparing her for roles that will showcase her skills as an actress, among others. As a result of VIVA’s efforts, Nadine is one of the most sought-after actresses in her generation.

On the other hand, Nadine as VIVA’s exclusive talent is obligated to abide by the terms of her Agreement. This requires Nadine to appear in tapings, shows, and events; to

perform roles in movies which she agreed to do; to coordinate with VIVA on projects and endorsements that would advance her career; among others.

Thus, the Agreement between Nadine and VIVA is for the mutual benefit of both parties. Nadine benefitted as VIVA built and established her career in showbusiness appearing in countless shows, events, and movies, while VIVA received compensation to recover their investments in Nadine and earn a profit. The Supreme Court, in the recent case of International Exchange Bank v. Spouses Briones said that “when an agency is established for both the principal and the agent [meaning it is for their mutual benefit], an agency coupled with an interest is created and the principal cannot revoke the agency at will” (G.R. No. 205657, March 29, 2017). Accordingly, Atty. Kapunan’s theory that Nadine’s contract is a simple agency is mistaken.

The applicable Civil Code provision is Article 1927 which states that an agency cannot be revoked by the principal if a bilateral contract depends upon it. Nadine cannot simply turn her back on her contractual commitments after she received benefits as a VIVA talent.

In performing their functions, VIVA acted in good faith and with Nadine’s welfare and best interest in mind. Thus, Atty. Kapunan’s claim that Nadine’s Agreement with VIVA is unconscionable and oppressive is unfounded. On the contrary, as discussed above, Nadine’s Agreement with VIVA is mutually beneficial. Similar to other VIVA artists and talents, Nadine built and established her career through VIVA. To be fair to VIVA, the termination of Nadine’s Agreement should be mutually agreed upon. Otherwise, they should go to court to litigate this matter.

We likewise take exception to Atty. Kapunan’s claim that VIVA has taken advantage of young artists for the longest time. This accusation is malicious and unjustified.

VIVA established its business on trust and fairness. The talents developed by VIVA that turned into stars in the industry are countless. VIVA’s roster of artists, past and present, is a testament to its reputation in the industry and it will not allow its goodwill to be tarnished by conjectures and motherhood statements not supported by facts.

We likewise clarify Atty. Kapunan’s statement that we, as VIVA’s counsel, did not respond to her letters regarding Nadine. Atty. Kapunan alleges that we “waited in ambush to malign Nadine and harass third parties”. These statements are false and misleading.

The truth is that we responded to Atty. Kapunan’s letter. We have the letter bearing the stamp of Atty. Kapunan’s law office showing that they received it on 21 October 2019. In fact, Atty. Kapunan replied to our letter on 04 November 2019, thus belying her claim that we ignored her communications.

Furthermore, it must be noted that after Atty. Kapunan’s letters to VIVA, Nadine signed several contracts with VIVA inconsistent with Atty. Kapunan’s claim that Nadine has revoked her Agreement. Nadine performed these contracts and this shows her intention to honor her obligations under her Agreement with VIVA. However, it appears that Nadine is being induced to violate her contractual commitments – an act definitive of tortious interference, which Atty. Kapunan falsely accuses VIVA of committing.

We must likewise clarify a certain claim that third parties are not affected by the Agreement between Nadine and VIVA as the same is supposedly a personal contract or an “in personam contract”. This is inaccurate.

Under the law, third parties directly dealing with Nadine may be found liable for tortious interference. The fact that these third parties are not privy to Nadine and VIVA’s Agreement does not preclude a cause of action against them. If these third parties directly transact with Nadine knowing that she is an exclusive talent of VIVA, they are dealing in bad faith and that is an actionable wrong. Furthermore, if a third party enters into a contract directly with Nadine, notwithstanding the subsistence and validity of her Agreement, this contract is deemed null and void under the law.

At bottom, VIVA is not harassing or maligning Nadine as claimed by her lawyer. Neither is VIVA interfering with third parties in directly dealing with Nadine. Rather, VIVA is merely seeking to enforce its rights under the law and under the Agreement that Nadine knowingly entered into and benefited from.

Nadine Lustre, from Multimedia Princess to FAMAS Best Actress

Nadine Lustre, dubbed the Multimedia Princess for her success in movies, TV, music, and online, has just cemented her status as the best actress of her generation with her recent victory at the 2019 FAMAS Awards where she bagged the trophy for Outstanding Performances by an Actress in a Leading Role for her acclaimed blockbuster movie, ‘Never Not Love You.’

This is Nadine’s first film acting nomination and award from a major organization. Even more noetworthy is the fact that she won over a formidable group of nominees with mant award-winning A-list veterans including Judy Ann Santos, Angelica Panganiban, and Viva queens Anne Curtis and Sarah Geronimo.

“It’s so overwhelming,” Nadine says. “Nakaka-proud and humble at the same time to be given this honor by the FAMAS na institusyon na sa film industry.”

This new carrer milestone comes just 5 years after Nadine made her big breakthrough in showbiz via the movie ‘Diary ng Panget,’ which was shown in April 2014. That teen-oriented blockbuster instantly made her a household name and established her as a new princess of kilig.

Her acting skills got honed with subsequent movies and TV shows that saw her tackling more complex roles. Praises for her performances kept pouring in from ordinary viewers and critics alike, notably for her top-rating teleserye ‘On the Wings of Love’ where she played a simple Pinay girl who is forced to marry in order to legally stay in the US.

Still, many were surprised by the level of excellence she displayed in ‘Never Not Love You.’ But it’s less of a mystery now where Nadine drew her emotions from. In her acceptance speech at the FAMAS, she revealed that she was damaged in her personal life just a few months before she made the movie.

“October 2017 po kasi, merong isang malaking bagyo na dumaan sa buhay ko, and sobrang malaking damage po yung ginawa nito sa akin. Ilang beses ko rin pong gustong umatras. Pero iyong reason po kasi talaga kung bakit sobrang proud and sobrang unforgettable po nitong pelikulang ito para sa akin is kahit po nandoon po ako sa lowest point ko, naitawid ko po yung pelikula with flying colors.”

Her FAMAS trophy is further proof that ‘Never Not Love You’ was not a fluke as Nadine received even more raves for her follow-up movie, ‘Ulan.’ In fact, several showbiz watchers have said that she’s a shoo-in for more Best Actress nominations in next year’s awards race.

Nadine will showcase more acting fireworks, as well as her dancing skills, in her next film, the musical-drama ‘Indak’ which is scheduled to hit the big screen later this year. She is also set to return to television in a new show in ABS-CBN where she just renewed her exclusive contract for another year.

Hello Kitty to have movie adaptation for the first time

BURBANK, CA – March 5, 2019 – New Line Cinema, Sanrio and FlynnPictureCo. announced today that they will be teaming up to develop an English language Hello Kitty film for a worldwide audience for the first time in her 45-year history.

The partnership marks the only time Sanrio has granted film rights to Hello Kitty and other popular characters—including Gudetama, My Melody, Little Twin Stars and more from its expansive universe—to a major film studio, giving audiences outside of Japan the opportunity to experience Hello Kitty as a feature film. Hello Kitty’s debut under the partnership will be produced by Beau Flynn and executive produced by Wendy Jacobson for FlynnPictureCo. in the culmination of a passionate, nearly five-year journey to secure the rights to develop Hello Kitty for the global big screen. A search for writers and creative talent will commence immediately.

Hello Kitty has been delighting fans around the world for more than four decades. Initially designed in 1974 and introduced on a coin purse a year later, Hello Kitty has since exploded into a global phenomenon, becoming one of the most recognized characters in the world. She can be found in 130 countries on more than 50,000 different branded products each year. She has captured the imagination of people of all ages and her heartfelt message of friendship has endeared her to generations of fans.

Sanrio founder, President and CEO Shintaro Tsuji said, “I am extremely pleased that Hello Kitty and other popular Sanrio characters will be making their Hollywood debut. Hello Kitty has long been a symbol of friendship and we hope this film will only serve to grow that circle of friendship around the world.”

Richard Brener, President and Chief Creative Officer, and Carolyn Blackwood, President and Chief Content Officer, New Line Cinema, said in a joint statement, “We are thrilled to partner with Sanrio and FlynnPictureCo. on developing a film based on this treasured icon. It’s a rare privilege to have the opportunity to explore the possibilities of such timeless IP. Hello Kitty and her friends have been part of our shared culture for decades, and we look forward to exploring where her newest adventure will take her.”

Beau Flynn, CEO, FlynnPictureCo., added, “Hello Kitty has been one of the most beloved characters around the world for the last forty-plus years. We’re incredibly honored that President Tsuji has entrusted us with the responsibility of bringing her story to the big screen globally for the first time ever, and it’s a dream that we get to do this with our long-term partners at New Line and Warner Bros. With the positive and family-oriented values that Hello Kitty and Sanrio embody, there has never been a better time than now to share her message with the world!


Beau Flynn’s FlynnPictureCo. (FPC) specializes in high-concept, tentpole studio films designed for the worldwide audience. FPC is currently under a three-year overhead deal with New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. (WB), where the banner has had a deal for over 12 years. The production company has done more than $3.2 billion and counting at the global box office. FPC most recently wrapped Disney’s Jungle Cruise, with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, which will debut worldwide July 2020. In 2018, FPC had two blockbuster releases starring Johnson, which grossed more than $725 million combined worldwide: New Line/WB’s Rampage as well as Legendary/Universal’s Skyscraper. FPC starts shooting Red Notice with writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber, also starring Johnson with Gal Gadot, in October of this year. Past releases also include San Andreas, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Journey to the Center of the Earth. 


Building on more than 50 years of innovation and creativity, New Line Cinema continues its long and successful history of producing critically acclaimed hit films that resonate with both mainstream and niche audiences around the world. A unit of Warner Bros. Entertainment since 2008, New Line maintains separate development, production and business affairs operations in coordination with Warner Bros. to maximize film performance and operating efficiencies.

New Line produced the Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit Trilogy, each of which generated close to $3 billion in global receipts. Other New Line films include such popular and acclaimed hits as IT and the upcoming It Chapter Two; Creed & Creed II; The Conjuring 1 & 2, along with The Nun and Annabelle blockbusters; Rampage; San Andreas; Horrible Bosses; Sex and the City; Hairspray; The Notebook; Elf; The Wedding Singer; Seven; Dumb and Dumber; The Mask; and such popular franchises as Final Destination, Rush Hour and Austin Powers, as well as the iconic A Nightmare on Elm Street films.


Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for the pop icon Hello Kitty. Home to many endearing characters including Gudetama, Chococat, My Melody, Bad Badtz-Maru and Kerokerokeroppi, Sanrio was founded on the “small gift, big smile” philosophy – that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique products and experiences offered by the company. Today, more than 50,000 Hello Kitty-branded items are available in 130 countries. In addition, Sanrio is operating two theme parks in Japan—Sanrio Puroland and Harmonyland—and also licensing Sanrio characters for theme parks overseas including in China.

‘Mary Poppins Returns’ vies for Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards

Walt Disney Pictures’ heartwarming musical Mary Poppins Returns has solidified its status as a strong awards contender as the Rob Marshall film has collected major nominations at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

At the Globes, Mary Poppins Returns is nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Emily Blunt), Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and Best Original Score – Motion Picture (Marc Shaiman).

“I delighted in playing every aspect of this extraordinary and iconic character,” Blunt said in a statement after learning of her Golden Globes nomination. “The entire experience working on it was spellbinding and that’s largely to do with the incomparable Rob Marshall who took on this project with great love, depth and courage in his heart. I’m thrilled for Lin and for the recognition for our beautiful score as well as the film as a whole. Thank you again.”

“Woke up to my phone leaping off the bedside table,” Miranda tweeted after learning the good news. “Grateful for the nom, grateful to the @goldenglobes, grateful to all of you #GoldenGlobes.”

Blunt has likewise earned a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role at the SAG Awards.

The American Film Institute (AFI) has also selected Mary Poppins Returns as its 2018 Movie of the Year.

Check out the film’s trailer below and watch Mary Poppins Returns in Philippine cinemas Tuesday, January 8.

About Mary Poppins Returns

In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all new original musical, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.

“Mary Poppins Returns” is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the MaryPoppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are John DeLuca, p.g.a., Rob Marshall, p.g.a. and Marc Platt, p.g.a. with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer. The music score is by Marc Shaiman and the film features all new original songs with music by Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman.

The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and introducing Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.

ABS-CBN Films, T-REX Entertainment ink co-production agreement

Film production company T-REX Entertainment inked an exclusive partnership with ABS-CBN Films earlier today, October 23.

Headlining the contract signing were T-REX Entertainment president Rex A. Tiri and ABS-CBN Films managing director Olivia M. Lamasan.

Also present for T-REX Entertainment were its vice president Sonny Fortuna, sales and operations manager Rico Gonzales, and creative head Petersen Vargas. Representing the side of ABS-CBN Films were its chief finance officer Beverly S. Fernandez and over-all head of production Marizel Samson-Martinez.

(L-R) Marizel Samson-Martinez, Rex A. Tiri, Olivia M. Lamasan, Sonny Fortuna, Beverly S. Fernandez, Rico Gonzales, Petersen Vargas.

Weeks ago, T-REX Entertainment and ABS-CBN Films have revealed through separate story conferences the first two films they are producing together.

The two films are the horror film ‘The Mirror,’ under the helm of Kenneth Dagatan, starring McCoy De Leon, Heaven Peralejo, and Yves Flores to be released under Star Cinema; and the romantic drama ‘Open’ by Andoy Ranay, starring Arci Muñoz and JC Santos.

Here is the synopsis of the ‘The Mirror’:

A teenage girl is forced to deal with grave consequences after a mysterious mirror grants her deepest and darkest desire – to see her dead twin sister come back to life.

October 3, 2018 — ‘The Mirror’ Story Conference. (L-R) T-REX Entertainment President Rex A. Tiri, lead stars McCoy De Leon, Heaven Peralejo, Yves Flores, and director Kenneth Dagatan (wearing cap).

Here is the synopsis of ‘Open’:

A couple who are each other’s first and only romantic partner decide to open their relationship a few weeks before their wedding, hoping to strengthen their commitment with each other once they get married.

September 17, 2018 — ‘The Mirror’ Story Conference. (L-R) Alexa Ilacad, Arci Muñoz, JC Santos, Vance Larena, and director Andoy Ranay (center).

T-REX Entertainment has expressed its excitement to be working with more stars from the Kapamilya network for their future endeavors as they present fresh concepts and feasible productions.

‘The Mirror’ and ‘Open’ are both slated to be released in the first quarter of 2019.

T-REX Entertainment has long since produced quality movies such as last year’s blockbuster hits ‘Patay Na Si Hesus’ (Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino) and ‘Deadma Walking’ (Metro Manila Film Festival), and the recent PPP entry ‘Bakwit Boys.’ Its latest offering is the horror thriller ‘Class of 2018,’ starring Nash Aguas and Sharlene San Pedro, which will open on November 7.

Chito S. Roño’s ‘Signal Rock’ is PH’s Foreign Language Film entry to Oscars 2019

Chito S. Roño’s ‘Signal Rock’ has been selected by the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) as the Philippine entry to the Foreign Language Film category of the 2019 Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars.

This was confirmed by the production team of CSR Films PH and its distributor Regal Entertainment on Wednesday, September 26.

‘Signal Rock’ premiered at the recent Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino where it earned the Critic’s Choice and Special Jury Awards. It also got four international film festival invitations.

The story revolves around Intoy (Christian Bables), who lives in an impoverished fishing island, taking care of his parents, while waiting for his sister Vicky, an overseas Filipino worker, send them money. Just like many women in the island, Vicky has flown to a foreign land, and married a foreigner, as a practical way to help their families back in the Philippines. Since Intoy lives in a remote area, getting in touch with Vicky through a mobile phone is a constant struggle. The only way to get through a call to Vicky is to get a good signal by scrambling on the strange rock formations on the island.

But the better life they hope for goes down the drain when Vicky, together with her daughter, flees her husband, who turns out to be abusive. This leaves Intoy, poor but with a gift of gab, to be resourceful and come up with a master plan to help his sister and his niece from their adversity. Intoy steps up to become the hope of the family to protect its members get them safely.

‘Signal Rock’ stars Christian Bables, Elora Españo, Mara Lopez, Francis Magundayao, and the veterans actors Daria Ramirez, Arnold Reyes, Nanding Josef, Archie Adamos, Sue Prado, JayR Versales, Keana Reeves, Julia Chua, Kokoy De Santos, Jomari Angeles, Ruby Ruiz, Mon Confiado, Ces Quesada, Lee O’Brian, Dido Dela Paz and many more.

READ MORE: ‘Signal Rock’: First collab of master director Chito Roño, Best Supporting actor Christian Bables

The 91st Academy Awards will be held in California in March 2019.

FDCP sends off six Filipino films to New York Asian Film Festival

In celebration of the lineup of six (6) Filipino genre films to be featured in this year’s New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), the Film Development Council of the Philippines held a Send-Off Press Conference for Filipino delegates last July 10, 2018 at Cocoon Hotel, Quezon City.

BuyBust directed by Erik Matti, Neomanila directed by Mikhail Red, On the Job directed by Erik Matti, Respeto directed by Treb Monteras, Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story) directed by Irene Villamor, and We Will Not Die Tonight by director Richard Somes were all represented during the Send-Off Press Con. Over the years, the finest cinematic works from the Philippines have been engaged and featured in NYAFF to connect with the Western audience to introduce our stories and visual works.

“With these incredible genre films that we have from our country, the Philippines could really be a hub of genre filmmaking. We are very proud that through NYAFF, they have found a platform so they may be accessed by North American audience, including our Filipino diaspora. FDCP has assisted our delegates through our International Film Festival Assistance Program (IFFAP) and we look forward to them connecting with international counterparts for future projects and collaborations. We wish them the best of luck,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

IFFAP was granted to Filipino delegates, including Gawad Urian Best Actor, Abra of Respeto, producer Dondon Monteverde and directors Treb Monteras and Erik Matti. Director Richard Somes was also present at the opening of the Festival for the world premiere of his film, “We Will Not Die Tonight.” The same film was also announced as one of the official entries for this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

The 17th New York Asian Film Festival in New York City, USA runs until July 15, 2018.

• BuyBust (World Premiere)

Year released: 2018
Director: Erik Matti
Starring: Anne Curtis, Brandon Vera


“Rookie police officer Nina Manigan (Anne Curtis) joins an anti-narcotic elite squad, whose mission is to conduct a buy-bust operation in the slums of Manila.”

• Neomanila (New York Premiere)

Year Released: 2017
Director: Mikhail Red
Starring: Eula Valdes, Timothy Castillo, Rocky Salumbides, Jess Mendoza
Accolades Received:

Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Cinematography (Mycko David)
Winner of QCinema International Film Festival 2017 Audience Choice Award – Circle Competition (Mikhail Red)
Winner of QCinema International Film Festival 2017 Pylon Award – Best Artistic Achievement (Mycko David)
Winner of The Eddys Awards 2018 – Best Director


“Toto, a teenage orphan, is recruited by a notorious death squad. Irma, the groups leader, soon becomes a maternal figure to the young boy. As the two form a familial bond, their loyalties will be put to the test when one of their targets turns out to be a familiar face.”

• On the Job

Year Released: 2013
Director: Erik Matti
Starring: Piolo Pascual, Gerald Anderson, Joel Torre, Joey Marquez, Michael de Mesa, Leo Martinez, Angel Aquino, Shaina Magdayao, Vivian Velez
Accolades Received:

Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Picture
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Director (Erik Matti)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Screenplay (Erik Matti, Michiko Yamamoto)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Editing (Jay Halili)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Story (Michiko Yamamoto, Erik Matti)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2014 – Best Sound (Corinne De San Jose)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2014 – Best Actor (Joel Torre)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2014 – Best Sound (Corinne De San Jose)
Winner of Golden Screen Awards, Philippines 2014 – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Drama) (Joel Torre)
Winner of Golden Screen Awards, Philippines 2014 – Best Original Story (Erik Matti)
Winner of Golden Screen Awards, Philippines 2014 – Best Visual/Special Effects (Dave Yu, Miguel Javier)
Winner of Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2013 – Best Actor (Joel Torre)
Winner of Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2013 – Jury’s Choice Award (Feature Film) (Erik Matti)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie of the Year
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Director of the Year (Erik Matti)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Cinematographer of the Year (Dix Buhay)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Editor of the Year (Jay Halili)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Sound Engineer of the Year (Corinne De San Jose)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Screenwriter of the Year (Erik Matti, Michiko Yamamoto)
Winner of Star Awards for Movies 2014 – Movie Supporting Actor of the Year (Joey Marquez)

Synopsis: “On the Job is a Filipino crime thriller inspired by a real-life scandal in which prison inmates are temporarily released from prison to work as contract killers on behalf of politicians and high ranking military officials.”

• Respeto (North American Premiere)

Year Released: 2017
Director: Treb Monteras II
Starring: Abra (Raymond Abracosa), Loonie (Marlon Peroramas), Dido de la Paz, Chai Fonacier
Accolades Received:

Winner of FAMAS Awards 2018 – Grand Jury Prize, Best Picture (Treb Monteras II)
Winner of FAMAS Awards 2018 – Best Musical Score (Jay Durias)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Actor (Abra)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Supporting Actor (Dido de la Paz)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Editing (Lawrence Ang)
Winner of Gawad Urian Awards 2018 – Best Sound (Corrine De San Jose)
Winner of Cyprus Film Days International Festival 2018 – Glocal Images, Audience Award (Treb Monteras II) (Feature Film), (Arkeofilms) (Production)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Audience Award, Main Competition (Treb Monteras II)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Film (Treb Monteras II)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Sound (Corrine De San Jose)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Editing (Lawrence Ang)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Cinematography (Ike Avellana) (Tied with TM Malones for ‘Baconaua’)
Winner of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017 – Balanghai Trophy, Best Supporting Actor (Dido de la Paz)
Winner at The Eddys Awards 2018 – Best Film , Best Supporting Actor (Dido de La Paz), Best Supporting Actress (Chai Fonacier),Best Musical Score, Best Sound Design, Best Original Themesong

Premise: “A poor aspiring rapper befriends an older poet after vandalizing his bookstore.”

• Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story) (New York Premiere)

Year Released: 2018
Director: Irene Villamor
Starring: Anne Curtis, Dingdong Dantes

Premise: “Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story) follows Sid who suffers from insomnia and meets Aya who he hires to accompany him in his sleepless nights.”

• We Will Not Die Tonight (World Premiere)

Year Released: 2018
Director: Richard Somes
Starring: Erich Gonzales, Alex Medina, Thou Reyes, Nico Dans, Max Eigenmann, Paolo Paraiso

Synopsis: “Kray (Erich Gonzales) is a stuntwoman, an aspiring actress, and all-around racketeer who can’t seem to get a break. A botched deal gone into a total haywire will challenge her principles and her skillset.

GUIDE: Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2018

Here are the eight official entries to the 2nd edition of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, as announced by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). These films will be screened in all cinemas in the Philippines from August 15 to 21.

  1. ANG BABAENG ALLERGIC SA WI-FI by Jun Robles Lana for The IdeaFirst Company. A romantic comedy, starring Sue Ramirez, Jameson Blake, Markus Patterson, Kiko Matos, Yayo Aguila.
  2. BAKWIT BOYS by Jason Paul Laxamana for T-Rex Entertainment. A romantic musical, starring Vance Larena, Devon Seron, Nikko Natividad, Ryle Santiago, Mackie Empuerto, Kiray Celis.
  3. MADILIM ANG GABI by Adolfo Alix, Jr. for Deux Lux Mea Films. A drama, starring Gina Alajar, Phillip Salvador, Bembol Roco, Felix Roco.
  4. PINAY BEAUTY by Jay Abello for Quantum Films and Epic Media. A barkada road trip movie, starring Chai Fonacier and Edgar Allan Guzman.
  5. SIGNAL ROCK by Chito S. Roño for Cape Signal Rock (CSR) Films PH, starring Christian Bables.
  6. THE DAY AFTER VALENTINE’S by Jason Paul Laxamana for Viva Films. A romantic drama, starring Bela Padilla and JC Santos.
  7. UNLI-LIFE by Miko Livelo for Regal Entertainment. A comedy adventure, starring Vhong Navarro, Winwyn Marquez, Joey Marquez.
  8. WE WILL NOT DIE TONIGHT by Richard V. Somes for Strawdogs Studio Productions. An action drama, starring Erich Gonzales, with Alex Medina, Maxine Eigenmann, Paolo Paraiso.