VIVA to adapt award-winning Korean sexy thriller ‘The Housemaid’ with Kylie Verzosa

VIVA Films is gearing up for the reimagination of the award-winning South Korean film “The Housemaid,” with Kylie Verzosa on the starring role.

The production team had its virtual story conference today, October 18, headed by its director Roman Perez, Jr. (‘Sol Searching,’ ‘Adan’). Its cast members include Louise Delos Reyes, Jaclyn Jose, Alma Moreno, Jobelyn Manuel, Elia Ilano, and Albert Martinez.

“The Housemaid” focuses on a woman who becomes involved in a destructive love triangle while working as a housemaid for an upper-class family. The 2010 version starring Jeon Do-yeon is actually a remake of Kim Ki-young’s 1960 film of the same name. The former competed for the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. It also won major awards at various film festivals around the world.

VIVA has previously announced its acquisition rights for the local adaptation of Korean hits ‘Spellbound,’ ‘The Wedding Dress,’ ‘A Man and A Woman,’ ‘Sunny,’ ‘More Than Blue,’ ‘The Wedding Breaker,’ and the already-completed ‘A Hard Day,’ starring Dingdong Dantes and John Arcilla.

Despite the pandemic, VIVA Films continues to manage its production and promises to deliver quality contents through various platforms other than cinemas.

Watch out for the Philippine remake of “The Housemaid” soon.

‘Mia’ review: A fresh romcom that works

Director Veronica Velasco successfully brings out an entertaining story about love and hope in ‘Mia’ with Coleen Garcia and Edgar Allan Guzman’s undeniable chemistry.

Mia tells the tale of a self-destructive alcoholic girl, Mia, who is a doctor struggling to heal from the tragedy of her fiance’s death, and Jay, who transforms mined-out land into rainforests. They end up meeting each other unexpectedly and soon realize and learn that there is love and hope in life despite the struggles and hurt.

The on-screen chemistry of its lead actors Coleen and EA is undeniably good. Both play equally to deliver an unimaginably funny tandem. Coleen is no doubt beautiful as she deliver a good performance as an alcoholic girl. Her role is one for the books—a good transformation from being sweet to being self-destructive—you’ll hope to see more of her in future films. EA, on the other hand, adds color and entertainment to the whole film, given the fact that his character is so smart you’ll get annoyed sometimes but also laugh with every jokes he tries to crack.

This film successfully tells its unique story of hope and love. Director Veronica Velasco’s trivia-filled romantic comedy is for everyone who wants to watch a unique film that has substance and passion. There’s a lot of lessons other than mere hugot, more love over hatred, that everyone could relate to. Mia is a must-watch if you are looking for a simple film to start your year. The cinematography is good, the locations are amazing, and the soundtrack perfectly fits its overall vibe.

Mia is a recommendable feel-good film that will make you realize that there is hope in life. It is a great local film to start your 2020 with. It is inspiring enough to keep you believing in the power of love and friendship.

Produced by Insight 360 Films in partnership with Viva Films, ‘Mia’ stars Coleen Garcia, Edgar Allan Guzman, Billy Crawford, William Martinez, Sunshine Teodoro, Jeremy Domingo, Pau Benitez, and Yayo Aguila.

Louise Delos Reyes gives all the feels in ‘My Bakit List’

If you were to make a list of all your “whys” in life, what questions would make it on top? Would it be something like the “Bakit List” of this woman named Dess?  

Dugo. Pawis. Lablayp. Sexlayp. Pati tulog at pahinga binigay mo na, ikaw pa rin ang may kasalanan. Bakit?!!

Regarding her job

Regarding her relationships:  

Kinarir mo nang magpaka-nanay at tatay kahit ate ka lang, ikaw pa ang may pagkukulang. Bakit?!

Regarding her relationships

Pitong taon mo siyang minahal, pero nawala siya nang walang pasabi sa isang iglap. Bakit?!!!

Regarding her relationships

Dess, played by Louise Delos Reyes, is a relatable character in “My Bakit List”, a movie co-produced by Viva Films and BluArt Productions. At one point in your life, you may have known someone like her or you may have experienced some of what she goes through.  

In her late 20s, Dess is a breadwinner who earns a living as head writer of a drama anthology. When the pressure at work gets way too much, she quits her job.  

Getting no sympathy from her family whose only concern is how her current status would affect their lives, Dess goes all the way to Ilocos Norte with her best friend Brutus (Prince Stefan) to take a breather.  

This momentary escape from her toxic life might just be what she needs to find the answers to her questions. But when she accidentally comes face to face with her ex-boyfriend Ejay (Ivan Padilla), she refuses to listen to his explanation as to why he left her without a word. Dess is in dilemma if she should open her heart to him again. Will a second chance at love be the answer to all the “Whys” in her life or will it just create more questions in her mind? And if everything comes down to one question:“to hold on or to move on”, what will she choose?

Early this year, Louise Delos Reyes also played a woman who was in a complicated relationship in “Hanggang Kailan?”, a film by Bona Fajardo, the same director of “My Bakit List”.  

For Direk Fajardo (I Found My Heart in Santa Fe, Kahit Ayaw Mo Na, and Iliw), the story itself is the one that determines which actor/s is/are suitable to portray the lead role/s. *(“Naniniwala ako na ‘yung istorya ang pumipili ng karakter, ng aktor.) And once it’s been determined, it’s important that the preferred actors would also believe in the characters for the project to get going. (“Ang importante maniwala sila sa karakter para pumayag sila na gagawin nila ang project.”)

*Louise once revealed that she had been blinded by love towards a former boyfriend. Having that kind of experience, not to mention being a good and dedicated actress, she has fully embraced the role of Dess. Aside from believing in the character, she said that it’s also important to have complete trust in your co-actors. This is the first time for Louise to work with Ivan Padilla. Witness their chemistry as they play an ex-couple who are still not over each other.  

Ivan Padilla co-starred with Cristine Reyes in “Maria” last March and was the leading man of Alessandra de Rossi in “12” . His acting experience includes appearances in Hollywood shows such as *CSI (Crime Scene Investigation, in the NY, Miami and NBC episodes), Lucifer (Fox), Castle, ER, The Closer, Criminal Minds and Dexter (in six episodes).  

Another thing to look forward to in the movie is Louise’s rapport with Prince Stefan (Working Beks, Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend) who accompanies her in her soul searching journey. 

The movie’s official soundtrack is “Sanay Naman Ako” by singer-songwriter Jo. E.  

Viva Films and BluArt Productions invite you to include watching “My Bakit List” in your To Do List this Christmas season. It opens in cinemas on December 11, 2019.  

Anong Ganap Exclusive interview with Bona Fajardo  
Funfare – Ricky Lo, January 21, 2019
Conversations – Ricky Lo, May 5, 2019

‘Unforgettable’ review: Sarah Geronimo’s best performance to date

Perci M. Intalan and Jun Lana’s Unforgettable makes an extraordinary masterpiece through an adorable and heartwarming performance by Sarah Geronimo.

Unforgettable takes us to a wonderful journey of a special girl named Jasmine and her newfound dog, Happy. They take on a long journey to visit her diseased grandmother in Baguio in the belief that bringing the dog to her could heal her. As they walk an incredible distance, they face all kinds of challenges and run into many strangers and help them along the way. This is the film that will take you to a new journey in the discovery of love, friendship and family.

Popstar royalty and box-office queen Sarah Geronimo is no doubt the best choice for the role. Sarah’s performance makes you understand Jasmine’s condition. She shows a heartwarming portrayal especially in her bond with her Lola. It is one pure love that’s real and unconditional.

Sarah proves that she could carry a film even without a love team. Her performance here is unexpected as it’s all out with a heart. She might be a suitable contender for an award as Best Actress—truly an unforgettable performance from the one and only Sarah G.

There are many scenes that make the whole crowd laugh, smile, and cry. The story of ‘Unforgettable’ is sweet and simple yet brings a heartful of impact that matches the great performance of the cast—let alone the cameos that are all memorable. These guest appearances by several big stars in offbeat bit roles make the film a lot more entertaining to audiences.

It brings us to an unforgettable journey of what love is. There is so much to learn from the film because all the characters successfully give out its message effectively.

This masterpiece is creatively directed by Lana and Intalan, one of the most sought after tandem in the local film industry. It is more than a tear-jerking family drama that everyone deserves to see, fan or not.

‘Unforgettable’ is Sarah’s best film so far. It’s as if this is not her first time to do a dog movie! Featuring Happy (played by the popular wonder dog, Milo) makes the story complete as it adds more color to everything, including Sarah herself.

Bring your tissues with you and prepare to cry in this amazing film starring Sarah Geronimo. ‘Unforgettable’ brings out a lot of emotions as it carefully balances entertainment and lessons in life. Worthy of your time and money, this is the film suitable for the whole family and friends.

Directed by Perci M. Intalan and Jun Lana Unforgettable stars Sarah Geronimo, Gina Pareño, Ara Mina, Meg Imperial, Yayo Aguila, and Kim Molina. Rated G by the MTRCB.

Critically acclaimed Cinemalaya favorite ‘Edward’ gets nationwide release Oct 2

An overcrowded, hot and stifling hospital is no place for a teenage boy, but Edward has long been stuck in this miserable setting as he is the designated companion of his ailing father.  hat transpires in this boy’s daily life in the public hospital is a story that captured Cinemalaya Film Festival aficionados last August. This October 2, Viva Films gives all moviegoers the chance to get to know “Edward” as well — Graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board.

Directed and co-written by Young Critics Circle awardee Thop Nazareno (for 2016 Best Feature Film “Kiko Boksingero”), “Edward” stars Louise Abuel in the title role and Ella Cruz as Agnes, also a hospital patient. Cruz showcased a powerful performance, thus earning her this year’s Cinemalaya Best Supporting Actress Award.

Edward treats the hospital premises as his playground. While gallivanting with his friend Renz (played by Elijah Canlas), he sees Agnes in the Emergency Room. In her terrible state, she becomes part of the harmless but naughty game Edward and Renz play — betting on whether a patient will live or die.  

When Agnes moves to the female ward, Edward is drawn to this mysterious beauty who is a bit older than him, so he starts hanging out with her.  Unlike Renz who exposed him to random vices, such as drinking and smoking, Agnes opens his mind to her interesting views in life. Because of her, Edward’s days brighten up. But at night there’s nothing cheerful about sleeping under his father’s hospital bed. And it doesn’t seem like his father is being nursed back to health.  

 “Edward” is a coming-of-age movie which serves as a mirror image of the healthcare system and the government-funded hospitals in the Philippines. Instead of a place where the sick are supposed to feel comfortable, the movie shows how the lack of both medical staff and effective equipment actually adds burden to them and the individuals who watch over them.  

Direk Thop says in an interview that he “makes films that (he himself) would like to watch.” He injects humor in his storytelling because he “doesn’t like melodramatic films that much”  and that he “(aims) for realism, the truth”. According to him, “In reality, even when you’re sad, you don’t spend every minute sulking. Here, I try to see the humor in the character of a teenager—how does a child see the world as a playground?”

*When Louise Abuel came to audition, Direk Thop saw him in the waiting area and knew instantly that he looked perfect for the role. “I was praying during his entire audition that he’d deliver what we were looking for”, he said. True enough, the 15-year-old boy proved that he is meant to play Edward.  Louise was part of the 2011 ABS-CBN TV series 100 Days to Heaven.  

Viva artist Ella Cruz admits that she was hesitant to accept the role of Agnes because the character is *feisty, blunt, and uses cuss words, which is so different from her usual sweet roles. She expressed her gratitude to Boss Vic and Boss Vincent del Rosario for their encouragement, and to Direk Thop and Bb. Joyce Bernal for their trust in her ability to play Agnes.  

With its meaningful narrative and wonderful actors, “Edward” deserves to be seen in the cinemas. Opens on October 2, 2019.

sources of interviews: article by Vince Lamorena
Pep Alerts article by Jojo Gabinete

Anne Curtis, Marco Gumabao go intimate in Jason Paul Laxamana’s ‘Just a Stranger’

Written and directed by Jason Paul Laxamana (The Day After Valentine’s, 100 Tula Para Kay Stella), ‘Just a Stranger’ revolves around a married woman who gets into an affair with a man half her age despite her nagging conscience that one day they might pay for it.  

Mae Pimentel (Curtis) is in her mid-30s.  Though stricken with an illness called Fibromyalgia, Mae is not wanting in material things and can go on a leisure trip anywhere she wants.  Her husband Phil (Edu Manzano), a businessman, doesn’t seem to mind as he has very little time for her.    It is while vacationing in the flamboyant city of Lisbon, Portugal that this fashionable lady meets Jericho.

Jericho “Jekjek” Esguerra (Gumabao) is a 19-year-old son of a Philippine Ambassador.  He is oozing with sex appeal and charming personality, but lacking in maturity.  To help him have a sense of responsibility, his father tells him to find a job.  Jericho is not excited about working, but out of respect to his parents Rufi and Judy (Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez), he obeys their demands.  He has a girlfriend named Febbie (Jas Rodriguez), but meeting Mae makes his life more exciting.  

The trailer already gives a hint of the numerous steamy scenes between Anne and Marco, but director Laxamana points out that the film was not created to romanticize illicit affair.  This drama will delve deeper into the personal stories of the characters to show their reasons behind their actions.  It is interesting to know if despite their liaison, Mae and Jericho can stick to this principle: “Not your friend.  Not your lover.  Just a stranger.”

It is said that the idea of doing a May-December affair love story has long been considered by Anne, but it is only now that the right material came along.  The award-winning actress has shown her versatility by doing action (Buy Bust)  and mystery thriller (Aurora), but it can’t be disregarded that her career prospered while doing romantic drama movies (Baler, In Your Eyes, No Other Woman, A Secret Affair).  After the box office hit Sid & Aya, it’s great that viewers will get to see Anne going back to her roots – the romance-drama genre.

‘Just a Stranger’ opens in cinemas nationwide on August 21, 2019. From VIVA Films.

‘Ina ng Bayan’ Ai-Ai Delas Alas back with Ex Battalion in family comedy musical ‘S.O.N.S.: Sons of Nanay Sabel’

Ai-Ai Delas Alas is back on the big screen again with her extraordinary motherly love that will surely tickle and touch your heart in ‘S.O.N.S. (Sons of Nanay Sabel).’

This time, Ai-Ai plays the role of Sabel, a former Bartender who was supposed to be married to a Prince. Unfortunately, the Prince found out about Sabel leaving her 6 children at an orphanage, and decides to call off the wedding. After the wedding was called off, Sabel decided to look for her sons and reunite her family once again.

Her sons were left to the care of Sister Mary (SHEREE), who kept all the details of Sabel’s kids’ foster families and handed it to her when she finally came back as she promised.

Sabel’s sons, are played by the members of the hit rap group Ex-Batallion. Bieber (DARYL) and Justin (ARCHIE) were both adopted by a rich businessman and grew up with their Yaya Bona (JON SANTOS) who went with them when Sabel took back her two sons; Troll Montero (KING BADGER) was adopted by a barber; Baby James (JAMES) AND EZ (MARK) were both adopted by an old lady named Lola Narcisa, and they only discovered that they were brothers when Sabel took them; Bhoy (RHENN) was adopted by a couple who abuses him and never loved him, that’s why Sabel forcefully took him from his foster parents.

Sabel and her sons will experience the riot of living together for the first time, and will form the family bond that Sabel has always dreamed of. But it will soon be tested when the beautiful and flirty Helen (KYLIE VERSOZA) makes the brothers fall in love with her and fight for her. Can the bond that the brothers built at a short time overcome this challenge? Will Sabel be able to hold the family that she worked hard to bring together again?

SONS OF NANAY SABEL is written by Mel Mendoza Del Rosario, the same writer who wrote the blockbuster hits trilogy of Tanging Ina, and Ang Cute ng Ina Mo. And aside from their crazy antics, Ex Batallion also has something new for their fans, as they release their new tracks “Sama-Sama”, “Huwag Siya” and “Bagong Umaga” featuring Ai-Ai in the movie. 

It’s going to be one riot of a family with Ai-Ai Delas Alas and Ex Batallion in SONS OF NANAY SABEL.

‘S.O.N.S. (Sons of Nanay Sabel)’ opens May 1 in cinemas nationwide. Presented to you by VIVA Films.

WATCH: Nadine Lustre’s ‘Ulan’ full movie trailer

Viva Films has just released the full movie trailer for Nadine Lustre’s first-ever solo movie project, ‘Ulan.’

Watch the trailer for ‘Ulan’ below.

Mixing romance and Philippine mythology, ‘Ulan’ is written and directed by Irene Emma Villamor, who also hemmed and penned ‘Sid & Aya: Not a Love Story’ and ‘Meet Me in St. Gallen.’

‘Ulan’ also stars Carlo Aquino, Marco Gumabao, and AJ Muhlach as Nadine’s three leading men.

Produced by Viva Films, ‘Ulan’ opens across Philippine cinemas on March 13, 2019.

Philippine remake of ‘Miss Granny is a box-office hit as it grosses this much in two days

Viva Films has just announced that the Philippine adaptation of “Miss Granny,” starring Sarah Geronimo, James Reid, Xian Lim, and Ms. Nova Villa, has earned P13.8 million in its box office gross.

Miss Granny earned P7.8 million on its opening day yesterday.

The lead cast of Miss Granny, together with director Bb. Joyce Bernal and the rest of the production team, had their victory party this August 24 at the Viva-owned restaurant, Botejyu, in Robinsons Galleria.

Check out our photos from the exclusive lunch of the Miss Granny team below:

“Miss Granny” is now showing across Philippine cinemas.

Anne Curtis, Brandon Vera star in Erik Matti’s action-thriller ‘Buy Bust’

For the first time, Princess of All Media and Showbiz Glam Girl Anne Curtis will shed her Goddess-like image to tackle a role that requires her to deliver intense and gripping action scenes in VIVA Films and Reality Entertainment’s latest joint venture, “BuyBust.”

Joining Anne in the stellar cast of this Erik Matti action-thriller masterpiece earmarked for international release is Fil-Am, ONE Championship heavyweight champion Brandon Vera.

Two international companies have joined forces to ensure “BuyBust’s” international success: XYZ Films, the movie’s sales agent and Well Go USA, the movie’s official distributor in North America, which will start playing US cinemas starting on August 10.

Well Go USA, an international film distributor, is the same company responsible for the distribution of the international hit, “Train to Busan,” which features Korean Superstar, Gong Yoo. They will formally launch the movie to the public on July 19 during the 21st Annual Superhero Kung Fu Extravaganza at the San Diego Comic Con.

“BuyBust” will have its world premiere on July 15 as it has been chosen as closing film in the New York Asian Film Festival, where Anne, Brandon, Direk Erik and Dondon Monteverde are scheduled to attend.

On July 18, “BuyBust” will have its Canadian premiere in the Fantasia Festival as well as Asian premiere in the Buncheon International Fantastic Film Festival.

Aside from the film’s screening in US and Korea, the movie will also be seen and enjoyed by our kababayans in Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore soon.

In an interview, Dylan Marchetti, Well Go USA senior vice president for acquisitions and theatrical distribution, said, ”If you lose your mind for an amazing action film, the last hour of “BuyBust” is going to blow your head clean off.”

The movie will revolve around a special forces team sent to snuff out a drug den only to find themselves trapped inside it after being set-up and betrayed.

The project is a 360-degree turn as well as a very challenging one for the “It’s Showtime” mainstay as Anne spent hours and hours of rigorous training to give justice to the character of drug enforcement agent, Nina Manigan in the film.

Here, she is seen stained with blood during hand-to-hand combat with her co-stars.

In a previous interview, Anne said, “I’ve been working on this for two years already and alam kong ang dami nang naghihintay na mapanood siya dito. Ang galing din kasi, at least, masho-showcase ang quality ng Filipino film sa ibang bansa.”

But Anne gets ample support and pointers from Brandon, who, needless to say, is an expert in the mixed martial arts arena. “BuyBust” is Brandon’s big screen debut.

In addition to this, they are ably handled by award-winning Direk Erik, the brains behind such cutting-edge movies as “OTJ” and the multi-awarded Metro Manila Filmfest entries, “Honor Thy Father” and “Seklusyon.”

Meanwhile, also in the cast of “Buy Bust” are Victor Neri, Arjo Atayde, AJ Muhlach, Joross Gamboa and Noni Buencamino, among others.

Don’t miss Anne and Brandon’s own brand of combat as the action-suspense thriller. “BuyBust” opens in local cinemas on August 1, from VIVA Films and Reality Entertainment.