Nine feature-length films will compete this year at the 2nd CineFilipino Film Festival which will run from March 16 to 22, 2016 at the following venues:
- Festival Supermall
- Greenhills Theater Mall
- Gateway Cineplex
- Eastwood Mall
- Robinsons Galleria
- Robinsons Metro East
- Shangri-La Cineplex
The full-length features in competition at CineFilipino 2016 are “1st Sem” by Dexter Hemedez and Allan Ibanez, “A Lotto Like Love” by Carla Baful, “Ang Taba Ko Kasi” by Jason Paul Laxamana, “Ang Tulay Ng San Sebastian” by Alvin Yapan, “Buhay Habangbuhay” by Paolo Herras, “Ned’s Project” by Lemuel Lorca, “Sakaling Hindi Makarating” by Ice Idanan, “Star Na Si Van Damme Stallone” by Randolph Longjas, and “Straight To The Heart” by Dave Fabros.
1st SEM (Comedy, Drama)
Directed by Dexter Hemdez and Allan Ibanez
“The love-hate relationship between mother and son intensifies when the latter decides not to pursue college education in Manila after suffering from separation anxiety.”
Maru Marasigan, a sixteen-year old incoming freshman from the province, leaves his hometown to study in one of the prestigious universities in Manila. He is accompanied by his mother Precy as he goes to his dormitory. But Precy cannot help but get emotional when she is about to leave him. Maru feels sad seeing his mother cry. This escalates after Maru spent his first night at the dorm feeling alone and very lonely.Maru then decides to pack his things and go back home. Precy is very shocked to see him in their kitchen early in the morning the following day.
Down on his knees, Maru pleads to Precy to allow him to study in a nearby college for he cannot afford to live miles away from his family. But Precy rejects Maru’s request and tells him to go back to Manila instead. As Maru insists his decision and disobeys Precy, his relationship with his mother starts to fall apart.
A LOTTO LIKE LOVE (Comedy, Romance)
Directed by Carla Baful
“Two totally different strangers get entangled with each other’s fate as a single winning lotto ticket brings them together in luck and love.”
On the far side of being ambitious is Kayela, a go-getter woman whose goal in life is to be rich. She’s the kind of dreamer who has started acting rich even before being one. On the other end of the spectrum is Itot, a handsome and hard-working cab driver who just wants to provide for his disabled mother and teenage brother’s everyday needs. Their worlds had nothing to do with each other until they both cue up in the same lottery line to buy lotto tickets.
Being the people person that she is, Kayela manages to involve Itot in choosing the numbers she’d bet on. She even gets to borrow money from him upon realizing that she does not have enough money to buy a lotto ticket. Itot wants nothing in return but to get rid of this woman who’s slowing down the lotto line.
Everything changes when Itot falls in dire financial need and Kayela wins the lottery. Itot hunts Kayela and demands that she shares her prize with him, to which Kayela eventually agrees. Just when the two are about to claim the prize, 2 hold-uppers attempt to take Kayela’s bag where the winning ticket is kept. Instead of giving the bag to the thieves, Kayela throws it inside a moving bus. The hold-uppers did not pursue her bag anymore. However, it is now Kayela and Itot’s turn to chase it back.
This propels the series of their adventures and mishaps, ultimately leading them to discover their priceless worth to each other.
ANG TABA KO KASI (Comedy,Romance)
Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana
“A fat girl is torn between her hot swimming instructor, who motivates her to lose weight, and an equally fat friend, who wants her to accept her appearance.”
Kahit mahilig silang magluto at kumain, payatot ang lahat ng miyembro ng Pamilya Gigante, maliban kay Olga. Kahit ano’ng diet ang kanyang gawin, hindi siya pumapayat.
Upang magkaroon ng puspusang ehersisyo, maiisipan ni Olga na kumuha ng swimming lessons tuwing gabi. Madaragdagan ang kaniyang motivation pagkakita kung sino ang kaniyang magiging swimming instructor – isang makalaglag-panty na binatilyong nagngangalang Noah! Maiisip ni Olga, kung papayat siya, maaaring maging sila ni Noah, lalo pa’t panay ang pagpapahiwatig ng manlalangoy ng kanyang pagtingin sa kanyang matabang estudyante.
Upang lalong bumilis ang pagpapapayat, gagawin na ring regular ni Olga ang pagdiya-jogging tuwing hapon. Sa halos araw-araw niyang pagtakbo sa unibersidad, makikilala ni Olga si Benji, isang lalaking nagmamadaling bumalik sa dating matipunong anyo bago umuwi sa Pilipinas ang kanyang seksing ex-girlfriend.
Sa una, hindi kumportable si Olga sa pakikisalamuha sa isang kapwa-tabachoy. Kalaunan, magiging magkaibigan din sila ni Benji at magtuturingang weight loss buddies. Subalit darating ang panahong mapapagod si Benji sa pagpapapayat. Yayayain niya si Olga na tigilan na ang obsession sa panlabas na anyo at i-enjoy na lamang ang buhay sa pamamagitan ng pagkain nang sandamakmak at pag-aasal-batugan.
Kaninong piling mananatili si Olga? Sa lalaking tumutulak sa kanyang maging balingkinitan o sa lalaking tanggap siya – sa katunayan, mahal siya – kahit na isa siyang tabachoy?
ANG TULAY NG SAN SEBASTIAN (Horror, Thriller)
Directed by Alvin Yapan
“The dead come alive as an ambulance driver and a nurse try to keep awake recounting road ghost stories on a Good Friday, the day of Christ’s death.”
Bong and Francis, driver and nurse, are now driving back in an ambulance to their home province from Manila where they dropped off a patient. It is nearing midnight of a Good Friday. As traffic thins out along the highway, Bong finds it hard to keep himself awake. To help Bong stay alert, the two men agree to tell each other road ghost stories. Eventually, Bong recalls that it’s bad luck to tell ghost stories on a Friday. They might just come true, especially on a Good Friday when Christ is dead.
When they keep passing the same bridge of San Sebastian, Bong and Francis begin to witness their stories become real, one after another. They encounter a white lady hailing them by the roadside, a floating coffin pursuing their ambulance, and a ghostly reenactment of a massacre of passengers of a commercial bus line by armed robbers.
Bong and Francis realize that whatever is happening to them is connected to the San Sebastian bridge. They muster their courage to explore the bridge’s underbelly where they would get separated. Bong would encounter a hut owned by a mysterious young woman who knows the history of violence attached to the bridge. Francis would encounter a band of ghost rebel soldiers. After narrowly escaping death among tiyanaks, zombies, and an incarnate of the devil, Francis and Bong get reunited by the same ambulance they left parked near the bridge of San Sebastian.
Fearing that there seems to be no way out of the cycle of ghost stories, Francis and Bong decide to kill themselves by ramming the ambulance off the bridge of San Sebastian. Will they come out of this desperate act alive?
BUHAY HABANGBUHAY (Drama)
Directed by Paolo Herras
“In death, the ghost of a dutiful housewife learns to move on and discovers a new life in the afterlife.”
One ordinary day, in an ordinary kitchen, while making an ordinary meal, devoted housewife Sandy accidentally slips and kills herself.
Used to following after her husband, Joel, Sandy’s ghost dutifully waits for him to die so they can move on together in the afterlife.
While waiting, Sandy adjusts to her new ghostly life, as she playfully haunts her husband, befriends an older Anito spirit also living in her home, and discovers her ghostly abilities. She is no ordinary ghost.
Sandy can turn dark or light depending on her disposition. Sandy also learns to live with Joel’s new family: second wife Cecile, and their son, little Christopher.
But when Joel finally dies, he disappears and cannot be found. It finally dawns on Sandy that she has only waited in vain.
Sandy decides to let go and move on from her past life, and past love, and Sandy realizes that even as a ghost, even as a shadow of who she once was, even after confronting Joel when he finally shows himself to her – there’s still so much more good she can do in this world. Even if this new life begins with death, it’s truly about celebrating life – how one chooses to live for the rest of one’s life , while one still has life.
NED’S PROJECT (Drama)
Directed by Lem Lorca
“An itinerant tattoo artist joins a talent reality show for lesbians in the hopes of winning the prize money that will enable her to get artificially inseminated and achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a mother.”
Henedina “NED” De Asis is a tattoo artist whose days are either filled with playing basketball, getting her client’s tattoo’s done or visiting MAX, her much older lesbian friend who is bedridden. She has everything in control until her world starts to crumble -her long time girlfriend, GLADYS, dumped her and Max suddenly dies.
Not wanting to be alone like her friend when she grows old, Ned finally pursues the dream that she has long wanted for herself—to have a baby. Unfortunately it’s not going to be easy. What follows is a series of comic and desperate attempts for her to achieve her purpose.
All hope seems lost, until, she stumbles upon a solution. A TV station is holding a contest – a lesbian variety/TALENT show. Eyeing the grand prize of 300,000 pesos – which is enough to fund her artificial insemination procedure – she decides to join, but with one hitch -she does not have any talent. She will make this her project.
She asks the help of ASHLEY, the neighborhood’s new girl, to help her out. The two scrambles and fight to get Ned’s act ready. She wins the contest and qualifies for the grand finals. Moreover, as her dancing gets better, Ned’s friendship with Ashley turns to love.
Unfortunately, as the big day looms closer, Ned discovers that Ashley has gone back to Manila. She gets depressed and loses her chance to win at the contest. Wallowing in loneliness, Ned spirals down in despair until she gets caught in a quandary that will either make her dream of being a mother possible or lose her chance and be alone forever.
SAKALING HINDI MAKARATING (Drama)
Directed by Ice Idanan
“A series of mysterious hand-illustrated postcards take a young woman on a journey throughout the Philippines in search of its anonymous writer.”
Cielo is devastated when her boyfriend of 11 years, Mark, breaks off their engagement two months before their wedding. In anticipation of building a new life with Mark, she quit her job and now isolates herself in what could have been their new home, an old apartment in Quezon City.
When a series of anonymous, hand-illustrated postcards from all over the Philippines are delivered to Cielo, she bonds with her gregarious neighbor Paul over their vivid descriptions of travel and adventure. Just as she begins to feel revived, Mark contacts her, asking to meet. In response, Cielo is compelled to travel the Philippines, using the money that she saved up for the wedding, with the postcards as her guide. She agrees to write to Paul from every new destination, whose burgeoning romantic feelings for Cielo are left unreciprocated.
Cielo journeys from Mindanao to Luzon by land and sea. Along the way, she is enthralled by life beyond Manila and the people she encounters. Lessons are learned and friendships are made as the story of Cielo and the anonymous writer unfolds.
STAR NA SI VAN DAMME STALLONE (Comedy, Drama)
Directed by Randolph Longjas
“The life story of a kid diagnosed with Down syndrome. He dreams of being an artista; his family has to make ends (and dreams) meet.”
Based on real-life characters and events, this tale is about Nadia, a single mom in Bocaue, Bulacan, who goes through the trials and tribulations of raising Vanvan – a child with Down Syndrome. As a mother, one is expected to give one hundred percent, but when one is raising a special child, you still have to give so much more. That’s why when Vanvan wished one day to become and artista, Nadia knows she has to make ends – and dreams – meet.
Spanning more than two decades of personal accounts, this story offers vignettes of Vanvan’s life through the eyes of the people closest to him: his mother Nadia when he was a newborn and the story of how he got his unique name; his brother Tano during his childhood, when he got his first lead role and gave it up for the sake of the ‘greater good’; his uncle Jim when he reached his teenage years and began making his acting career happen; and his own perspective as an adult when he finally, in a manner of speaking, became a full-pledged TV personality.
This drama-comedy asks that soap-opera question: Sino ang totoong baliw? To which the film answers: everyone. Because all of us, in varying degrees, are prepared to do the craziest things for the ones whom we love the most.
STRAIGHT TO THE HEART (Drama, Comedy, Romance)
Directed by David Fabros
“A gay hairdresser gets into a coma and wakes up a straight guy, turning his life and relationships upside down.”
Eric, a handsome gay hairdresser, lives a generally happy life with his gay salon colleagues, and his lesbian best friend, Jeans. He just got out of an abusive relationship with a straight guy, and he is mystified why straight guys seem to get the best out of life.
One night, during a fight with his ex-lover, Eric is injured and gets into a coma. Just as his friends are about to give up on him, he wakes up – a straight man. He changes radically into an arrogant sex-obsessed macho dude, who offends his close friends, loses his job at the salon because of moral indiscretions, beats up an ex-boyfriend in public, and disrespects his lesbian best friend.
What follows is a harrowing emotional roller-coaster for Eric as his friends struggle to deal with the straight Eric. When the lines are blurred, principles are compromised, and relationship is put to the test, only true friendship saves love’s true meaning. Change, it will seem, is Always for the Better.
Directed by Rommel Tolentino
“Two distant lives run along each other, one of loss and the other of abuse – sharing a bond that transcends space, reality and time.”
In a crowded Metro station in Tokyo, Haruo mourns and is haunted by his beloved Aki.
A thousand miles away in the Philippines, Myla, a victim of domestic violence, resurrects with borrowed memories of Autumn.
Lost souls traverse pain and grief searching for a way to survive and reconnect.
Directed by Jasper Ramon Tulabot
“A guy unintentionally had sex with someone he least expected, but figures out despite their differences, they are somehow the same.”
A guy wakes up in a room after being drunk the night before. Upon realizing that he is in a room he’s not familiar with and apparently not alone, he notices someone sleeping at the same bed.
Unable to recognize that someone, he panics and tries to figure out what exactly happened. But during their unresolved conversations, he eventually found out something he didn’t expect.
DINGPA’ NING ALTI
Directed by Bor Ocampo
“Hurt people hurt people.”
Along with a few families, migratory birds find home on the grassy wetlands inside the vast Pampanga dike. Two brothers make their way to town for a bottle of petrol on a quiet afternoon.
(This short film serves as a prologue to Dayang Asu, an official full-length feature entry to the 2015 Cinema One Originals Festival.)
Directed by John Rhys “Bob” Guarina
“On his first day as a beggar, Jepoy is dropped off on the streets as his new life working under syndicates begin.”
According to an urban legend, the gesture of knocking on a car window once someone begs suggests that the passenger knows the beggar is under syndicate control hence they will not entertain the beggar. Over the years, the simple knock has become an understood gesture among drivers and beggars in the Philippines.
“Katok” plays around the idea of this certain kind of rejection and how this normalized behavior is seen through the eyes of Jepoy, a twelve year old boy on his first day on the streets. A gesture as simple as knocking can mean something more to a beggar working under the syndicates, and can ultimately lead to it’s most dreaded conclusion.
KUNG ANG ULAN AY GAWA SA TSOKOLATE
Directed by Galileo Te and Prime Cruz
“Maita spends her last moments with her daughter, Mika before undergoing a process which will tamper with her emotions and change their relationship forever.”
Maita has decided to work abroad as a migrant worker to give her daughter Mika, a better future. She spends her last moments with Mika by taking her to school for the first time. She then undergoes emotional transference, a process which alters her emotions and memories. All this happens amidst the backdrop of a dystopian Philippines, where human labor exportation has become the country’s ONLY viable industry.
Directed by Rae Red
“A girl going through puberty, sets out a strategic plan to do the one thing her mother has always forbidden her to do: cut off her own hair.”
An 11-year old girl, has had enough with all the villains in her life: her uptight mother; uncaring sister; the stringent teacher; and school nemesis, Jeff Flestado.
Deciding to take matters on to her own hands, Luna sets out a strategic plan to break everyone’s expectations of her.
Directed by Carl Adrian Chavez
“Two half sisters meet for the first time and find themselves fighting over an unusual inheritance from their father.”
“Not Applicable” exposes the effect to children who are illegitimate and who are products of broken families.
One random afternoon, days after the death of her father, Elsa meets her half sister, Anna for the first time. Over the course of their meeting, both of them realize just how different they are as people and how differently their father’s absence affected them.
Eventually, both of them get to the matter at hand: the inheritance from their “father” . Elsa can’t wait to get rid of it at first, but changes her mind when she thinks she has discovered it’s hidden value. The two fight over the table, resulting in a senseless and half-baked solution.
Directed by JP Habac
“On the day of their friend’s funeral, three old ladies argue who’s going to die next.”
Old friends-KURDING, SERA, PACITA & HERMIE-are in the sunset of their lives. When they ride the infamous Oktopus ride at a local carnival, the next thing we know: Hermie is dead.
The friends who have been left behind continue to mourn together at Kurding’s house right after the funeral. And as they ruminate on their friendship and their own loneliness over drinks, BENOK-Kurding’s grandchild – joins this “for adults only” table. Now Kurding, Sera, Pacita & Benok argue on who is going to die next.
Directed by Kenneth Mandrilla
“A story of an endless agony of two best friends who faced the unexpected ending of their relationship.”
A story about two kids, Bugoy and Mikko; they consider each other best friends. One day Bugoy accidentally pushed Mikko on the river because of a petty fight about the ownership of a mango fruit. Bugoy informed his father about Mikko’s death; his father decided to bury Mikko’s body in the playground. After a year Bugoy went back to the playground and saw a seedling of a mango. He pulled out the seedling and he kept it for he believed that the seedling was his best friend’s memory.
SAANMAN NGUNIT DITO
Directed by Cheska Salangsang
“Carol travels with her husband for the last time.”
Below the 1000 steps to the peak of Minalungao, Carol chases her husband, Pido as they cross a river. As they go on the stairway, they chattered along until they rest in a ruined hut, bringing up their dream of a child. Shortly after, their conversation turns into an argument but still they continued. Reaching the peak, Carol rests in front of a glass cross and walks into a viewpoint along with Pido, as she decides to end her journey with him.
Directed by Allison Barretto
“A seamstress turned beauty queen turned seamstress once more recounts her ascent and subsequent descent in the local beauty pageant scene.”
Lucia, a small-time seamstress from Angeles City, recounts her past as one of the country’s most promising beauty queens. As she is set to represent the country in the upcoming Ms. Universe pageant, tragedy strikes and she is left crownless, putting her under a negative spotlight in the public eye. Told through the perspective of different radio shows reporting on her exploits, the film explicates a budding star’s ascent to the top and unforeseen demise through the lens of a scrutinizing entertainment news industry.
Here’s the SCREENING SCHEDULES PER DAY from March 16 – 22: