Cinema One Originals has made a name for itself as the film festival that breaks new ground and opens eyes to new modes of cinema, new forms of narrative, and new perspectives of storytelling. On its twelfth year, Cinema One Originals celebrates this with its new tagline: Anong Tingin Mo?
The literal translation of Anong Tingin Mo is “What do you think?” and in many ways, it encapsulates how any one film can be many different things to many different people but also exemplifies the multi-layered diversity that has been the hallmark of Cinema One Originals. This year will be all about different ways of looking at the same thing.
For the first time, Cinema One Originals gave grants to three original feature documentaries. Teng Mangansakan’s “Forbidden Memory” lifts the veil on the events of September 1974 as it talks to the survivors of a gruesome mass murder that has been kept under wraps for decades. Paolo Picones and Gym Lumbera’s “Piding” traces the history of Oliver Carlos, a grieving ornithologist reeling from tragedy who comes back to his hometown. John Torres’ dreamlike, mysterious “People Power Bombshell” unearths a lost film by Celso Ad Castillo and probes its circumstances and implications.
Seven original narrative features were also given grants, three to Cinema One Originals alumni: “Lily,” about a woman who is rumored to be a half-monster, is Keith Deligero’s first foray into horror and myth. The quirky love story “Every Room Is A Planet” resumes Malay Javier’s fondness for juxtaposing science-fiction with youth culture. And Borgy Torre’s basketball crime film “Tisay” transposes his noir inflections onto a unique milieu.
Four first-time filmmakers will also make their debuts this year; Petersen Vargas’ dark high school comedy “2 Cool 2Be 4gotten,” Samantha Lee’s millennial love story “Baka Bukas,” Jose Abdel Langit’s ethnographic mystery “Malinak Ya Labi” and Jules Katanyag’s geriatric action film “Si Magdalola At Ang Mga Gago.”
This year’s festival will also screen a slew of acclaimed foreign films including some of this year’s world cinema highlights like Ashdar Fajardi’s “The Salesman,” Bruno Dumont’s “Slack Bay,” Xavier Dolan’s “It’s Only The End of the World,” Ciro Guerrera’s “Embrace of the Serpent,” Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinart’s “Swiss Army Man” and Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake,” critically-acclaimed documentaries such as Gianfranco Rossi’s “Fuocuoammare,” Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow’s “De Palma” and Pierre Film’s “Close Encounters with Vilmos Szigmond” as well as a slate of the best horror films of the year: Na Hong-Jin’s “The Wailing,” Veronica Franz & Severin Fiala’s “Goodnight Mommy,” Robert Eggers’ “The Witch” and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Creepy.”
Among the restored classics to be showcased this year are Mario O’Hara’s “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos,” Danny Zialcita’s “Nagalit Ang Buwan Sa Haba Ng Gabi,” Lino Brocka’s “Cain At Abel,” and Ishmael Bernal’s “Pagdating sa Dulo.” There will also be special screenings of Lav Diaz’s Golden Lion-winning “Ang Babaeng Humayo” and Sherad Sanchez’s found footage horror “Salvage.”
Cinema One Originals runs from November 14 to 22, 2016. Screenings will be at Trinoma, Glorietta, Gateway, Greenhills and Cinematheque.