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 (Click the link to view the trailer):
FORBIDDEN MEMORY by Teng Mangansakan’s
Forbidden Memory summons remembrances and memories of the fateful days in September 1974 when about 1,500 men from Malisbong and neighboring villages in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat were killed while 3,000 women and children were forcibly taken to naval boats stationed nearby where they encountered enspeakable horror. For 40 years, the survivors lived in relative silence. Now they tell their stories.
PIDING by Paolo Picones and Gym Lumbera
Starring Spanky Manikan, Matthew Zaldarriaga
Once upon a time, you were born. In the Philippines, there was no science education when you were a child. They began to offer it in your adulthood, you leapt at the chance and studied harder than everyone else. You learned of kingdoms and species and genes and atoms. Science helped you to see the bigger world beyond. You studied so well, an American university paid you to keep studying with them, so you left. You gained mastery over the evolution of birds there, but you missed home the whole time. You lost your first wide and son to science. So with degree in hand, you went back to your people. You found that they had burned their forests, and had exploded their seas. So you gave a new bird to your people; because, now you knew how to use it to save them. This was the piding. And the rest is the story of Oliver Carlos.
PEOPLE POWER BOMBSHELL: THE DIARY OF VIETNAM ROSE by Jon Torres
Starring Liz Alindogan-Kho, Anna Luna, Elora Espano, Kim Perez
A mystery dreamlike portrait of a movie star’s harrowing ordeal in the making of a film. This is about Liz Alindogan, then 19-year old naive newbie star, and director Celso Ad Castillo dubbed as Philippine cinema’s messiah. It is structured as a mystery film, making viewers question whether to believe the account of Liz Alindogan.
Seven original narrative features were also given grants, three to Cinema One Originals alumni (Click the title to view the trailer):
1. LILY (Directed by Keith Deligero, Screenplay by Pam Miras, Timmy Harn, Keith Deligero)
Starring Shaina Magdayao, Rocky Salumbides, Natileigh Sitoy
Stories abound in Cebu about a woman rumored to be a murderous monster, but the myth is a mother seeking justice…. Go home, Lily is coming.
2. EVERY ROOM IS A PLANET (Written and Directed by Malay Javier)
Starring Rap Fernandez, Valeen Montenegro, Antoinette Taus
A quirky love affair between a mentally unstable girl who thinks her husband is abducted by aliens and her husband’s brother whose romance for her remains a sci-fi impossibility.
3. BAKA BUKAS (Written and Directed by Samantha Lee)
Starring Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Louise delos Reyes, Kate Alejandrino
Alex, is a twenty-something year old creative based in Manila. She is out to most people except her best friend – Jess who she has been secretly in love with since they were kids. When Jess discovers the truth about Alex, they are forced to confront their feelings they have for each other.
4. SI MAGDALOLA AT ANG MGA GAGO (Written and Directed by Jules Katanyag)
Starring peewee O’Hara, Rhen Escano, Gio Gahol, Josh Bulot
Drug-dealing and sex-staved goons mistakenly disturb the peaceful lives of a frail witch and her nubile grandchild in a remote town in the mountains.
5. MALINAK YA LABI (Written and Directed by Jose Abdel Langit)
Starring Angeline Quinto, Allen Dizon, Richard Quan, Menggie Cobarrubias, Luz Fernandez, Racquel Villavicencio
It is a custom in some towns in Pangasinan to offer a life of an animal when constructing buildings, but one day during the town’s fiesta, they discover the body of a young boy that leads to a chain of story and a chain of deaths.
6. 2 COOL 2 BE 4GOTTEN (Directed by Petersen Vargas, Written by Jason Paul Laxamana)
Starring Khalil Ramos, Jameson Blake, Ethan Salvador, Ana Capri
Felix is a friendless achiever in high school whose life changes after the arrival of the half-American brothers, entangling him in their dark ambitions.
7. TISAY (Written and Directed by Borgy Torre)
Starring JC de Vera, Nathalie Hart, Joel Torre
In the world of semi-pro basketball, a beautiful bookie recruits a promising player to the underworld of game-fixing.
This year’s festival will also screen a slew of acclaimed foreign films including some of this year’s world cinema highlights:
THE SALESMAN (Persia) directed by Ashdar Fajardi
SLACK BAY (Germany/France) directed by Bruno Dumont
IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD (France) directed by Xavier Dolan
EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (Colombia) directed by Ciro Guerrera
SWISS ARMY MAN (America) directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinart
I, DANIEL BLAKE (United Kingdom) directed by Ken Loach
Critically-acclaimed documentaries such as
FUOCUOAMMARE by Gianfranco Rossi
DE PALMA Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH VILMOS SZIGMOND by Pierre Film
A slate of the best horror films of the year are also screening as well:
THE WAILING by Na Hong-Jin
GOODNIGHT MOMMY by Veronica Franz & Severin Fiala
THE WITCH Robert Eggers
CREEPY by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Among the restored classics to be showcased this year are:
TATLONG TAONG WALANG DIYOS by Mario O’Hara
NAGALIT ANG BUWAN SA HABA NG GABI by Danny Zialcita
CAIN AT ABEL by Lino Brocka
PAGDATING SA DULO by Ishmael Bernal
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 Centre Manila. Join the discussion, use the hashtags #C1Originals and #AnongTinginMo in your social media posts.