Hopefully an annual event, spearheaded by the Film Development Council of the Philippines in celebration of Buwan ng Wika, a celebration for Philippine cinemas as well is the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. The said festival will run from August 16 to 22 in cinemas nationwide.
Here are the 12 entries and what you need to know about it:
1. 100 TULA PARA KAY STELLA
Written and directed by Jason Paul Laxamana (Magkakabaung, Love is Blind)
Starring: Bela Padilla, JC Santos, Caleb Santos, Mayton Eugenio, Prince Stefan
Running Time: 2 hours and 3 minutes
Synopsis: Throughout his four years in college, Fidel, a stuttering student, tries to finish 100 poems dedicated to Stella, an aspiring but frustrated rock star, to win her heart.
2. ANG MANANANGGAL SA UNIT 23B
Directed by: Prime Cruz
Starring: Ryza Cenon, Martin del Rosario, Vangie Labalan
Running Time: 2 hours 2 minutes
Synopsis: Jewel is a mysterious woman who lives alone in the city. Her secret led her to settle into a lonely existence. That is, until she meets Nico, a broken-hearted, down-and-out guy who also feels unlovable like she does. Jewel is torn between wanting to love him and wanting to save him from herself. Will he accept her if he knew the truth about her? Can she ever find love, or is she destined to be alone forever?
Directed by: Enzo Williams
Starring: Gerald Anderson, Dianne Medina, Bembol Roco
Running Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Synopsis: AWOL is an action-thriller about an expert Army sniper who, armed with his tactical knowledge and deadly skills, goes on a quest to protect his family from the man who masterminded the attempt on his life and his loved ones.
4. BAR BOYS
Written and directed by Kip Oebanda
Starring: Carlo Aquino, Rocco Nacino, Kean Cipriano, Enzo Pineda
Running Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Synopsis: The misadventures of three young men who try their luck in the college of law. As their friendship, families, relationships and convictions are brought to breaking point, they must keep their heads and emotions together as they prepare for the big day.
Directed by: Mikhail Red
Starring: Mary Joy Apostol, Arnold Cruz, John Arcilla
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Synopsis: “Birdshot” is a mystery-thriller film that tells a story of a young Filipina farm girl who wanders into the boundaries of a Philippine reservation forest. Deep within the reservation, she mistakenly shoots and kills a critically endangered and protected Philippine Eagle. As the local authorities begin a manhunt to track down the poacher of a national bird, their investigation leads them to an even more horrific discovery.
Written and Directed by Ralston Jover
Starring: Therese Malvar, Zaijan Jaranilla, Samuel Quintana, Bon Andrew Lentejas
Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Synopsis: Ralston Jover’s unique blend of special and magic realism takes a look at the lives of four street children whose world is about to turn upside down and inside out. Life begins where innocence ends.
Written and directed by Zig Dulay
Starring: Garry Cabalic, Anna Luna, Joan Dela Cruz
Running Time: 1 hour and 38 minutes
Synopsis: The film focuses on Atan, an Aeta from Baytan village in Zambales, who makes a living from traditional farming system kaingin and hunting on the foothills of Mt. Pinatubo. The narrative opens as we follow Atan’s fulfillment of his arranged marriage with a fellow Aeta, Ani. He has to accomplish a number of responsibilities which includes changing in appearance, manner of clothing, religious practice, and even the use of different language in order to associate himself with the Unat or “straight-haired ones.” On his effort to accommodate himself in a modern society, Atan faces cross-cultural modifications amid changes in the mountain brought about by immense modernity.
8. PATAY NA SI HESUS
Written and Directed by: Victor Villanueva
Starring: Jaclyn Jose, Chai Fonacier, Melde Montañez, Mailes Kanapi
Running Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Synopsis: When Iyay, a single mother, learns that her estranged husband has died, she drags the entire family on a road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete to attend the funeral. With her children – Hubert, who has Down Syndrome; Jude, a lovesick transman; Jay, who is living the bum life – as her passengers, Iyay drives her tiny multicab on a journey that yields unexpected stopovers, detours, and revelations.
9. PAUWI NA
Directed by: Paolo Villaluna
Starring: Bembol Roco, Cherry Pie Picache, Meryll Soriano
Running Time: 2 hours 2 minutes
Synopsis: The film follows a family who decide to use pedicabs so they could “pedal” their way back to the province. A series of unfortunate events occur that will either test their determination or distract them from their journey home. ‘Pauwi Na’ is a tragic-comic portrait of a dysfunctional family and the disquieting blind faith they invoke as they dream of going home.
Directed by Sherad Anthony Sanchez
Starring: Jessy Mendiola, JC de Vera, Joel Sarracho
Running Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Synopsis: A news team investigating rumors of aswang killings in a remote barrio are attacked by a group of soldiers, forcing them to run for their lives in the deeps of the forest, where more mystery and danger lay in wait.
11. STAR NA SI VAN DAMME STALLONE
Written and directed by Randolph Longjas
Starring: Candy Pangilinan, Paolo Pingol, Acey Aguilar, Sarah Pagcaliwagan
Running Tim: 1 hour 37 minutes
Synopsis: Based on real-life characters and events, this tale is about Nadia, a single mom from 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 to her child? but when one is raising a special child, one hundred percent is never enough, you still have to give so much more. When Vanvan told his mother he wanted to become an actor, Nadia knew she had to make ends meet- and dreams come true.
Directed by Miguel Franco Michelena
Starring: Albie Casino, Joseph Marco, Kean Cipriano, Kylie Padilla
Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Synopsis: In Triptiko, a yuppie who just got lucky is struck by a string of unlucky circumstances; a male model’s life is upended because of evil boils appearing on his body; while a folk singer’s romantic ideals are put to the test as his beloved slowly changes into something he does not understand.