KUYA WES (2018) by James Robin Mayo.
Ogie Alcasid returns to the big screen in a light romance comedy directed by James Mayo who helmed the charming The Chanters last QCinema 2017. Yes, that was a long sentence because I want to stress that a talented man like Alcasid works with a new but also talented artist like Mayo is something everyone should look forward to. And Kuya Wes is definitely one of the best in this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival.
The film is lovely from start to finish. Mayo continues to create compelling little stories that’s both entertaining and heartfelt. There is something enchanting with the way the film was told. I was glued to my seat from the moment Alcasid says “Good morning!” until the film concludes. Kuya Wes manages to break the barriers of mainstream and independent as it puts not just well-known artists but also a more than watchable story.
LIWAY (2018) by Kip Oebanda
My top Cinemalaya movie of 2018, Kip Oebanda’s Liway is a moving story that captures both the fears of dying or losing your loved ones and the courage and hope of the people during Martial Law. The film looks and feels personal, how it started and how it ended. How a kid can enjoy even during our darkest times, how families and friends are being separated, how choosing to fight for what you think is right can affect the people around you.
Liway packs a powerful story and performances which makes it one of the best Cinemalaya movies this year, or maybe ever. Glaiza de Castro and Kenken Nuyad both delivered engrossing representation of a mother and son’s journey to freedom. It starts sorrowful and ends with a hair-raising reveal.
The 14th edition of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival runs until August 12 at CCP Theaters, Ayala Malls Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 1, TriNoma, UP Town Center and Legazpi.