Paul Soriano Directs, Bela Padilla Stars in TIFF Main Competition Entry ‘Mañanita’

TEN17P and Viva Films’ ​Mañanita ​ is the only Filipino film that is in the running for major awards in the main competition section of the 2019 Tokyo International Film Festival.

Produced and directed by Paul Soriano and written by Lav Diaz, ​Mañanita ​ stars Bela Padilla who plays the role of a dismissed military officer.


Mañanita ​ is centered on Edilberta (Padilla) who embarks on a journey to her hometown in search of the man who killed her parents. In the process, she ponders on the state of the world and the possibility of forgiveness after all the turmoil she has encountered. ​Mañanita ​ takes inspiration on the transcendental style of filmmaking as it explores the story of its sole central character.


Mañanita ​ is another Philippine cinematic gem by award-winning director Paul Soriano whose film credits include A Journey Home ​ (2009), ​Thelma ​ (2011), ​Kid Kulafu ​ (2015), ​Dukot ​ (2016), ​Siargao ​ (2017), and most recently First Love ​ (2019). Soriano also produced Lav Diaz’ epic ​A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery ​ in 2016 and Hannah Espia’s ​Transit ​ (2013) which was the Philippines’ official entry to the Best Foreign Film category of the 2014 Academy Awards.

Mañanita 01

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Bela Padilla’s previous three films prior to ​Mañanita ​ made her one of Philippine cinema’s best leading actresses in the genres of romance and drama. Her next three movies are poised to make the Viva star one of its most versatile actresses as she received several Best Actress nominations in the past two years for her acclaimed performances in ​100 Tula Para Kay Stella ​ and ​Meet Me In St. Gallen ​ ; including consecutive nods from the prestigious URIAN Awards. It’s very likely that these next three movies will continue her streak and might even give her a trophy or two.


This collaboration of Soriano, Padilla, and Diaz in ​Mañanita ​ is one of the carefully selected entries in the main competition of the 2019 Tokyo International Film Festival as the film embodies the central thematic of the festival which is “The World At A Glance.”


Mañanita ​ will have its world premiere in Tokyo, Japan at the festival this October and will be judged by a panel of internationally acclaimed filmmakers with the jury headed by Zhang Ziyi.


When asked to talk about ​Mañanita ​ and its main protagonist Edilberta, this is what Soriano has to say, “We are all flawed, scarred and burnt but we still live in the light. Will we continue to allow ourselves to take matters into our own hands or will we let light heal us so we can all simply enjoy this journey called life?”


Mañanita ​ premieres at the 2019 Tokyo International Film Festival on October 29 with additional screenings on October 31 and November 5. For more details, visit Tokyo International Film Festival’s official website at​.

Mañanita Poster

Mañanita ​ is also slated to open in Philippine cinemas on December 4

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