MANILA, Philippines – It would appear that Filipino viewers have a lot to look forward to in the coming months. Both the 2017 Cinemalaya Festival and Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) are happening in August, bringing a hefty lineup of fresh local films to satisfy local moviegoers.
Among the films that will be part of these festivals is Mikhail Red’s Birdshot, which is finally coming home after making the rounds in the international festival circuit. The film has been chosen as the official opening film at Cinemalaya, and will also be screened in cinemas starting August 16, as part of the PPP.
The film has already been screened in various countries, including Korea, Taiwan, the US, and Japan, where it was named Best Asian Future Film at the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival.
Birdshot revolves around the death of an endangered Philippine eagle, mistakenly killed by a young farm girl. Red, the 24-year-old director of the film, said that it was inspired by a true story he read in the papers.
“As a storyteller I’m always fascinated with these situations with morally ambiguous characters trying to navigate this minefield of decisions,” he said at the grand launch of TBA Studios, which produced the film. “There’s no clear line between protagonist and antagonist, it’s just people who are victims of circumstance trying to survive the food chain of society. I’m fascinated by stories like that.”
The film stars Ku Aquino, John Arcilla, Arnold Reyes, and newcomer Mary Joy Apostol.
Birdshot comes out of TBA Studios, the same production company that has brought the likes of Heneral Luna, Bliss, and Sunday Beauty Queen to big screens.
TBA also announced several other films hitting theaters soon, though exact release dates have yet to be announced.
This includes Smaller and Smaller Circles, a film adaptation of the Palanca Award-winning novel by FH Batacan. The movie, directed by Raya Martin and starring Sid Lucero and Nonie Buencamino, could see a screening by year’s end, though no exact release date has been announced. The story follows two Jesuit priests/detectives knee-deep in the investigation of a serial killer targeting young beggar boys.
Other upcoming films from TBA are 1-2-3 (Wantutri), and Women of the Weeping River.
1-2-3, directed by Carlo Obispo, is about a boy from a small fishing village who goes to the big city in search of his sister, a young singer who gets caught up in a human trafficking scheme. The film was shown to Filipino audiences at last year’s Cinemalaya, where it was the chosen opening film.
Women of the Weeping River, directed by Sheron Dayoc, is set in Mindanao. It follows a widow who gets caught up in a violent blood feud between two families. The film hoarded awards including Best Picture at the 2017 Gawad Urian.
At the same time, fan favorite Mythology Class has also been confirmed to be in development. The live action adaptation of Arnold Arre’s award-winning graphic novel will be directed by Jerrold Tarog.
Tarog said he is now writing the script along with Zombadings director Jade Castro, though he is still busy with the production of Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral to give it more time. He estimates that the film will be released in 3 years’ time. – Rappler.com
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