CineFilipino unreels on Sept. 17

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AUNOR. Topbills “Ang Kwento ni Mabuti.”

The CineFilipino festival’s opening-night film (on Sept. 17) is “Walls of Hell,” a collaboration by National Artists Gerry de Leon, Eddie Romero and Fernando Poe Jr.. Its entries (eight full-length films and 10 shorts) will be shown at Newport Cinemas, the Lucky Chinatown Mall and Gateway Cineplex until Sept. 24.

During the Filmmakers’ Night at Maxim’s Hotel last Sept. 10, we chanced upon the CineFilipino directors and their actors. Ato Bautista shares that “Mga Ala-ala ng Tag-Ulan” is a coming-of-age film starring Akihiro Blanco.

Sigrid Bernardo’s lesbian-themed “Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita” is topbilled by Angel Aquino, newcomer Teri Malvar and Marcus Madrigal.

High praises

CURTIS-SMITH AND VENERACION. Team up in Mike Alcazaren’s “Puti.”

Line producer Rhea de Guzman of “Ang Kwento ni Mabuti” has only high praises for lead actress, Nora Aunor: “She’s very easy to work with. I get goosebumps every time she starts acting.”

Randolph Longjas of “Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin” shares, “This is my baptism of fire! My film aims to show you how it is to be a real Filipino.”

Ron Bryant’s “Bingoleras” is a comedy about women who masquerade as nuns to get a community to join a bingo social for fundraising.

“Puti’s” Mike Alcazaren declares, “I have waited 24 years for this project! I’ve learned so much, even from the younger directors.” His movie is a psychological thriller starring Ian Veneracion, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Lauren Young and Leo Rialp.

Sari and Kiri Dalena teamed up for “The Guerilla Is a Poet,” about Jose Maria Sison and his advocacy. Sari reveals, “We were given creative freedom—and a chance to dramatize  an important part of our country’s history.”

Janice Perez (“The Muses”) notes: “This festival is a boon for regional cinema. All our scenes were shot in Cebu. This is one of the best things that has happened to me—and my fellow filmmakers!”

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