WATCH: Trailers released for 8 films of 'Filipino New Cinema' | Inquirer Entertainment

WATCH: Trailers released for 8 films of ‘Filipino New Cinema’

08:22 PM June 10, 2015


(From left) Directors Alvin Yapan, Nestor Abrogena, Wil Fredo, Charliebebs, Genesis Nolasco, Ruben Maria Soriquez, Carlos Morales and Jonah Lim. WPFF PHOTO

Eight independent films are set to light up cinemas this month as part of the second edition of World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF).

The “Filipino New Cinema” section, which features new films made by contemporary filmmakers, will run from June 24 to July 27 at SM Cinemas.


The competing films are “Ang Kubo sa Kawayanan” by Alvin Yapan; “Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa” by Nestor Abrogena; “Filemon Mamon” by Will Fredo; “I Love You. Thank You” by Charliebebs Gohetia; “Maskara” by Genesis Nolasco; “Of Sinners and Saints” by Ruben Maria Soriquez; “Piring” by Carlos Morales, and “Sino Nga Ba Si Pangkoy Ong?” by Jonah Lim.


Other sections that comprise the WPFF are the “Main Competition,” “Cine Verde,” “Euroview,” “Asean Skies,” “Ibero-America” and “Eurasian Cinescape.”

According to its website, the WPFF celebrates the power and magic of film by showcasing the works of critically acclaimed, upcoming film directors from across the globe.

Its mission is to serve a growing number of film narratives in search of new avenues of exhibition and launch their international premieres, particularly in Asia, with its rapidly growing film industry.

Below are the trailers and synopses of each film in the “Filipino New Cinema” category as stated in the festival release.




Michelle lives in her own special world. She has a strange love story with her house by the bamboo grove, where she has developed a language with things functioning as words only she can understand. Everyone is trying to convince her to abandon the house; her boyfriend trying to look for work in the city or abroad, a nosy neighbor trying to make ends meet by working as a teacher and even a filmmaker trying to do a documentary on Michelle’s skill as a calado embroiderer, which she clings onto as strongly as she stays in the house.

The film tells the intimate story of how Michelle’s house, along with the things around her—a river stone, a June beetle and a can of sardines—will help her preserve the ecology of joy and peace she nurtures by the bamboo grove. In Michelle’s world, everything is interconnected and even the smallest of things have a story to tell.

Director: Alvin Yapan

Cast: Mercedes Cabral, RK Bagatsing, Mark Felix



As clouds begin to roll, we see the morning life of a busy city. Cars jam the streets as people make squares of the side streets they walk on. People queue in line as everyone wants to board the city train. This is Sam’s daily picture of his long travel to school. He is a young filmmaker who, in his everyday commute, picks up his girlfriend, Isa, in a station four stops away from their school.

The gloomy weather seems to be painting the day for the young couple. The concurring problems between them loom as they try to survive the day. Isa is about to leave for the United States after graduation and Sam gets a fellowship offer from one of the leading film schools in the world.

All these reasons make way for unspoken words of doubt and fear, on top of a bigger dilemma they have to face. Sam and Isa have to make a decision. They cannot stay too long in this teacher-student relationship.

Director: Nestor Abrogena

Cast: Nicco Manalo, Emmanuelle Vera, Brian Corella



Filemon Mamon is a high school student who desires two things: To win the heart of the girl he loves and to be the lead in a musical play about his Philippine hero Andres Bonifacio. But he has a big problem—his weight. His out of work father and his OFC mother leave him to adhere to the guidance of his grandmother who loves to cook and remind him that “to be fat is to be healthy, and to be healthy is to be fat.”

Is stardom only for the skinny? Through the song and dance, Filemon discovers himself by overcoming the realities of life. He may not look the part, but Filemon learns about heroism in the most unexpected way. He becomes the hero not only to his family and friends, but also to himself.

Based on a popular children’s book of the same title by author Christine Bellen for Adarna House Publishing, “Filemon Mamon” is for all ages. The movie does not only remind you to eat proper food but also to partake of the universal message of loving oneself and others.

Director: Will Fredo

Cast: Jerome Ignacio (as Filemon Mamon), Miles Ocampo, Smokey Manaloto, Rayver Cruz, Nanette Inventor, Christian Bautista, Giselle Sanchez, Joshua Colet



Paul is a restless 20-something who cannot get his life together. Worse, he’s been holding on to his love toward Red, his best friend Ivan’s boyfriend. Looking for a sense of direction, he goes to Siem Reap and meets Tang, who falls in love with him.

But when Ivan leaves Red without any explanation, Paul finds himself caught between chasing his unrequited love for Red or choosing Tang, the one who is always willing to give him love that he cannot return.

Director: Charliebebs Gohetia

Cast: Joross Gamboa, Ae Pattawan (Thai actor), CJ Reyes, Prince Stefan



The Philippines is being geared up to be interconnected through a system called One Wired Nation (OWN). This would allow faster and easier access to information across the country, from the smallest barangay to Malacañang. With OWN, progress is inevitable, says Bert Javelo (Lance Raymundo) from Prime Connections, the company who won the contract to build and manage OWN. Bert promises instant service and progress to the country. But Pia Gorospe (Ina Feleo) is not convinced and smells something wrong.

“Maskara” follows the story of Pia Gorospe, an award-winning journalist, as she tries to uncover the truth behind the death of PrimeCon executive and author of the OWN project Willie Miranda (Rolando Inocencio).

As she slowly puts bits and pieces of the clues left by Willie to her before he was murdered, Pia gets to meet Bert Javelo, PrimeCon’s suave marketing executive and Alex Mayo (Ping Medina), a military intelligence operative. One of them is hiding the truth and pretends to be in love with her. The other one is defending the truth and willing to die for her. Their quest for truth takes them all the way to Marinduque during Holy Week.

In this quaint town at the heart of the country, Pia witnesses the Moriones tradition—a Lenten ritual where Longinus bravely spreads that Christ has resurrected even if it means being beheaded. Here she realizes the need to defend the truth, like Longinus, even if it means offering her life.

Director: Genesis Nolasco

Cast: Ina Feleo, Ping Medina, Lance Raymundo, Lester Llansang, Rolando Inocencio, Alvin Fortuna, Dennis Coronel, Boots Anson-Roa



Leonardo Rossellini is a young Italian priest from Rome. He is assigned to a parish in Payatas, headed by a courageous Spanish priest. Payatas is one of the poorest areas of Metro Manila, where all the urban wastes of the metropolis are dumped and processed—a place where, every day, children are exposed to violence and dangerous diseases. Leonardo’s mission is to counsel battered women and teach poor children English and catechism. But soon Leonardo’s peace of mind is distraught by an encounter with Merlinda, a young and charming woman he used to love when he is still a seminarian. Merlinda is now married to Franco and has a 6-year-old son.

But her husband, Franco, is a violent man who is involved in illegal activities; and her son Alejandro is missing. Merlinda asks for Leonardo’s help. The latter decides to do his best to solve her problems. The reason? Leonardo still has feelings for Merlinda. But Franco doesn’t want the Italian priest to mess with his family’s life and Carlos, the Spanish head priest, is worried about it—he knows how dangerous Franco is. But Leonardo is even more determined when Merlinda reveals to him that Alejandro is not Franco’s son: He is their son.

Leonardo becomes an “action priest”: He protects Merlinda from Franco’s violence and is able to find and rescue his son, who is in the hands of a criminal syndicate of which Franco is a member. But now Franco plans to kill the Italian priest.

Director: Ruben Maria Soriquez

Cast: Ruben Maria Soriquez, Polo Ravales, Raymond Bagatsing, Chanel Latorre, Richard Quan, Althea Vega, Sue Prado



James (Yussef Esteves) is a gym instructor by day and a student by night, who struggles to keep both ends meet. Standing as the family bread winner, he is determined to make a difference in his troubled family. He and his three siblings grew up without knowing who their father is, while their mother is a retired prostitute who runs a whore house. James works hard to graduate.

However, Mr. Salve, the school’s principal, has set his eyes on him and is willing to do anything to get what he wants. James refuses Mr. Salve’s offer to keep his pride and dignity. Mr. Salve seeks revenge after getting rejected, coming up with a plot to destroy James’ dreams. Still, a sudden twist of faith will change everything—a scenario which will shatter James and his family.

Director: Carlos Morales

Cast: Yussef Estevez, Krista Miller, Tessie Tomas, Bembol Roco, Rocky Salumbides, Biboy Ramirez, Teri Aunor



Armand, Julian and Paolo are good friends. All three experience financial difficulties so they are finding ways to get some money. They embark into writing the manuscript of a book similar to the books of a writer with the pseudonym Pangkoy Ong.

However, the project fails because of an unforeseen problem. The next plan is to blackmail Pangkoy Ong. They are asking for a big amount of money in exchange for keeping his identity unknown to the public. The film narrates the adventures and misadventures of the three friends.

Director: Jonah Lim

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Cast: Kiko Matos, Paulo de Vera, Elston Jimenez, Hazel Faith dela Cruz, Coleen Perez, Lara Villar

TAGS: “Ang Kubo sa Kawayanan”, “I Love You. Thank You.”, Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Maskara, Of Sinners and Saints

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