Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story
(We are running this guide to help moviegoers plan their holiday cinema tour. The 37th MMFF runs from December 25 to January 7, 2012.)
Directed by Tikoy Aguiluz; stars Jeorge “ER” Ejercito, Carla Abellana, Phillip Salvador, John Regala, Baron Geisler, Ketchup Eusebio, Ping Medina, Yul Servo, Dennis Padilla, Roi Vinzons, Gerald Ejercito, Valerie Concepcion, Jaycee Parker, Amay Bisaya
Mobster Asiong Salonga (ER Ejercito) rules the mean streets of Manila with an iron fist—until he is betrayed by a trusted friend. Graded “A” by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB), the period flick had a budget of P75 million, relates lead actor Ejercito. “We shot it with Alexa, a top-of-the-line digital camera, and converted the footage to black-and-white,” he recalls. The production design team turned Pagsanjan, Laguna, into 1950s Tondo. Ejercito insists that the goal is not to be the festival box-office top-grosser. “Our objective is to make a quality film that we can proudly send to festivals abroad.” He is pleased with the high mark from the CEB. “It made us forget all the hardships and sleepless nights.”
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