The Piolo Pascual-starrer Manila has been chosen as the opening film of Cinemalaya Cinco. This twin-bill film will be screened at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on July 17, 2009.
Manila was shot on 16mm black-and-white film before being transferred to 35mm. It is is divided into a "Day" episode (loosely based on Ishmael Bernal's 1980 film Manila By Night) and a "Night" episode (inspired by Lino Brocka's 1979 film Jaguar).
Raya Martin directed the "Day" episode of the film while Adolfo Alix Jr. assumed directorial duties for the "Night" episode.
Direk Adolf explained that "both episodes happen in 24 hours. Raya's part will start early morning till the sunset and my episode starts after sunset till the morning of the next day. And in between our episodes, we shot Lav Diaz shooting a romantic film City of Love with Iza Calzado and Jon Avila."
In the "Day" episode, Piolo is joined by Angelica Panganiban (who plays his girlfriend) and Rosanna Roces (who plays Piolo's mother).
The "Night" episode stars Jay Manalo as the boss of Piolo; Alessandra de Rossi (who is cast as the girlfriend of Piolo's boss); Ms. Anita Linda as Piolo's grandmother; Jiro as Piolo's brother; while Baron Geisler plays a rival to Jay Manalo's character.
Direk Adolf sent this text message to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) regarding this honor: "We are very happy to have the Philippine premiere after the screenings of Manila in Cannes and Moscow. I'm thankful because last year, it was Adela that opened Cinemalaya. I thank the organizers for giving us the honor of opening the festival again this year. It's Cinemalaya that supported my debut, Donsol, and Kadin (The Goat) so I'm elated to be part of their fifth year."
Piolo, Direk Adolf, Raya Martin, and producer Arleen Cuevas attended the world premiere of Manila during the 61st Cannes Film Festival in France. Direk Adolf also represented the Philippines when he attended the 31st Moscow International Film Festival, where Manila and Adela were both screened.