Film buffs have another film fest to look forward to before 2013 comes to a close.
The 15th edition of the Cinemanila will run from December 18-22 at the SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Cinemanila festival director Tikoy Aguiluz informed PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that the opening film is the Korean thriller The Terror, Live while the closing film is Lav Diaz's Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan, which premiered at the Un Certain Regard section of the 66th Cannes Film Festival.
The Cinemanila head also revealed that Korean director Kim Byeong-woo is expected to attend this year's Cinemanila.
Last November 28, Direk Tikoy led the awarding ceremony for two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, who is this year's recipient of the Gawad Lino Brocka Lifetime Achievement award.
The Taiwan-born filmmaker received the award named after the late Lino Brocka, hailed as one of the Philippine movie industry's greatest directors.
Ang Lee is best known for helming Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Life of Pi.
The visit also gave Ang Lee a chance to do location hunting for his upcoming 3D boxing movie that is expected to feature the historic Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali boxing match dubbed as Thrilla in Manila.
(To learn more about Ang Lee's upcoming 3D boxing movie, CLICK HERE)
Cinemanila's opening film, The Terror, Live, is about a news anchorman dealing with a terrorist in real time on national TV.
According to Hollywoodreporter.com, the movie earned over $38 million in South Korea. It describes The Terror, Live as "a rage-fuelled blast against inept politicians, a corrupt establishment and a cynical media which flounders in the last act when the demands of an action-thriller await to be met."
CLOSING FILM. The five-day festival will conclude with the screening of Lav Diaz's Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan. The four-hour film (also known as Norte, The End of History) stars Sid Lucero, Archie Alemania, Angeli Bayani, and Soliman Cruz, among others.
In the Toronto International Film Festival website, Lav Diaz's Norte is described as one of "the finest works to emerge from the Philippine New Wave."
The TIFF report describes the plot: "Fabian (Sid Lucero), a charismatic law student impresses his fellow students through his persuasive and quasi-revolutionary tirades about the state of Philippine society. On the other, there's Joaquin (Archie Alemania), his wife Eliza (Angeli Bayani), and their two children, whose attempts to pull themselves out of poverty have been dashed by an injury to Joaquin's leg that has left him depressed and unemployable, and the family in deep debt to the vile loan shark Miss Magda (Mae Paner), the woman who bankrolls Fabian's decadent lifestyle. This link wreaks havoc on all of them when Magda is killed and Joaquin is blamed."
(Read: Two Filipino films to be screened in Un Certain Regard section of 66th Cannes Film Fest)
WENG WENG TRIBUTE. A documentary about the late actor Weng Weng is also included in the lineup of the 15th Cinemanila.
Australian director Andrew Leavold spent seven years to create The Search for Weng Weng, a documentary about the actor whom he first saw in the James Bond parody For Your Height Only (1981).
Weng Weng, a two-foot-nine martial artist, earned a citation in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “shortest adult actor in a lead role.”