Internationally recognized Filipino films have been chosen for the New Wave section of the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival.
The five finalists that will compete in the New Wave section were announced last night, October 24, by the MMFF Executive Committee.
The chosen full-length entries are: Gemini by Ato Bautista, M (Mother's Maiden Name) by Zig Dulay, Magkakabaung (The Coffin Maker) by Jason Paul Laxamana, Maratabat by Arlyn dela Cruz, and Mulat (Awaken) by Ma. Diane Ventura.
Gemini by director Ato Bautista is a psychological thriller about a woman asking a police detective to protect her from her estranged evil twin sister.
M (Mother’s Maiden Name) revolves around a single mother who is battling cancer.
Maratabat (Pride and Honor) is a political drama depicting the bloody clan wars in Mindanao.
Magkakabaung, which is filmed in Kapampangan, is about a neglectful father haunted by a mixture of guilt and remorse over the death of his eight-year-old daughter.
Mulat (Awaken) is about a young man who falls in love with a mysterious woman with a “strange mental affliction.”
These five finalists were chosen from the 18 entries that were submitted this year.
The New Wave finalists will be screened as a prelude to the opening of the 40th edition of the MMFF. The entries will be shown from December 17-24 at SM Megamall and Glorietta 4 cinemas.
As part of the ruby celebration of the MMFF, these films are guaranteed to have a regular run in at least 20 cinemas by 2015.
STAR-STUDDED LINEUP. The Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave competition was established in 2010 to allow independent (indie) films to reach a wider audience.
The full-length entries this year features a lot of mainstream stars.
In Gemini, real-life twins Sheena and Brigitte McBride bring life to the main characters. Mon Confiado plays the detective who attempts to protect a psychiatric patient from her twin sister who wants her dead. Other celebrities in the movie include Lance Raymundo, Alvin Anson, and Sarah Gaugler.
Zsa Zsa Padilla is cast as the single working mother in the film M (Mother's Maiden Name), which also stars Nico Antonio, Dennis Padilla, and Gloria Sevilla.
Allen Dizon is the lead actor of Magkakabaung (The Coffin Maker). His character Randy is a single father who works in a casket factory. He is joined in this movie by Gladys Reyes, Chanel Latorre, and Emilio Garcia.
Maratabat mirrors the reality of politics and violence in Southern Philippines. The stars shot the film for seven days in Maguindanano and three days in Olongapo City.
Maratabat is actually a Maranao word that means pride.
This was supposed to star Kris Aquino but the role went to Chanel Latorre who is cast as the wife of Ping Medina's character.
Julio Diaz is cast as the ruthless governor Zalvador Abubakar.
In her Facebook account, Chanel posted this about this movie: "The story based on the Maguindanao massacre really pierced my soul, and the anger I felt after reading the script fueled me to do the film."
The film also stars Richard Quan, Kristoffer King, Shyr Valdez and Ms. Elizabeth Oropesa.
In Mulat (Awaken), Jake Cuenca's character falls in love with a mysterious woman with a “strange mental affliction” (portrayed by Loren Burgos). Ryan Eigenmann is cast as the other man in the woman's life.
Jake recently won the Best Actor trophy at the 2014 International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) for his role in Mulat.
(Read: Jake Cuenca, Liza Diño named Best Actor and Best Actress at IFFM in New York)