ABS-CBN Films has unveiled its lineup of movies to be shown in the remaining months of 2020 and early 2021.
The movie-production arm of the Kapamilya network is the mother company of film outfits Star Cinema and Black Sheep.
Its managing director Olivia M. Lamasan faced select members of the press, including PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), in a Zoom press conference held on October 26, 2020, and gave updates about the films that are in production or in development.
Most of these films have resumed shooting after the Enhanced Community Quarantine, which took effect from March to May 2020, was lifted.
VICE-IVANA, KATHNIEL and lizquen MOVIES
Lamasan first revealed the movies that they are planning to film with ABS-CBN’s prime artists.
There's Love Or Money, starring Coco Martin and Angelica Panganiban.
It was supposed to be part of the Metro Manila Summer Film Festival in April 2020, but the film festival was postponed because of the pandemic.
Lamasan said, “Most of it was shot in Dubai before the pandemic.
“Halos tapos na iyong pelikula, parang meron na lang kaming mga gustong ipadagdag na eksena. So we are just waiting for the availability of Coco and Angelica, who are very, very busy taping, doing their soaps.”
Coco is the lead actor of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, while Angelica is one of the main actors in Walang Hanggang Paalam. Both shows are doing lock-in tapings.
Lamasan also announced the third installment of Vice Ganda’s Praybeyt Benjamin which will take part in the Metro Manila Film Festival 2020.
Titled Super Praybeyt Benjamin, the film stars Vice and sexy actress and YouTube star Ivana Alawi.
The directorial duties, which was formerly done by the late Wenn V. Deramas, are being offered to Cathy Garcia-Molina.
Lamasan elaborated, “It’s the first time that Vice will team up with Ivana Alawi.
“Sobra kaming excited. Ang cute din ng kuwento at ang isang maganda rito ay ino-offer namin ito kay Cathy Garcia-Molina.
“First time niyang makakatrabaho si Vice Ganda, so we are keeping our fingers crossed na magmatch ang kanilang schedules. It’s still going to be a co-production with VIVA Films.
“So hinihintay lang namin iyong availability, alam naman natin iyong pamamaraan ngayon, di ba? Lock-in ka, ‘tapos kung dati nahihirapan na kami mag-share ng schedule with television, lalo pa ngayon na lock-in sila.
“But still, we’re finding ways and means to let all these projects materialize, so matutuloy iyan.”
A movie for Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil is also in the works.
However, the LizQuen love team still has apprehensions about shooting amid the pandemic.
But at press time, ABS-CBN Films has already sent LizQuen a sequence treatment for the planned movie. The company is just waiting for the love team’s feedback.
Lamasan said, “For now, they are doing a lot of commercials. Nililigawan pa namin iyong dalawa kasi medyo kinakabahan pagdating sa taping, natatakot, lalo na si Quen, so that’s very understandable.
“Most of our artists, marami rin sa kanila na ganyan, natatakot na lumabas kasi minsan, sa mga tapings, nagkakaroon pa rin ng incidents na nagkakaroon pa rin ng COVID or nagkakahawaan.
“Recently, na-submit ang napakagandang sequence treatment for the two. Iyon naman ang ipinangako nila Ogie Diaz at LizQuen sa amin, that they will be waiting for the sequence treatment.
“At base doon, sana, sobra silang magandahan na, ‘Okay game na, naka lock-in na kami sa inyo.’ That’s something we could all look forward to.”
Paulo Avelino is set to top-bill a daring movie called Fan Girl. The film is the launching project of Rise and Star Magic artist Charlie Dizon, who assumes the title role.
Directed by Antoinette Jadaone, Fan Girl is scheduled to premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival, which will run from October 31 to November 8.
Joshua Garcia is also working on two movies.
First is the horror movie Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan, which is co-produced with Regal Films. Its director is Chito Rono.
The movie has been announced as part of the Metro Manila Film Festival 2020.
The second is titled Keys To The Heart, where Joshua joins Charo Santos-Concio, Daniela Stranner, and Zaijian Jaranilla.
In this adaptation of a 2018 South Korean film, Zaijian plays a boy with autism, while Joshua is his elder brother. The film is going to be directed by Dan Villegas.
Lamasan is also hoping that Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla’s movie with Cathy Garcia-Molina will push through in 2021.
KathNiel was supposed to shoot the movie this year in San Francisco, but the pandemic happened.
Lamasan said about the movie, “Napakaganda ng kuwento nito which will be done or shot in San Francisco kasi it is about a couple na nag-migrate sa San Francisco, so ano naging buhay nila?”
The reunion movie of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo, which was supposed to happen this year, is also currently in the creative development stage.
ORIGINAL MOVIES in THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOMES
ABS-CBN Films has also thought of ways for viewers to enjoy a movie in the comfort of their own homes.
Lamasan said, “Kahit na very challenging ang pandemya, it pushed us to think out of the box. Even with the theaters most of them still closed, we thought of ways to reach our audience.”
Hence, ABS-CBN Films is making its upcoming movies available on four different platforms: ABS-CBN streaming platforms KTX.ph and iWant TFC, and cable channels Sky Cable pay-per-view and Cignal pay-per-view.
For 150 pesos, the viewer has 48 hours to watch the movie in any of the four platforms.
The first movie to be shown is the horror flick U-Turn, starring Kim Chiu, Tony Labrusca, and JM De Guzman. It premieres on October 30, 2020.
Next is LDR: Lockdown Romance, a Boys Love movie starring Jameson Blake and Joao Constancia.
Directed by Bobby Bonifacio, it is a “sweet poignant romance that blooms amid the times of COVID.”
Zaijian Jaranilla is set to top-bill Boyette: Not a Girl Yet, a coming-of-age story of a gay teenager. Joey Marquez and Alma Moreno are part of the film.
ABS-CBN Films is also doing the prequel of its hit 2013 movie Four Sisters and a Wedding, which starred Toni Gonzaga, Bea Alonzo, Angel Locsin, and Shaina Magdayao as sisters.
Now titled Four Sisters Before The Wedding, the prequel is top-billed by Charlie Dizon, Alexa Ilacad, Gillian Vicencio, and Belle Mariano, who portray the teenage versions of the characters.
Lamasan revealed, “Belle plays the role of Shaina Magdayao, Charlie will play the role of Toni Gonzaga, si Gillian plays the role of Angel Locsin. Nakakatuwa kasi iyong essence ng characters, kuhang-kuha nila kapag napapanood ko iyong rushes.
“Ako, it’s a surprise to me, si Alexa. Tuwang-tuwa ako kasi she’s portraying the role of Bea Alonzo, hindi ko inakala na kaya niyang i-portray iyong role ni Bobbie.
“Iyong essence ng characters, nakuha nila and kudos to the director, Mae Cruz.”
Magandang Buhay hosts Karla Estrada, Melai Cantiveros, and Jolina Magdangal are set to be seen in a film titled Soul Sisters.
Also in the line-up is the movie version of Black Sheep’s digital BL series, Hello, Stranger, starring Tony Labrusca and JC Alcantara.
The love team of Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber is also headlining a film titled Princess Diaries.
ABS-CBN Films may have pivoted to provide the cinema experience at home, but Lamasan still hopes that things will get better and that movie houses will soon be open to the public.
She said, “Lahat po kami, nananalangin na magbukas lahat ng sinehan. Lahat kami ay nakasuporta sa muling pagbubukas ng sinehan.
“It’s just that for now, nandito tayo sa sirkumstansya na ito and we also need to find ways to still be of service and ilapit natin at ma-connect tayo sa ating audience.”