Here are the entries to receive P2 million grants from Cine Filipino 2018

IMAGE Mark Atienza

Direk Joey Reyes serves as the Head of Competition of Cine Filipino 2018.


The full-length film entries to Cine Filipino 2018 have been revealed.

The eight finalists will each receive a P2 million grant. The Cine Filipino Film Festival is expected to take place in March 2018.

According to Unitel CEO and Cine Filipino Festival Director Madonna Tarrayo, “Cine Filipino has been able to open doors for filmmakers, their production team, for actors to give them a lot of jobs and discover new talent. Sigrid Bernardo is our poster girl because due to her film Ang Huling Cha-Cha Ni Anita being screened at the 1st Cine Filipino, a lot of doors opened for her.”

From among 150 entries nationwide, 8 scripts were chosen to join the prestigious roster.

According to Cine Filipino Head of Competition, director Jose Javier Reyes: “Kuwento ang hari dito. The story should always be increasingly appealing to its audiences, very original, and very Filipino.

Direk Joey Reyes led the selection committee, that also included writers Bayani San Diego and Lilit Reyes and filmmakers Hannah Espia and Joel Ruiz, film editor Manet Dayrit, and Madonna Tarrayo.

How were the entries chosen?

The films were selected based on the following criteria:

1. Originality of material and freshness of approach

2. An authentic reflection of Filipino culture and human experience

3. Strong potential for audience engagement
    a. Should be mass-audience friendly without compromising quality
    b. Should be commercially viable. Has to have potential for a wide theatrical release.

Here are the 8 entries for Cine Filipino Year III:

Ron Batallones’ Excuse Me Po is the story of an old woman who begs for money as a swindler. “Mahilig talaga akong mangarap, kaya nung nakilala ko yung matanda na lumapit sa akin, doon nagsimula yung kuwento. Dalawang beses siya nanghingi sa akin, nung ikalawang beses, hindi ko na siya binigyan. Sabi ko, laruin ko yung character ng matanda para ma-inspire ang mga tao.”

Batallones says he wants Lotlot de Leon to star in his movie.

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Alec Figuracion’s The Eternity Between Seconds is the story of an encounter between a depressive self-help author and an anxious Filipina nurse who cross paths at the Incheon airport in South Korea. “Matagal ko nang gusting gumawa ng pelikula na ang setting ay airport. I’ve been to Incheon airport at maganda talaga siya. Na-inspire ako. Inspired din ito ng buhay ko,” the writer-director says.

Therese Cayaba’s Delia & Sammy is about an ill-tempered, ageing actress who needs to find family to leave her equally difficult husband with before she dies. Cayaba shares: “I was inspired by people dying, it’s sad that one’s going to die first. It became more interesting for me after I saw an interview of Winnie Monsod with Cristina Ponce-Enrile. So I drew inspiration from the Enriles’ story.”

She says that Celia Rodriguez is her first and only choice for the lead role and that they are in talks with her manager to make it happen.

Donnalyn Baltazar’s Kahit Man Lamang Kung Maaari is a story set in Avenida, Manila, where the stories of four different merge as they find what they need from just one woman. The story was inspired by the time Cavite native Baltazar spent in Manila as a college student, and how people and faces merge in the big city.

“We want to have open casting to discover a fresh new face para sa babaeng magiging sentro ng pelikula namin,” says producer Giancarlo Abrahan.

Ronal Allan Habon’s Mga Mister ni Rosario revolves around a perfect stage wife to a method actor, until he gets the role of a lifetime and threatens to kill her character. Habon says: “I work as a writer in a major network. I’m always in the background and I get to observe artistas and their idiosyncracies and habits. I think it will be very interesting for people to see those.”

He says he wants Anna Luna to play the lead character.

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Rod Marmol’s Mata Tapang is about an absolutist soldier who loses his eye in battle and this opens a new “eye” that makes him see his fallen brothers and makes him fulfill their life missions. According to Marmol, “Ang tatay ko ay isang sundalo na natanggal ang mata dahil sa giyera. Sundalong pang-bala ng kanyon siya talaga. They’re rarely represented, laging kuwento ng mga opisyal. As a writer, I felt I owed it to him to understand the story because we never really talked about “Paano ba ang buhay ‘pag natanggalan ka ng mata?” How does it affect your perception? Yung depth of field ng buhay mo? I owe it to him to understand his journey through my skill as a writer.” Given a choice, Marmol would like to cast RK Bagatsing in the lead role.

With a script by Mark Bayani, Hit Boy will be directed by Bor Ocampo. “It is about a delinquent teenager who does unconventional tasks for clients na gustong gumanti. It is based on a true story,” Ocampo says. He wants Khalil Ramos to play the hit boy.

Roni Benaid’s Poon is about a church servant who experiences horrible things after she buys a religious image that she believes is miraculous. “Hindi po alam ng nanay ko na siya ang inspirasyon ko dito. Marami kaming santo sa bahay kasi mahilig siya sa mga poon,” he discloses.



This year’s partnership with Cignal Entertainment will ensure that there are more avenues for filmmakers to showcase their artistry.

According to Guido Zaballero, Cignal Marketing head: “We provide seed money to these daring filmmakers because their content is pushing the envelope of what our audiences appreciate. It is an investment that has returns for the film industry and the Filipino audience.”

Entries are still being accepted for the short film and digital content categories. The deadline has been extended to September 30, 2017. For more information, go to: http://cinefilipino.com

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