Why did docu back out from Cinema One Originals 2017?

Interview: Miguel Nera
Nov 4, 2017
Cinema One Originals 2017 is scheduled to run from November 13-21 at Trinoma, Glorietta, Gateway, UP Cine Adarna, Cinema 76 and Cinematheque with an extended run from November 22-28 at the Power Plant Mall. (L-R) Carlo Aquino, Gloria Diaz, and Jameson Blake are among the stars featured this year.

The Cinema One Originals film festival promises a "walang takot" or fearless lineup this 2017.

Competition and exhibition films will be screened from November 13-21 at Trinoma, Glorietta, Gateway, UP Cine Adarna, Cinema 76 and Cinematheque with an extended run from November 22-28 at the Power Plant Mall.

The seven full-length films selected as finalists--Nay, Nervous Translation, Throwbak Thursday, Changing Partners, Historiographika Errata, Paki, and Si Chedeng at Si Apple--were all finished in time for the 13th edition of this annual film fest.

However, instead of three documentaries, only two documentaries will be featured in Cinema One Originals 2017.

When the finalists were announced in April this year, it was revealed that three documentaries were chosen to receive production grants.

These were Phyllis Grande’s Horror House, Dempster Samarista’s Bundok Banahaw, Sacred and Profane as well as Architecture of Belief: a Story of John S. Captain by Jet Leyco and Camille Aragona.

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Unfortunately, the docu Architecture of Belief will no longer be part of the lineup.

In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), Cinema One channel head Ronald Arguelles explained why the filmakers decided not to take part in Cinema One.

"Mayroong isang docu na hindi nagawa because nawala yung subject matter nila. Hindi nila mahanap so they have to stop.

"Kasi yung subject nila, hindi na available so they wrote me a letter na hindi nila kayang gawin so ‘yon. Understandable naman. It’s a very valid reason."

It was previously announced that Architecture of Belief is a docu "on the death of a scientist named Tiffany. Her former boyfriend, John, believes a sinister reason is behind the murder. Launching his own investigation, he uncovers a network of rampant government corruption, global conspiracy and the mysterious world of the illuminati."

Here are the two documentaries to be screened as part of Cinema One Originals 2017:

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Phyllis Grande’s Haunted: A Visit to the Red House focuses on the atrocities visited by Japanese soldiers on comfort women during World War 2, a horrendous collective memory that remains eerily relevant and refuses to be forgotten. It takes a closer look at Bulacan’s Bahay na Pula, one of the garrisons used by the Japanese during World War II.

Dempster Samarista’s Bundok Banahaw, Sacred and Profane is an exploration of the titular mystical mountain, using secret histories and sacred knowledge as a way of piecing together our cultural psyche.

Arguelles disclosed the other highlights of Cinema One Originals 2017.

"We have one American film na to be shown in 4K, yung Close Encounters of the Third Kind by Steven Spielberg, ipapalabas namin, 4K na restored.

"We have a book launch on Ishmael Bernal."

Sari Dalena’s documentary on Ishmael Bernal, Ishma, will screen to coincide with the launch of the new Ishmael Bernal book, ProBernal Anti Bio, written by Ishmael Bernal himself with Jorge Ayago and Angela Stuart-Santiago.

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Here are the 7 full-length entries to Cinema One Originals 2017:

1. Paki

Director: Giancarlo Abrahan

Cast: Dexter Doria, Shamaine Buencamino, Noel Trinidad

Veteran character actress Dexter Doria stars in her very first lead role as woman in her golden years whose children tries to stop her from leaving her husband of sixty years to live the rest of her days out as an old maid.

2. Nervous Translation

Writer-Director: Shireen Seno

Cast: Jana Agoncillo, Sid Lucero

It revolves around a shy girl who discovers a pen that can translate the thoughts and feelings of people when they get nervous.

3. Historiographika Errata

Director: Richard Somes

Cast: Joem Bascon, Alex Medina, Maxine Eigenmann, Nathalie Hart

Historiographika Errata is an elaborate historical mosaic that attempts to figure out why we are what we are, throwing in the mix a suicidal Rizal and a cross-dressing Bonifacio.

This film has characters depicting the Philippines’ damaged culture such as an ex-Katipunero who joins the U.S. army to save his own neck, and a widow whose sex-for-food errands lead her to become the first ever Makapili.

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4. Changing Partners

Director: Dan Villegas

Cast: Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Sandino Martin, Anna Luna

Director Dan Villegas adapts Vincent De Jesus’ much-loved stage musical Changing Partners, a bittersweet exploration of relationships told in perspectives of various genders.

This film is a bittersweet exploration of a relationship coming apart as the huge age gap between two lovers starts to take its toll.

Agot and Jojit bring life to Alex while Sandino and Anna portray Cris.

5. Nay

Director: Kip Oebanda

Cast: Enchong Dee, Sylvia Sanchez, Jameson Blake

The aswang inversion Nay is about a man suffering from a terminal disease who uncovers a dark family secret.

6. Si Chedeng at Si Apple

Director: Fatrick Tabada and Rae Red

Cast: Elizabeth Oropesa, Gloria Diaz

In this dark comedy, Elizabeth Oropesa and Gloria Diaz play two old girl friends who become accidental criminals and embark on a road trip with a severed head in a fake Louis Vuitton bag.

Gloria's character is Chedeng who comes out as a lesbian at age 66. Elizabeth's character Apple beheads her live-in partner in a fit of rage. The two friends then set out to look for Chedeng’s lost ex-girlfriend named Lydia while Apple carries a severed head in a designer bag.

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7. Throwback Today

Director: Joseph Teoxon

Cast: Carlo Aquino, Annicka Dolonius, Empress Shuck, Allan Paule

The film depicts the misadventures of Primo, a gifted production designer who was unprepared for the harsh realities of the real world. While trying to make ends meet at the peak of his misfortunes, he experiences a technical glitch with his old desktop computer and gets a chance to rewrite his life.


The year’s world cinema highlights also grace this year’s foreign film line-up, a 13–strong program that includes Robin Campillo’s Beats Per Minute, Claire Denis’ Let The Sun Shine In, Francois Ozon’s L’Amant Double, Ildiko Enyedi’s On Body And Soul, Joachim Trier’s Thelma, Hirokazu Koreeda’s The Third Murder, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Before We Vanish, Sebastian Leilo’s A Fantastic Woman, Amit Masurkar’s Newton, Lucrecia Martel’s Zama, The Safdie Brothers’ Good Time, Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, and the 4K restoration of Steven Spielberg’s science-fiction classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Among the restored classics to be showcased this year include Marilou Diaz Abaya’s Moral, Jeffrey Sonora’s Asedillo, Celso Ad Castillo’s Tag Ulan Tag Araw and Danny Zialcita’s Langis At Tubig.

Restored versions Zialcita’s Karma, Abaya’s Karnal and Lino Brocka’s Cain at Abel will also be screened.


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Cinema One Originals 2017 is scheduled to run from November 13-21 at Trinoma, Glorietta, Gateway, UP Cine Adarna, Cinema 76 and Cinematheque with an extended run from November 22-28 at the Power Plant Mall. (L-R) Carlo Aquino, Gloria Diaz, and Jameson Blake are among the stars featured this year.
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