Astig leads ticket sales of Cinemalaya 2009

by Jocelyn Dimaculangan
Jul 22, 2009
Dennis Trillo (left) leads the cast of the Cinemalaya 2009 entry Astig. This action-drama film directed by GB Sampedro (right) is currently leading ticket sales of Cinemalaya Cinco.

Just like last year, organizers of the fifth edition of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival invited this year's finalists and select guests to dine on a yacht that toured them around Manila Bay.

Sixty-four people were onboard the M/V Spirit of Manila as it set sail for one-and-a-half hours at lunchtime last Monday, July 20, 2009.

Cinemalaya Foundation chairman Antonio "Tonyboy" Cojuangco and Cinemalaya competition director Laurice Guillen made it a point to attend the yacht cruise even though it rained intermittently during that time. The main area of the yacht was covered but the deck was very much open to the elements. Guests were offered traditional Filipino fare such as adobo, pansit, fresh lumpia and pork steak. Buko juice was served inside coconut shells while wine and beer were also readily available.

CCP President and Cinemalaya Festival director Nestor Jardin was glad that they were able to set sail amidst the drizzle that Monday. "I think we're going to make this a tradition in Cinemalaya every year so that our guests get to see another view of Manila," he told Dyan Zarzuela of SPOT.

He was referring to the foreign delegates from film organizations such as the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC), Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival (JAFF) and iFilm Connections: Asia & Pacific. These included key people in the international film circuit such as Aruna Vasudev, NETPAC President; Budi Irawanto, JAFF festival director; and Asia Pacific Films President Jeanette Hereniko.

Irawanto emphasized: "Philippine films can compete with Hollywood comedies. Much better than Hollywood comedy."

ASTIG LEADS TICKET SALES. Over lunch, public relations head Irene Rada disclosed the ticket sales of the Cinemalaya main competition entries, with Astig leading the list.

During the premiere night of Astig last Saturday, July 18, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) talked with Direk GB Sampedro regarding his directorial debut. "Hindi pa nagsi-sink in sa akin," he admitted.

This is the first time that GB (short for Giuseppe Bede) has helmed a full-length film but he is currently the director of the ABS-CBN morning show Ruffa and Ai.

Astig has a lot of daring scenes (including four love scenes, one of which is a man-to-man scene between Gardo Versoza and Arnold Reyes). However, Direk GB stressed that all of them were done in good taste.

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"Ako naman I have a feeling na yung pagka-ka-execute ko naman sa mga eksenang sabihin na nating pang-matured audience, tama lang at hindi ganun ka-laswa. Kailangan lang ng eksena. Hindi naman tayo um-over sa dapat."

Some people have commented that his film seems like a tribute to Manila By Night (City After Dark) helmed by Ishmael Bernal. Did he have a conscious effort to do this?

"Actually, may mga nagsabi sa akin nun pero to be honest with you, hindi ko napanood. Sabi nga nila, sa tema, e, nagkikita-kita kami pero salamat naman din at maganda naman ang reception nila."

Here is the list of Cinemalaya main competition entries (in descending order) as of July 19, 2009 (3 PM):

1. Astig

2. Ang Panggahasa ni Fe
3. Dinig Sana Kita
4. Last Supper No. 3
5. Mangatyanan
6. Colorum
7. Sanglaan
8. Engkwentro
9. Shorts A
10. Shorts B
11. Nerseri
12. 24K

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The awarding ceremony of Cinemalaya Cinco will take place this Sunday, July 26, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Regular tickets are priced at P100 while students can buy tickets for
only P50. A day pass costs P300 (good for 5 screenings per day) while a
festival pass costs P1000 (can be used for all screenings).

For more information, please call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or
832-1125 local 1409. Tickets are also available at all Ticketworld
outlets and National bookstores at Tel No. 891-9999.

Click here to buy tickets

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Dennis Trillo (left) leads the cast of the Cinemalaya 2009 entry Astig. This action-drama film directed by GB Sampedro (right) is currently leading ticket sales of Cinemalaya Cinco.
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