Now on its 2nd Sinag Maynila Film Festival will run from April 21 to 26, 2016 in select SM Cinemas. For more updates, log on to http://sinagmaynilafilmfestival.com/, on Facebook via SinagMaynila, Twitter and Instagram via @sinagmaynila. Subscribe also to the official Sinag Maynila Youtube Account: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmZPI6kPKUCsbim9e_qByNQ.
Conceptualized and helmed by CEO and Founder Wilson Tieng, together with world-renowned and internationally acclaimed film director Brillante Mendoza, Sinag Maynila gives grants to independent filmmakers so they can develop their individual material to a full-length film for public exhibition. Five chosen filmmakers closely collaborated with Tieng and Mendoza. This collaboration resulted in stories that reflect the Filipino culture while illustrating messages that will resonate globally.
‘Dyamper’ by Mes De Guzman depicts real-life struggle in Nueva Vizcaya
Director Mes De Guzman’s film ‘Dyamper’ is about three friends wait along Dalton Pass every dawn to jump at the back of rice delivery trucks to steal the goods and sell it at the wet market as their means of income. One of them accidentally gets a pack of drugs in one of the trucks they jumped and finds themselves in jeopardy when its owners track them down to retrieve the stash, and gives them a chance to get off the hook by means of taking on a risky mission.
Alchris Galura plays the character of Tinoy, one of the jumpers. He finds it difficult to say much about his role, out of fear that he might give away the story. “May tinatakasan siya. Period.” Co-star Lisa Dino adds, “Tinoy’s character is interesting because he’s trying to escape from his reality, thus creating a new reality for himself at dun nag-start yung conflict.”
Lisa’s character Elena is the object of motivation for Tinoy. “Nasagasaan ‘yung asawa ko tapos dahil sa guilt, nag-iiwan siya (Tinoy) ng mga pagkain sa bahay namin to make-up for what happened kasi bed-ridden ‘yung asawa ko. It grew into some sort of weird attraction between Elena and Tinoy,” she tells.
According to Direk Mes, ‘dyampers’ are not uncommon up North. “Taga-Nueva Vizcaya ako at nasasaksihan ko na ‘tong mga ganitong sinasabing pagda-dyamper. Dito, literal na tumatalon sila sa truck at sa tingin ko kaya ko na rin siya sinulat dahil wala pa ‘kong napapanood na pelikula na tumatalakay nito.”
The cast of “DYAMPER” also includes Carlo Aquino, Tim Mabalot, Kristofer King, and Debbie Garcia.
Aljur Abrenica and Alvin Anson stars in ‘Expressway’ by Ato Bautista
A syndicate old-timer named Ben (Alvin Anson) needs to do one last assignment before the boss he works for grants him his much delayed retirement. Assigned to be his partner is the neophyte Morris (Aljur Abrenica), a trigger-happy, sadist who yearns to impress the syndicate boss. For Ben, this last assignment turns out to be a journey of introspection, self-healing and redemption. With this awakening, he takes it upon himself to pull Morris out of the eventual hell-of-a-life he says he has lived as a hitman.
Actors Alvin and Aljur talked about their passion for their characters and this film in a recent interview. Alvin shares, “Very personal kasi sa akin ‘tong movie because Direk Ato offered this film to the late Rudy Fernandez… I’m very close to Kuya Daboy [and] I’ve done a lot of films with him.” On the other hand, Aljur’s fans will see his daring side as he also takes part in a risqué scene in the film. Staying true to his craft, Aljur goes deeper into his role. “Before I did this film, may konting background na ko sa pagiging isang killer,” he says. “Nag-research ako kung paano siya nasanay kasi wala naman pinanganak na ganun agad yung kayang gawin.”
EXPRESSWAY also stars RK Bagatsing, Kiko Matos, Inez Bernardo, Japo Parcero, Arpee Bautista, and Jim Libiran.
Janine Gutierrez escapes her dark past in ‘Lila’ by Gino M. Santos
‘Lila’ is a psychological-thriller by Gino M. Santos for this year’s Sinag Maynila Film Festival. “The film is my first horror film. It’s a challenge because we need to make the film as unique and as Filipino as possible,” says Gino.
The story is about Jess (Janine Gutierrez), a young woman running from her past and moves into the house of a warmhearted landlady. She finds a diary in her room that belonged to an old tenant. As days pass, strange occurrences ensue and the diary's words take an eerie turn when Jess finds herself in the middle of a malevolent turn of events from a dark past not entirely her own.
Janine shares, “I really like the story of Lila because it’s a mix of different genres—it’s not just horror or suspense. A lot of the ideas are left for the audience to figure out.”
Kapamilya actor Enchong Dee stars as Janine’s cousin in the film who tries to help Jess escape from her past. He gives a heartfelt message to the audience saying, “Wag nating hintayin na sa ibang bansa pa mapansin ‘yung ganda ng isang pelikula tulad nito at ng iba pang mga kasama sa Sinag Maynila. Be amazed with what our filmmakers can do.” The film also casts Sherry Lara, Miggs Cuaderno, Kate Alejandrino, and Socrates Jose.
Two lives of women intertwine in ‘Mrs.’ by Adolf Alix Jr.
70-year-old Virginia (Elizabeth Oropesa) shares the old ancestral house with Delia (Lotlot de Leon),her ever-loyal maid. Delia is marrying her long-time boyfriend, Rene, and tearfully confides to Virginia that she wants to go home to her parents in the province to start a new family life with him. Haunted by a past that Virginia tries to conquer—her only son Sonny Boy who disappeared years ago, what follows shows a portrait of a woman and a mother trying to juggle the sad realities of life in a cycle of life and death.
Direk Adolf talks about the birth of this unique story about the struggle in a life of a mother. “Minsan napag-usapan namin nung writer ko yung idea na kung namatay yung anak mo, may closure ka. Pero kung nawawala lang siya, paano mo tatanggapin yung idea na isang araw makasalubong mo siya or isang araw baka mabalitaan mo na wala na siya.” He continues, “Pero wala akong personal experience sa mga bagay na ‘yon. Nagka-interes lang ako dahil napaka-rich nung ganitong situation.”
Elizabeth Oropesa plays the role of Virginia, the homeowner of the ancestral home that sits on a faultline. “[It’s] a very interesting character. I’ve never had any character like this. Maraming masalimuot na iniikutan yung character. Parang love story namin ni Lotlot ito. May boyfriend siya pero ayaw niya kong iwan ever at siya rin mahal na mahal ko, parang pamilya ko na at parang iniisip ko hanggang sa mamatay ako ay siya na yung kasama ko.”
The loyal househelper Delia portrayed by Lotlot de Leon talks about the other perspective of the film. “Dito sa pelikulang ito makikita niyo ang realidad ng buhay, kung paano talaga magmahal at mag-alaga ang isang kasambahay, at kung paano rin siya mahalin ng pinagsisilbihan niya.”
Mara Lopez stars as a battered wife in ‘T.P.O.’ by Jay Altarejos
“My film that will be shown during the festival would be my third attempt,” Direk Jay reveals. “I’ve shot something, I have a story in my mind, [but] when I saw some of the footage, they’re so experimental that it is not the requirement of the festival, so three times nabugbog sa pelikula ko pero iba’t-ibang atake.”
T.P.O. is a story about Teresa (Mara Lopez), a battered mother in the hands of her husband Miguel (Oliver Aquino). When their son Miguelito starts to get hurt as violence erupts at its worst, Teresa will seek Temporary Protection Order (TPO) against her husband. Meanwhile, Miguel, together with their son, goes through the same long and arduous process of applying for the custody of their son on the town’s most festive and busiest day. When they see each other in the middle of the road, an accident will ensue leaving them both destroyed and at the losing end. The narrative will start repeating backwards, the truth will be revealed with scenes that have yet to unfold.
The character of Mara is abused emotionally, physically, and mentally. “It was pretty challenging. I’m really glad that Direk Jay Altarejos talagang natulungan niya ko sa mga eksena,” she shares. “The nice thing about this film is that maganda siya para sa mga kababaihan na takot magsalita, takot lumaban… I hope mabigyan sila ng courage to stand up for their rights.”
T.P.O. also stars Micko Laurente, Menggie Cobarrubias, and Lui Manansala.