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A Rundown of the 8 Filipino Films Set to Premiere in Rome

For this year, eight independent Filipino films will be joining the Asian Film Festival in Rome, Italy.

Even with the current coronavirus outbreak around the world, the Asian Film Festival 2020 will push through from July 30 to Aug. 5 in Rome, Italy.

The objective of the Asian Film Festival is to introduce new films by independent Asian filmmakers or first-time directors to the world. In the last few years, the festival has already featured medium to full-length films from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Laos, and Cambodia.  (Read: This year’s Cannes, New York, Tokyo Film Festivals to be held online)

For this year’s film festival, eight independent films from the Philippines will be joining the lineup. These local titles include Lav Diaz’s The Halt, Jun Lana’s Kalel, 15, Thop Nazareno’s Edward, Ronald Carballo’s Jesusa, Ralston Jover’s Latay, Tyrone Acierto’s Watch Me Kill, and Eduardo Roy Jr.’s Lola Igna.

To give you a glimpse of the Asian Film Festival, here is a rundown of the eight Pinoy masterpieces that will be joining the event.

The Halt by Lav Diaz

Synopsis: The Halt is a dystopian film set in Manila in the year 2034 after massive volcanic eruptions have plunged Southeast Asia into darkness. (Trivia: The film has been screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.)

Cast: Piolo Pascual, Joel Lamangan, Pinky Amador, Shaina Magdayao, Hazel Orencio, Mara Lopez, Noel Miralles, Ian Lomongo, Joel Saracho, Ely Buendia, Bart Guingona, Susan Africa, Ashton Llarenas, Earl Ignacio, Adrienne Vergara, and Jonathan Francisco.

Kalel, 15 by Jun Lana

Synopsis: Kalel, 15  is a coming of age film that tackles social issues such as HIV. It follows the life of a boy who has to make choices no child should ever make.

Cast: Elijah Canlas, Jaclyn Jose, Eddie Garcia, Gabby Padilla, Cedrick Juan, Elora Españo, and Sue Prado

Edward by Thop Nazareno

Synopsis: Set in a public hospital, Edward revolves around a young boy’s life as he is stuck to take care of his ailing father. The boy treats the hospital grounds as his playground, not knowing that it will be his source of liberation in the end. (Read: Eight Local Stage Plays You Can Stream on YouTube)

Cast: Louise Abuel, Dido dela Paz, Elijah Canlas, Manuel Chua, and Ella Cruz.

Jesusa by Ronald Carballo 


Cinema Centenario x Sinag MaynilaJesusa (In – Competition)directed by Ronald Carballostarring Sylvia SanchezFDCP Rating – [R16]SynopsisThe film is about a woman (Jesusa) and how she sinks into the mire. It is set in a rundown community where she leads a normal life until circumstances drag her to be swallowed by the low lives of her neighbor.Screening Schedule:April 11 | 06:30PM (THU)April 15 | 05:00PM (MON)___Ticket Prices (per screening)? Regular 200PHP? Student 150PHP (From Monday to Thursday, present a valid Student ID to avail this rate)___Plot your schedules now and reserve your tickets for FREE!!!We also accept walk-ins. For inquiries and ticket reservations, please contact 0945 536 7054 and provide the following information:Complete Name:Film Title:Screening Date and Time:Num of Tickets:_____A confirmation receipt will be given upon reservation. We honor PWD and Senior Citizen discount. Please pay, claim, and select seats at the venue an hour before screening. Otherwise, the reservation is forfeited. Thank you.NO EXTRA FEE FOR RESERVATIONCinema Centenario is located at 2/F #95 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village East, Diliman, Quezon City.#WelcomeHome#SupportPHCinema#PHCinema100#SinagMaynila5

Posted by Cinema Centenario on Sunday, April 7, 2019

Synopsis: Jesusa, a barren woman comes to her wit’s end when her philandering husband moves in with his latest mistress. Left only with her stepdaughters, she succumbs to the sordid ways of the neighborhood drug addicts

Cast: Sylvia Sanchez, Allen Dizo, Empress Schuck, Mara Lopez, Ynez Veneracion, Vince Tañada, Beverly Salviejo, Uno Santiago, Mon Confiado, Malu Barry, and Fanny Serrano.

Latay by Ralston Jover

Synopsis: Latay breaks the idea of heteronormative roles in a relationship. The film revolves around the relationship of a rural couple wherein the husband is the awkwardly “suffering” type, while the wife expresses discontent with her being violent. (Read: CCP premieres ‘Encantada,’ ‘Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal’ on YouTube)

Cast: Allen Dizon, Lovi Poe, Snooky Serna, Soliman Cruz, Mariel de Leon, Adrian Cabido, Tabs Sumulong and Dianne Alvaro

Watch Me Kill by Tyrone Acierto

Synopsis: Set in a world where violence rules over virtue, a prolific killer-for-hire’s plan is interrupted after rescuing a teenage girl who was held captive by the man she was paid to kill. 

Cast: Jean Garcia, Jay Manalo, Junyka Santarin, Rodolfo Muyuela, Althea Vega, Bodjie Pascua, Francis Mata, Lehner Mendoza, and Erlinda Villalobos

Lola Igna by Eduardo Roy Jr. 

Synopsis: An elderly woman finds her life disrupted when her family and village realize she has a chance at a world record for being the oldest grandmother alive. (Read: Pamilya Ordinaryo, Lola Igna, other indie films to premiere on Netflix this June)

Cast: Angie Ferro, Yves Flores, Meryll Soriano, Maria Isabel Lopez, Royce Cabrera, Jojo Riguerra, and Armando A. Reyes

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