Cinema One Originals 2016: Five Films We Are Eager To See

This year’s Cinema One Originals independent film festival dares ask the question, “Ano’ng Tingin Mo? (What do you see/think?)” to their audience as they present 10 entries – 7 narrative features and 3 documentaries - with promises of much edgier and multilayered aural-visual materials that can perfectly encapsulate the spirit and voice of Filipino indie filmmaking.

Meanwhile, this year’s edition is made more exciting with its foreign films programming that will showcase award-winning titles and possible Oscar contenders.

DLIST.PH staff gathers once again to discuss at least five films they are very eager to see starting October 14:  

“2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten”
Originally entitled, Dos Mestizos, Petersen Vargas’ feature length debut is a coming of age period film set during the aftermath of Mt Pinatubo eruption. Coming from the success of his short feature, “Lessons in Geography,” Vargas’ verve in telling the beauty of youthful friendship deserves wide attention and lengthier discussions.

"Every Room is a Planet"
We are essentially a fan of Malay Javier. His feature film directorial debut, “Hindi Sila Tatanda,”  is one of our recent year’s favorite films. This time around, Javier puts the curiosity of the unknown-unknowns to a narrative of the young. A mental patient claims her husband was abducted by aliens. And perhaps just like Tatanda, whether the tale goes taller than the uncertainties of the unknown – his honest depiction of the human psyche is endless in its twists and possibilities.

"People Power Bombshell: The Diary of Vietnam Rose"
There have been many anecdotes and hearsays about what  became of the colossal production catastrophe that was Celso Ad Castillo’s The Diary of Vietnam Rose. The film was supposed to feature talented bombshell Liz Alindogan in the title role – a dream she’s purportedly circled around for many years to complete being also the film’s primary investor. Twenty film rolls unfurled, and all those who survived the years are gathered to examine what could have been and what went through – in this documentary feature about the making of an unfinished film, as directed by indie auteur John Torres.  

“Forbidden Memory”
Gutierrez “Teng” Mangansakan II is currently one of the prime movers of Mindanao cinema whose films about the life and struggles in the Maguindanaon region have been well-received by the art circuits and cineastes here and abroad. We have a gut feel that his new project, about the Malisbong massacre in 1974 of which more than 1000 Muslim Moros were killed by then Philippine Army, once more is here to remind us of the horrors and inhumanity of the Martial Law years, and this is quite possibly Mangansakan’s most important work to date. It was not until 2 years ago that the Philippine government recognized the said atrocity as part of the darkest times of the Marcos era, and therefore the victims’ families are a rightful claimant to the P 10 billion indemnification fund reserved for human rights victims during the regime.   

“I, Daniel Blake”
Ken Loach’s  second Cannes victory is a British-French production about a middle-aged carpenter who injured himself to collect a state-living subsidy, only to be confronted by red tapes and other social ills. The film won audiences with officially designated prizes in festivals such as Locarno, San Sebastiano, and Vancouver. It has a current aggregated score of  92% stating a universal acclaim from critics – and being considered a darkhorse at the Oscar race in 2017.

Here are the complete schedules of films competing and screening from November 14-22 at selected cinemas in Metro Manila: (Click to enlarge image)

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