Cinema One Originals 2017: Fantasies and Realities

 Photo Credits: Benjamin Padero

African American actress Janelle Monae once said, “I feel myself becoming the fearless person I have dreamt of being. Have I arrived? No. But I'm constantly evolving and challenging myself to be unafraid to make mistakes.”  Could that be the same when filmmakers create their presentations? Could that be said of the new features that are about to be shown next month via the annual Cinema One Originals Film Festival? This year’s Cinema One’s tagline is “Walang Takot” which literally translates to “No fear.” Will the 7 directors prove that beyond fear and devoid of uncertainties and doubts, their films will express the festival’s chosen theme? Will they arrive? Will they evolve and challenge the audience to be unafraid? Or will they make more mistakes of showing what most of the time gets lost and misunderstood in translation?

Kip Oebanda’s supernatural entry is about a privileged millennial who gets to be transformed into an aswang by his nanny, Nay Luisa, in NAY.  On the other hand, Shireen Seno’s NERVOUS TRANSLATIONS is a an indie sci-fi that tells of an introverted kid who privately deals with his own thoughts. When she discovers a pen that can translate the thoughts and feelings of nervous people, an interesting filmic narrative will hopefully spring. And in what seem to be the fest’s dominant genre, another fantasy feature will tell the story of a production designer who discovers a way to rewrite his narrative timeline in Joseph Teoxon’s THROWBACK THURSDAY.  Veteran filmmaker Richard Somes’ new feature is dubbed as a “historical mosaic” where historical figures and characters are played upon in different narratives and directions.  What would be the audience reaction once they see Bonifacio in drag and a suicidal Jose Rizal in HISTORIAGRAPHICA ERRATA? Fatrick Tabada and Rae Red’s SI CHEDENG AT SI APPLE ( formerly with the branded bag prop as the third title character), though not in the same fantastical territories, is about two women who is expected to shock the audience with their twilight years’ choices.  It may be Lola meets Bwakaw by way of Kinatay. This film will reunite Pinakamagandang Hayop Sa Balat ng Lupa screen rivals Elizabeth Oropesa and Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz. 

Only two films may seem to have a literally realistic approach to storytelling,  Dan Villegas’ CHANGING PARTNERS is an adaptation of a Vincent De Jesus  play about the slighted phenomenon on a dictum that love that does not really last, for real.  Meanwhile,  Gian Abrahan’s PAKI  is the fourth elderly lead character at the fest that will narrate the story of an octogenarian old maid and in some synoptic confusion, has children and a husband she needs to deal with.  

Cinema One has always been an exciting film event and compared to other fests, they have the most venues most of the time. They also provide the largest sum of financial grants to filmmakers and in the process, they get to be more promoted and exhibited in various platforms and international screenings.

Cinema One Originals 2017 will kick off on November 13 and will have extended playdates until the very last days of the month. It will be held at Trinoma, Glorietta, Gateway, UP Cine Adarna, Cinema 76, Manila Cinematheque, and much later at the Power Plant Mall.  There will also be documentary features competition and screenings of award winning foreign films . Oscar-contender  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will be the Opening Film.

Cinema One Originals is produced by Cinema One, the number one cable channel in the country. Cinema One aims to support the movie industry especially Filipino filmmaking. Its programming includes a line-up of mainstream and independent local and foreign films, film related programming, and original content for television.
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