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Filipino action film The Trigonal to premiere at Cannes Film Market

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A SCENE from The Trigonal

A FILIPINO action-thriller meant to make “action movies alive and palatable again to local and international audiences,” is set to make its world premiere at the Cannes Marche du Film (Cannes Film Market) of the Cannes Film Festival this month.

The Trigonal, directed by Vincent Soberano, is about a mixed martial arts athlete who returns to his hometown and becomes a drug lord’s pawn — along with his wife and unborn child — and has to compete in an underground fight club.

Leading the cast are theater actor Ian Ignacio (who has a black belt in Taekwondo) and film/TV actress Rhian Ramos.

The film is said to “combine meticulously choreographed action sequences with top-notch production details, and at the very heart of it, a journey in humanity,” according to a press release.

“I wanted to make a movie that combines a love story with a thriller, some comedy, and a whole lot of mixed martial arts action never before seen on screen. The movie abounds with symbolism. The ‘Trigonal’ refers to an underground fighting arena shaped like a triangle. It also represents the film’s three principal characters and three subplots. The triangle in itself is a symbol of mixed martial arts,” said Mr. Soberano in the release.

“The action has to tell a story and a good actor can intensify or downplay the action depending on their portrayal of it,” he explained before adding, “Fight porn is what I call fighting just for the sake of fighting. I don’t like that. There has to be a story behind every action, every kick, every punch.”

The Trigonal is set to have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Market on May 12.

The Cannes Film Market is held in conjunction with the Cannes Film Festival which runs from May 8 to 19.

The film — which also stars several Chinese artists including Ultimate Fighting Championship star Li Jing Liang, actor/producer Gus Liem and Chinese-American action star Sarah Chang — was picked up for Chinese distribution by Real Pictures Entertainment after the film’s limited release premiere here on March 14, while the Philippine distribution will be handled by Viva Pictures. The film is set to be shown in Philippine cinemas in July.

Talks are underway to bring the films to the US in August, said the statement. — Zsarlene B. Chua