PPP fest to show 8 films this year

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EIGHT FILMS, ranging from romantic comedies to action thrillers, make up the slate of the this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) which runs from Aug. 15-21 in all cinemas nationwide.

The PPP is a film festival created by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in 2017 “to recognize Filipino artistry in film and promote the country and its talents globally,” says the festival website.

Last year, the festival featured 12 feature films for its week-long run but the council decided to pare it down to eight in order to give each film a chance to be seen by as many people as possible.

“What happened last year was the audience didn’t have the chance to see all the films. I think one week is really [too] short a time for the audience to watch all the films in the festival which makes other films to suffer (sic),” FDCP CEO and Chairman Mary Liza B. Diño, told the media during a press conference on July 9 at the Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City.

Among the films in this year’s lineup are: Ang Babaeng Allergic sa Wi-Fi by Jun Robles Lana, a romantic comedy about a girl who develops an allergy to Wi-Fi and is thus forced to live in a remote province, pushing her to re-evaluate her relationships; Bakwit Boys by Jason Paul Laxamana, a romantic musical about four boys who get a shot at their dream when a rich city girl discovers their musical talent; Madilim ang Gabi by Adolfo Alix, Jr., a political thriller about a couple caught up in the drug war when their son goes missing; and Unli Life, a comedy by Miko Livelo which tells the story of a famous podcast DJ who travels back in time to change events that affects his love life.

Also in this year’s lineup are: Pinay Beauty by Jay Abello, a comedy film about the perennial quest of a typical Filipina to look Caucasian and the cost it entails; Signal Rock by Chito Roño, a drama about a boy living in a small town who decides to help his sister in Finland win a child custody battle; The Day After Valentine’s, also by Jason Paul Laxamana, is a romantic drama about a woman who want to fix a man’s broken heart; and We Will Not Die Tonight by Richard Somes, an action thriller about a stuntwoman who tries to survive the night after a botched deal goes haywire.

“What we were looking for are quality films which are audience friendly,” said director Jose Javier Reyes who is part of the festival’s selection committee during the launch.

He added that of the 21 films which were submitted for consideration, they chose quality films which can reach a wider audience because “Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino has no pretenses beyond being a celebration of Filipino films and part of that celebration is audience-friendliness.”

Aside from the main lineup, the festival will also feature a special section which will be screened in select cinemas. Films in this section come from local independent festivals held in 2017: High Tide by Tara Illenberger from TOFARM Film Festival, Paki by Giancarlo Abrahan from CinemaOne Originals, and Tu Pug Imatuy by Arnel Barbarona from Sinag Maynila Film Festival.

Short films will also be featured in the festival in a section called the Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition. The shorts will be shown in tandem with the full-length features. The entries in this section are: Alas-Nuebe ng Tanghali by Enalyn Legaspi; Anonymous Student Vlog by Christian Babista; Bahay-bahayan by Bryan Spencer Reyes; Bato Bato Pik by Ardinian Jaq Sanaqu and Lorys Plaza; Isang Tula Para sa Nawawala by Rodemille Singh; Koleksyong Pamalo by Len Frago; Masaya Ako by Daniel Edwin Delgado and Tiara Angelia Nicolas; and Runner by Levi Jun Miscala.

The Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino runs from Aug. 15 to 21 in all cinemas nationwide. For more information, visit https://pistangpelikulangpilipino.ph/. — Zsarlene B. Chua