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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 31, 2010


A man with a shattered past battles with it to rebuild his life

Ishmael will leave viewers stunned at the 6th Cinema One Originals Film Festival at the Shang Cineplex of the Shangri-la Mall in Edsa when it opens on November 10 to 16.

Written and directed by award-winning Richard Somes whose name rose to prominence with his multi-awarded film Yanggaw which swept most of the awards during last year’s Cinema One Originals, Somes this time completes his cast for this “western-style action drama that is so compelling” headed by acting great Ronnie Lazaro, Mark Gil, Ria Garcia, Dan Alvaro and Pen Medina.

Ishmael has finally been paroled after 12 years of imprisonment for the crime of murder. Alone and confused, he decided to come back home to find peace and solitude in a place familiar to him. But his dream of rebuilding his shattered past is shaken when a mysterious innocent girl ends up in his front yard. She is also running away from her own horror, and is seeking his help. Keeping his distance from the outside world to stay away from more trouble, Ishmael avoided the girl and leaves her all alone frightened and hurt. But just when he thought that he’d already ran away from his own demons, Ishmael slowly discovers that the quiet town he once knew is not anymore a safe place to stay. A powerful religious cult headed by an enigmatic leader known as the Ama is running the town. Their connection is the girl who is carrying a dark secret that would awaken his nightmares and violent past.

According to Somes, he treats Ishmael to be a Western action drama “because of how its main character will act para i-save niya iyung place na binalikan niya from something he thinks is wrong. This time he may not care whether what he will do will redeem him or lalo siyang mapapasama.”

Somes , a charismatic Ilongo instantly captured major projects. He art directed for Scorpio Nights II (1999), Pedro Penduko, Episode II: The Return of the Comeback(2000), Prosti (2002) and Mano Po 2: My Home (2003). In the intervening years Somes headed the production design of television commercials like Lucky Me concept “Popoy” (2005), 555 Tuna featuring Vic Sotto (2007), and Ariel featuring Ms. Vilma Santos (2007). But when he co-wrote and directed Yanggaw at the Cinema One Originals 2008, the horror gem made his name a force of a director to reckon with. Yanggaw brought home the best director at the digital film festival and the 25th PMPC Star Awards. It also received nominations from the Gawad Urian and Golden Screen Awards in 2009. This time the ever charismatic filmmaker is again enflamed with Ishmael, a movie with a character that is multi-layered.

Somes divulges that he himself is intrigued with his material and its main character “because it’s simple, exciting and new. It doesn’t need a lot of heavy subplot and themes. You just have to follow the characters and wait for the story to unravel. Also, I have been longing to do homage to the Pinoy western genre. This genre is very significant to our film industry; it influences the industry as a whole. It’s classic, original, timeless and has its style of its own. Ishmael may open doors again to a genre that was once forgotten.” He even has a powerful cast. “They all fit their roles. I can sense the classic in their look and acting piece. Ronnie Lazaro this time is his protagonist “lalong mag-mamarka si Ronnie bilang versatile na actor and I can already see him to be a frontrunner sa Best Actor category.”

Ishmael will introduce powerful and memorable when the 2010 Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival kicks off from November 10 to 16 at Shang Cineplex of the Shangri-la Mall in Edsa. The Cinema One Awards Night will be held on November 14 at the Dolphy Theater of ABS-CBN.

Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2010 is an annual project of Cinema One. Cinema One is the movie channel on cable owned and operated by Creative Programs, Inc.

Ronnie Lazaro – Ishmael
Mark Gil – Ama
Ria Garcia – Agnes
Pen medina – Nestor
Dan Alvaro – Lando

Director – Richard V. Somes
Line Producers – Riza Montelibano, Barbarra Montelibano
Executive Producer – Ronald Arguelles
Consultant for Cinema One Originals – Sherad Anthony Sanchez
Director of Photography – J.A. Tadena, Louie Quirino, Herman Claraval, Alex Espartero
Art Director – Elmer Gamila, Charles Albert Alabado
Production Manager – Darry dela Cruz
Production Designer – Adrian Torres
Costume Designer – Adrian Torres
Assistant Director – James Montelibano
2nd Assistant Director – Candy Nagrampa

To view the rest of the Entries:
Cinema One Digital Film Festival 2010