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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.

Feb 26, 2017

Cinema One Winning Entries, 'Baka Bukas' & '2 Cool 2 B 4Gotten' To Be Released In Theaters On Star Cinema On March 1 & March 15

STAR CINEMA is distributing on a wide theatrical release two films that won awards in the recent Cinema One Originals Filmfest, “Bakas Bukas” and “2Cool2 B 4Gotten”. Why, among the many entries, did they choose these two films to be released in theaters? “Noon pa balak i-release talaga ang mga ito kasi they both did very well at the box office noong filmfest,” says Cinema One’s Ronald Arguelles. “We thought sa April pa sila mare-release but biglang nagkaroon ng bakanteng playdates so heto, ‘Baka Bukas’ opens on March 1 and ‘2Cool2 B 4Gotten’ on March 15. Sana, kumita sila para mai-release din namin yung iba pang entries, like ‘Tisay’ with Nathalie Hart, which has so much potential at the box office.”

In “Bakas Bukas”, Jasmine Curtis Smith won the Cinema One best actress award as Alex, a 23-year old lesbian doing multiple jobs who comes out of the closet and falls in love with her best friend, Louise de los Reyes as Jess. It is the debut movie of writer-director Samantha Lee who admits that the film is a very personal one for her as she’s a little bit of everyone in the story and that Alex is largely based on her own real life experiences.

It’s full of lines that young lovelorn gays can relate with, like Alex saying: “One of the scariest things about coming out is finding out if the ones you love will stay after nalaman nilang tomboy ka.” A heartbreaking moment in the movie shows Jess telling Alex: “Kung kaya mo lang akong bigyan ng anak, pinakasalan na kita.” No wonder “Bakas Bukas” won the Audience Favorite Award in the filmfest.

Direk Samantha says it took her sometime to cast the role of Alex, until she found Jasmine who’s just perfect for the role. What advice would she give to gays who are scared and can’t come out? “I was 23 years old when I finally got the courage to come out. Now, I always say that when you feel you’re ready to do it, just don’t be afraid as you kind of miss out on that part of your life if you’d keep on holding back.”

“2 Cool 2 B 4Gotten” is a coming-of-age story set in Pampanga in the 1990s after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. Khalil Ramos is Felix, a bright high school student who’s aloof in school and friendless. Two Fil-American boys change his life, Ethan Salvador as Magnus and Jameson Blake who won as Cinema One best supporting actor as the daring Maxim. Under the direction of first-timer Petersen Vargas, this turns into a very dark story about hidden desires and questionable motives. More about this later since its playdate is on March 15 yet.