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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.

Sep 4, 2018

Bibeth Orteza Presents The Trailers Of The Six Final Entries In ToFarm Filmfest 2018 That Starts Showing In Several Theaters On September 12

BIBETH ORTEZA, ToFarm Filmfest 2018 director, is confident that their six finalists in this year’s festival, are all worth watching. “I’ve seen the rough cuts and we’re really proud of them,” she adds while hosting the presentation of the trailers of the six entries.

When they were first presented some months ago, there were 7 entries. Two eventually withdrew for alleged lack of time, Ellen Marfil’s “Isang Kuwento ng Gubat” and Eduardo Roy’s “Lola Igna”. One entry from Mindanao replaced them, “Kauyagan (Way of Life)” by Julienne Ilagan from Cagayan de Oro, about the son of a Datu named Piyo who refuses to accept his responsibilities in their tribe. He runs away to be free but ends up in prison when he is mistaken for a rebel. But will he be able to escape from the destiny of his bloodline?

The other five entries are: “1957” - a period drama written and directed by Hubert Tibi. Set in the year that Pres. Ramon Magsaysay died. Farmers in Bicol oppressed by a selfish landowner are pinning their hopes on his supposed visit to their town so they can achieve genuine land reform, but we now all know what happened to Pres. Magsaysay on March 17, 1957. Starring Richard Quan as a former Huk or rebel, Ronwaldo Martin as a corn farmer’s son, Lucio, and Menggie Cobarrubias as the greedy landowner, Don Pepe.

“Alimuom” - written, edited and directed by Keith Sicat (“Woman of the Ruins”), this is a futuristic sci-fi flick set at a time when farming has become outlawed in the Philippines because the soil has become toxic. People live under a biodome to protect them from a poisonous environment. Starring Ina Feleo as a scientist who hunts down people living beyond the dome, Eppy Quizon as the Minister representing the authoritarian government, Elora Espano as Ina’s missing sister, plus Mon Confiado, Dido de La Paz, Kiko Matos, and Karl Medina.

“Mga Anak ng Kamote” - Written by John Carlo Pacala and directed by Carlo Enciso Catu (“Kung Paano Hihintay ang Dapithapon” that won best picture in Cinemalaya”)

Another futuristic entry set in 2048, the sweet potato or kamote has become a prohibited food through the Kamote Planting Regulation Act. Planting or selling it is part of the campaign against illegal drugs. Katrina Halili plays a woman who lives in the mountains and is forced to go down to the city to look for her missing husband, Alex Medina, who’s been accused for selling illegal kamote. This becomes a journey of self discovery for her, and she’s aided by friends like Kiko Matos and Carl Guevarra.

“Tanabata’s Wife” - Written by Charlson Ong based on the classic short story of Sinai Hamada, directed by Ong with Lito Casaje. A period drama set in the 1920s about Tanabata, a Japanese immigrant farmer in La Trinidad, Benguet, who falls in love with a native maiden, Fasang, and marries her. They beget a son but Fasang cheats on him and elopes with a distant cousin, Okdo. He loses his will to live and Okdo eventually leaves Fasang. Will there be a happy ending for them? Starring Japanese actor Miyuki Kamimura as Tabanata, Maribeth Fanglayan as Fasang, Kurt Alalag as Okdo.

“Sol Searching” - a black comedy written and directed by Roman Perez Jr. Teacher Sol (played by Gilleth Sandico) dies suddenly, but she cannot be laid to rest due to lack of funds. She has no relatives who will take care of her wake and funeral. But she is well loved by the community for teaching scientific farming methods, so they all help out to put her to her final resting place. This also stars Pokwang, Joey Marquez, Jelson Bay and child actor JM Salvado.

Bibeth as host of the affair made us laugh with her so-called humorous contributions to “chismis”. She has many side comments, like when she revealed that Richard Quan, star of “1957”, is dear to her because he was introduced in a movie, “Saan Ka Man Naroroon”, directed by her husband, Carlitos Siguion Reyna. “At nagkaroon siya ng pagnanasa sa scriptwriter noon,” she adds, making Richard blush. “Hindi ako, kundi si Racquel Villavicencio. Huwag kang magde-deny, ha, dahil totoo yan.”

She said she saw Ina Feleo, star of “Alimuom” and daughter to Laurice Guillen and the late Johnny Delgado, when she was just a tiny baby, then she adds she’s now 64 years old. We tell her that she doesn’t look it. “Oo naman kasi I already had a face lift in 2012,” she quips. “Sabi ni Armida Siguion Reyna (her mother in law), para huwag kang pagtsismisan, aminin mo na agad na nagpa-face lift ka.”

We really wish, for Bibeth’s sake, that the current entries will be of truly fine quality. The first two festivals under the late Maryo de los Reyes produced such acclaimed entries as “Paglipay”, “Pauwi Na” and “What Home Feels Like”. Here’s hoping that the 2018 entries will surpass those. The Tofarm Filmfest will open on September 10 at Novotel Cubao paying tribute to the late Maryo J with a special screening of his acclaimed “Magnifico” which has been restored by ABS-CBN Film Archives.

Public screening of the six entries at SM Megamall, SM Manila, Robinsons Galleria, Trinoma, Greenbelt 1 and Gateway will start on September 12 in Manila, Gaisano Davao, Robinsons Legaspi and for the movie, “1957” which is set in Bicol, Robinsons Naga. The awards night will be held on September 15 at Makati Shangrila with film editor Manet Dayrit as chair of the board of jurors, and as members, directors Jerrold Tarog, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Mel Chionglo and writer-producer Moira Lang.
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#Alimuom #MgaAnakngKamote #Kauyagan #TanabatasWife