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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 25, 2019


rhen escano and cindy miranda in ADAN

aga muhlach with co-stars in MIRACLE IN CELL NO, 7, with director nuel naval in black

VIVA FILMS HAD successive hits with “Just a Stranger” that catapulted Marco Gumabao to leading man status and the sleeper hit comedy, “Jowable”, that made Kim Molina and her debuting director, Darryl Yap, both bankable. Viva now announces its exciting lineup of new releases for the last quarter of the year 2019.

Currently showing is the inspiring, heartwarming story of Pop Princess Sarah Geronimo and her pet dog, Happy, in “Unforgettable”, directed by Jun Robles Lana and Perci Intalan. It’s getting very positive reviews and everyone who has seen it agrees Sarah is very touching and does justice to her very challenging role as a young woman afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome. When she learns that her grandmother in Baguio is sick, she embarks on a personal journey to bring Happy to her lola, Gina Pareno, as she knows Happy will be a big help to heal her ailing grandma.

It becomes a long difficult journey when she took the wrong bus and ends up in Ilocos instead. She decides to walk her way to Baguio and, in her journey, she makes new friends and figures in new adventures that will alternately bring laughter and tears to the eyes of the viewers. Also supporting Sarah in the movie are Kim Molina, Ara Mina and Meg Imperial, plus the surprise appearance of a guest leading man who sent viewers screaming when they see him with Sarah on the big screen.

After “Unforgettable”, coming up next on November 6 is the intriguing mystery-drama, “Nuuk, A Sub-Zero Love Affair”, filmed on location in Nuuk, the frozen capital city of Greenland. It stars Aga Muhlach as Mark, a businessman working in Greenland who meets the widow Elaiza Svendsen, played by Alice Dixson, who’s feeling low after the death of her husband. They make a romantic connection but Aga suddenly goes missing and no one remembers seeing him with Alice in the public places they’ve been to. Directed by Veronica Velasco, does Aga really exist or is he all in the mind of Alice?

On November 13, don’t miss the charming “Cinta Itu Buta”, Bahasa words for “Love is Blind”. This is the Indonesian remake of the Philippine blockbuster, “Kita Kita”, which starred Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez filmed in Japan and directed by Sarah Ingrid Bernardo. The remake is now shot on location in the beautiful seaside city of Busan in Korea. It stars Jakarta’s popular superstars, the ravishing Shandy Aulia and talented comedian Dodit Mulyanto who will make you fall in love all over again, as directed by Rachmania Arunita. This is the first time that the rights to remake a local film was bought by a foreign producer. Viva Communications partnered with Marsio Juwono and MM2, with Reflection Pictures and Ideosource Emtertainment of Indonesia to produce the movie.

On November 20, get ready to be shocked with the erotic sapphic romance between two beautiful women in “Adan”, produced and written by Yam Laranas, directed by Roman Perez Jr. who earlier did the indie comedy “Sol Searching”, an entry in the ToFarm Filmfest last year. “Adan” stars the adventurous duo of Rhen Escano and former beauty queen Cindy Miranda doing daring, sizzling bedscenes in the lesbian-themed movie about a farmer’s daughter who escapes rural life to have an exciting life with her best friend.

On December 4, don’t miss Bela Padilla in “Mananita”, produced by TEN17P Films for Viva, written by the internationally acclaimed Lav Diaz and directed by Paul Soriano. In this searing character study that shows what happens when your life’s purpose is stripped away, Bela plays the challenging role of a former military sniper who takes the law into her own hands to avenge the death of her parents. With her in the movie is Ronnie Lazaro. It is the lone Philippine entry in the competition section of the Tokyo International Filmfest set to premiere on October 29.

Viva ends the year with a big bang with their Metro-Manila Filmfest entry, “Mirachel in Cell No. 7”, a remake of a tearjerking Korean megahit topbilled by Aga Muhlach. He is supported by child star Xia Vigor and Bela Padilla playing his young and grown up daughter, plus Joel Torre, JC Santos, Mon Confiado, Jojit Lorenzo and Rico Soliman, as directed by Nuel Naval. The rest of the year will surely offer great entertainment and exciting viewing with all these movies from Viva Films.