CINEFILIPINO may only be on its first year, but the new film festival has already attracted many of the country’s most acclaimed talents. Leading the star-studded line-up of this year’s festival is the Superstar herself, Nora Aunor. The Best Actress winner of the recently concluded Asian Film Awards is playing the titular role in Mes de Guzman’s much talked-about movie Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti. The emotional family drama shot in the scenic Nueva Vizcaya, tells the story of a healer named Mabuti (Aunor), who still looks at life positively despite trying times.
This year’s festival will also see Primetime Princess Jasmine Curtis-Smith making her film debut in the suspense thriller Puti. Helmed by Mike Alcazaren, Puti is a gripping tale of a counterfeit painter who starts seeing strange images after a freak car accident. The movie also stars Ian Veneracion, Lauren Young, and Bryan Pagala.
Like Jasmine, Artista Academy alumnus Akihiro Blanco gets his first film acting gig in Ato Bautista’s coming-of-age love story Mga Alaala ng Tag-Ulan. The teen actor, whose raw acting chops have often been compared to that of a young Robin Padilla, will share the screen with the sexy performer Mocha Uson as the object of his affection. Rounding up the cast are Mon Confiado, Issa Litton, Lance Raymundo, and Pio Balbuena.
On the other hand, comedienne Tuesday Vargas nabbed the lead role in the romantic comedy Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin. The Talentadong Pinoy and Loko Moko U regular will play half of the wacky Filipino-American couple in newbie filmmaker Randolph Longjas’ cross-cultural comedy. Travis Kraft will play Tuesday’s American husband.
Another laugh fest to watch out for is Ron Bryant’s entry Bingoleras. The comedy of errors based on the intersecting lives of six women playing bingo, boasts of an impressive cast led by Eula Valdez, Max Eigenmann, Charee Pineda, Mercedes Cabral, Hazel Orencio, and Lisa Dino. Other notable cast members include Lou Veloso, Junjun Quintania, Art Acuńa, Cita Astals, Amay Bisaya, and Coco Martin in a special role.
Kitchie Nadal transitions from rock phenom to movie star in the music-filled youth drama The Muses by Cebuana filmmaker Janice Perez. The Muses is story of sibling rivalry in the music business where two sisters find the hidden truths about fame, family and their own selves. The film also enlisted performer Janelle Jamer as Kitchie’s sister.
Sigrid Bernardo’s poignant film Ang Huling Cha-Cha Ni Anita tells the story of Anita who falls in love with the new woman in town. Playing Anita is Jay Bordon, while seasoned character actress Angel Aquino takes the role of Pilar, the woman Anita pines for.
Siblings Sari and Kiri Dalena of the controversial entry Guerilla Is A Poet are keeping mum about the particulars of their film’s casting. However, aside from the film’s cast audiences should expect more revelations in this daring docu-drama based on the life of Martial Law activist Joma Sison.
CineFilipino Film Festival will run from June 26 to July 2.