Weeklong Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) showcases 10 feature films and nine short films

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The local film audience will be in for a treat as this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) promises an exciting line-up of films with a myriad of themes.

With the theme “Pamilya, Pagkakaibigan, Pag-ibig,” PPP will be a weeklong celebration of quality and diverse movies from September 13 to 19, 2019.

Cinemas will be exclusively screening Filipino films during the entire festival run. PPP is also a platform for different sectors to work together to celebrate Filipino artistry and creating an industry event out of it in support of the filmmakers.

“The Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino this year is extra special because aside from it is a showcase of the diversity of our local films, it is also a commemoration of our historic One Hundred Years of Philippine cinema. We encourage everyone to take part in this celebration by supporting our incredible lineup of films and attending PPP 2019 events. We can’t wait for all of you to see different quality Filipino films that reflect the best that Philippine cinema offers,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Dino in a press statement.

"G!" director Dondon Santos with actor Mark Oblea
“G!” director Dondon Santos with actor Mark Oblea.

PPP is organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines in partnership with Philippine theaters nationwide. It will be the grand kick-off for “Sandaan: The Celebration of One Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema.”

The PPP presscon held in Cebu was attended by “G!” director Dondon Santos and one of the movie’s stars, Mark Oblea; Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos of “LSS: Last Song Syndrome” and young filmmakers Elle Ubas and Johanna Valdez who created “Pinggu, Pwede Na?,” the only Cebuano short film entry–from among nine entries–in the festival.

Gabbi García and Khalil Ramos, lead stars of "LSS: Last Song Syndrome"
Gabbi García and Khalil Ramos, lead stars of “LSS: Last Song Syndrome”.

Describing their film, Gabbi—who plays aspiring songwriter Sara—said, “LLS” is a story about two stories being connected by the music of popular indie folk band, Ben&Ben.”

Khalil, for his part, is Zac, a work-from-home IT guy who meets Sara at a commute, as he was on his way to his friend’s house.

The real-life couple welcomed the chance to star in the movie together for the first time, with Gabbi saying it was “a collaboration with everyone.”

"Pinggu, Pwede Na?" directors Elle Ubas and Johanna Valdez
“Pinggu, Pwede Na?” directors Elle Ubas and Johanna Valdez.

“G!” director Dondon Santos, on the other hand, revealed that their film was not originally intended for PPP but for a commercial run.

“But after the producers saw a few clips of the movie, they told that they wanted it for PPP. So we said, Tara, try natin. Then we were told that we got in. Masaya kami to be part of PPP,” said Santos whose filmography includes the 2010 Coco Martin-starrer “Noy” and last year’s action flick, “Trese.”

“Pinggu, Pwede Na?” directors Ubas and Valdez, both 19-year-old students, said they were surprised and grateful that their movie made it to the official lineup as they had very little time to finish it. The comedy-drama is about a depressed teenager who lets her penguin stuffed toy, Pinggu and and a jar full of paper decide when she would end her life.

Here are the 10 feature films for PPP:

Cuddle Weather Movie Poster

CUDDLE WEATHER
Director: Rod Marmol
Cast: Sue Ramirez and RK Bagatsing
Producer: Project 8 Corner San Joaquín and Regal Entertainment

An edgy, sexy love story and comedy, it was love at first sound when Adela Johnson (Sue Ramirez), an experienced prostitute meets Ram (RK Bagatsing), a newbie callboy as they have loud paid sex separately in adjacent motel rooms.

Their eventual mentor-mentee setup seems like a dreamy porn film until one of them begins to want more than just loveless lovemaking.

LSS Movie Poster

LSS (LAST SONG SYNDROME)
Director: Jade Castro
Cast: Gabbi Garcia, Khalil Ramos, and Ben&Ben
Producers: Globe Studios in association with Dokimos Media Studios Inc. and Ben&Ben

Sara and Zak, an aspiring musician and a yearning son, find themselves in a series of almost-but-not-quite romantic encounters as they follow an upcoming indie-folk band.

The Panti Sisters Movie Poster

THE PANTI SISTERS
Director: Jun Robles Lana
Cast: Paolo Ballesteros. Christian Bables, and Martin Del Rosario
Producers: The Ideafirst Company, Black Sheep and ALV Films

Three gay sons are called back by their estranged and terminally-ill father and are given an offer they can’t refuse: a P300 million inheritance in exchange for each of them giving him a grandchild.

G! Movie Poster

G!
Director: Dondon Santos
Cast: McCoy de Leon, Jameson Blake, Paulo Angeles, and Mark Oblea
Producer: Cineko Productions

A series of good times, bad times, cherished bonding moments are featured in this unique coming of age story which will make four guys realize the value of love, friendship, family, and life.

Im Ellenya L Movie Poster

I’M ELLENYA L.
Director: Boy 2 Quizon
Cast: Maris Racal and Iñigo Pascual
Producers: Spring Films, N2 Productions and Cobalt Entertainment

Ellenya’s world is of a typical millennial, one that revolves around social media. Dreaming of becoming a popular vlogger, Ellenya creates video contents with the help of her family and friends. Will fate pave a way for Ellenya L to achieve her dream or will it be an uphill climb for her?

Open Movie Poster

OPEN
Director: Andoy Ranay
Cast: JC Santos and Arci Muñoz
Producers: T-Rex Entertainment and Black Sheep

Rome and Ethan have been together for 14 years. When the two begin to feel that their relationship has gone stale, they explore the idea of going on an open relationship.

Watch Me Kill Movie Poster

WATCH ME KILL
Director: Tyrone Jacinto
Cast: Jean Garcia and Jay Manalo
Producer: CineBandits Entertainment

A ruthless assassin’s plan is interrupted when she discovers that the man she needs to kill has more to hide than expected.

Circa Movie Poster

CIRCA
Writer/director: Adolfo Borinaga Alix, Jr.
Cast: Anita Linda, Gina Alajar, Laurice Guillen, Jaclyn Jose, Elizabeth Oropesa, Ricky Davao, Enchong Dee, with the special participation of Eddie Garcia
Producers: ABAJ Film Productions, Noble Wolf, Swift Productions, RSVP

Doña Atang, a once celebrated film producer during the early years of Filipino cinema, gathers the actors and crew she has worked with as she celebrates her 100th birthday.

Lola Igna Movie Poster

LOLA IGNA
Director: Eduardo Roy Jr.
Cast: Yves Flores, Meryll Soriano, Ma. Isabel Lopez
Producers: ERT Productions and EMBA, Inc.

A foul-mouthed and stubborn grandmother is eager to die but her neighbors are eager for her to win the title “oldest living grandmother in the world.”

Pagbalik Movie Poster

PAGBALIK
Directors: Hubert Tibi and Maria Z. Ranillo
Cast: Gloria Sevilla, Suzette Ranillo, Vince Ranillo
Producers: Nuances Entertainment Productions and PRO.PRO

An OFW daughter returns home to her mother and son as the family deals with misunderstandings, conflicts and the challenges of old age.

Photos by Jed Aries Yu

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