SUPERSTAR Nora Aunor will lead the first CineFilipino Film Festival this September as she top bills Mes de Guzman's "Ang Kwento ni Mabuti," one of the eight finalists for the festival.
CineFilipino Film Festival is the newest addition to the growing number of independent film festivals in the Philippines. It is being spearheaded by PLDT-Smart Foundation, MediaQuest, Studio 5, and Unitel Entertainment.
From almost 150 entries across the country, the board members of the CineFilipino chose right finalists for feature films, which received P1.5 million seed grant each.
Ang Kwento ni Mabuti was shot entirely in Nueva Vizcaya. It tells the story of Mabuti, a healer who looks at life positively despite her poverty. Everything changes, however, when she accidentally discovered a bag full of cash.
In an interview with De Guzman during Aunor's 60th birthday celebration in May, he boosts the superstar's acting prowess in the movie. He said Aunor used the Ilocano language all throughout the film.
De Guzman added that even with the location of the project, the limitations and the shooting schedule, the seasoned actress was very professional to the production staff and did study her role in the movie.
"Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti" will be Aunor's latest foray in the independent cinema after her critically acclaimed movie "Thy Womb" by Brillante Mendoza.
Cinemalaya 2013 Best Supporting actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith in "Puti" (Achromatopsia) joins the Superstar in the film.
The film directed by Miguel Alcazaren also stars Ian Veneracion and Lauren Young.
TV5 newbie Akihiro Blanco is also featured in the coming-of-age love story "Mga Alaala ng Tag-ulan with Issa Litton, Mocha Uson and Mon Confiado.
The said project will be Blanco's first movie after winning "Artista Academy" last December.
Filmmakers Sari and Kiri Dalena teams up for "The Guerilla Is A Poet," a biopic of Joma Sison's experiences during the Martial Law. It will feature Karl Medina, Raymond Bagatsing, Jao Mapa and Willie Nepomuceno.
Meanwhile, actress and model Angel Aquino will star in Sigrid Andrea Bernardo's "Ang Huling Cha-cha ni Anita". She will be joined by Marcus Madrigal, Gigi Columna, Sarah Pagcaliwanagan and Lui Manansala.
Singer Kitchie Nadal and Janella Jamer will top bill "The Muses" by Janice Perez. The story is about two sisters who constantly rival each other for fame in the music business.
Tuesday Vargas, Julia Clarete and Cai Cortez will work opposite JM de Guzman in comedy movie "Ang Turkey Man ay Pabo Rin" by Randolph Longjas while seasoned actress Eula Valdez stars in "Bingoleras."
Directed by Byron Bryant, "Bingoleras" is another comedy flick which also features Max Eigenmann, Charee Pineda, Hazel Orencio, Liza Dino and Mercedes Cabral.
CineFilipino Film Festival will kick-off on September 18 and will run until the 24th.
The mentioned films will be screened at New Port Cinemas in Resorts World Manila, Gateway Cineplex in Quezon City, Lucky Chinatown in Binondo with additional screening at the Shangri-la Plaze Cineplex in Ortigas from September 21 to 22. (Glaiza Jarloc/Sunnex)