The 15th Cinema One Originals was officially set in motion with psychological horror film “The Lighthouse” opening the film fest held at Ayala Malls Manila Bay, attended by the stars and filmmakers of the eight films in competition, “Metamorphosis,” “Utopia,” “Tia Madre,” “Yours Truly, Shirley,” “Lucid,” “O,” “Sila-Sila,” and “Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo.”
Acclaimed filmmaker Robert Egger’s “The Lighthouse” truly lit up the film festival with its gripping narrative about two lighthouse keepers who gradually lose their sanity when a storm hits the isolated island on which they are posted.
The film received universal praise not only for its darkly enticing premise but also because of the exceptional performances delivered by its leads, Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. Sure enough, it also encapsulates what this year’s festival theme “Kaya Mo?!” stands for, which is to challenge filmmakers and audiences in advancing brave storytelling and viewing films.
Aside from “The Lighthouse,” other World Cinema feature films this year are “The Father,” “The Invisible Life of Eurice Gusmao,” “Knives Out,” “Matthias and Maxime,” “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “The Truth,” and “The Two Popes.”
The Restored Classics roster, meanwhile, includes the painstaking restoration works from ABS-CBN Film Restoration and FPJ Studios. Part of the line-up are Eddie Romero’s multi-generational epic “Aguila” in which Fernando Poe Jr. breaks his own mold for possibly the first and last time, Mario O’Hara’s gritty quasi-noir “Bulaklak Sa City Jail” one of his most distinctive collaborations with Nora Aunor, Abbo De La Cruz’s unflinching tale of greed “Misteryo Sa Tuwa”, two experimental postmodern comedies Peque Gallaga’s “Bad Bananas Sa Putting Tabing” and Ishmael Bernal’s “Tisoy”, and two of Carlitos Suigon-Reyna’s fastidious, flamboyant melodramas “Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit” and “Saan Ka Man Naroroon.”
#C1Originals also showcases six original short films that will put into the spotlight tales from various walks of life. Janina Gacosta; Cheska Marfori’s “Ang Gasgas na Plaka ni Lolo Bert” features the story of a closeted gay man in his 60s with HIV whose life takes a sudden turn after discovering an old vinyl record in a package, while Jan Andrei Cobey’s “The Slums” exposes a documentary team’s exploitation of an underprivileged family’s television loss.
Meanwhile, “Last 234!” by Genevieve Ofiana highlights an undesirable incident in a senior cheerleader’s journey to his last performance. Ivan Cortez raises questions on the actions of officers in power through one fateful incident involving four friends in “Sa Gitna ng Lungsod.”
Don Senoc’s “Sa Among Agwat (In Between Spaces)” underscores the bond between siblings in light of their impending separation because of adoption, while “Ang Lumunod Sa Atin” by Sonia Marie Regalario centers on a teenager’s province homecoming and the supernatural events that ensue upon his return.
Cinema One Originals has been producing breakthrough films with stimulating contents for the Filipino audience for 15 years. All these years, its purpose has been to provide filmmakers, first-timers and otherwise, a platform to fully realize their visions.
The 15th Cinema One Originals will run until November 17 at Trinoma, Glorietta, Ayala Manila Bay, Gateway, and Powerplant Makati. There will also be screenings at Vista Cinemas in Iloilo and Evia Lifestyle and in Cinema Centenario, Cinema ’76, Black Maria, UP Cine Adarna, and FDCP Cinematheque Manila.