Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: What We’re Bothering To See
10 movies for Pista Ng Pelikulang this year—but do we care about them all? Mhmm
We love ourselves a great film fest, especially when the objective is to hero homegrown talent. After all, we’ve talked a big game about the problems we see in Philippine cinemas and series and are eager to see it grow to its potential.
And with the days counting down to Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019, we’ve narrowed down our list of will-sees. After all, there are 10 films in the lineup and we only have so much time (and money).
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Directed by Jade Castro, starring Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos, featuring music by Ben&Ben
The story: Sara (Gabbi Garcia) and Zak (Khalil Ramos) are two 20-somethings who meet by chance and are tethered together as they follow an upcoming indie-folk band. Sara’s a frustrated musician who put her dreams aside to provide for her family; Zak’s a son that’s yearning for his estranged father and is in love with his best friend.
Why we want to watch it: Because we love ourselves a great coming-of-age love story that’s strung together by a great soundtrack. Besides, wouldn’t you love to see if the Gabbi-Khalil chemistry we see in their stories and IG posts can translate to the big screen?
The Panti Sisters
Directed by Jun Lana, starring Christian Bables, Paolo Ballesteros and Martin del Rosario
The story: A comedy starring three gay brothers and their dying father, who has challenged them to sire a child in order to inherit P100 million. They agree and go on their need-to-be-a-father journey.
Why we want to watch it: The topic—gay sons, a father wanting a grandchild—is tackled from a comedic standpoint. But honestly, it’s something that needs to be discussed. So here’s to hoping that the story goes on with some sensitivity and a lesson to be learned.
Directed by Rod Marmol, starring Sue Ramirez and RK Bagatsing
The story: Veteran call girl, Adela (Sue Ramirez), meets new-to-the-industry Ram (RK Bagatsing). They hear each other through a motel wall and quickly develop a mentor-mentee type of relationship—until it inevitably becomes something more. The two become cuddle buddies, meeting every night after they get paid for their services.
Why we want to watch it: Because we want an answer to the age-old question: Does too much sex give you a jaded perception of love? I mean, you don’t have to be satisfied with the answer, but I’d still love to hear one.
Directed by Eduardo Roy Jr., starring Angie Ferro, Yves Flores, Meryll Soriano and Maria Isabel Lopez
The story: At 118 years old, Lola Igna is the oldest in her community; so much so that people flock to their area to see her and take photos. With her community behind her, the goal is to get her “The Oldest Living Grandmother In The World” title. At this point in her life, however, all she actually wants to do is pass on—until her great-great-grandchild unexpectedly shows up.
Why we want to watch it: Life is hard and we all have trouble holding on sometimes. Maybe we’ll all learn a little something from Lola Igna (and from the community that’s so desperate to keep her).
Directed by Andoy Ranay, starring JC Santos and Arci Muñoz
The story: Rome (Arci Muñoz) and Ethan (JC Santos) have been together for more than a decade and suffice to say that they’ve reached a standstill in their relationship: she wants a proposal and he suggests an open relationship. Rome agrees, arguing that it’s to save what the relationship they’ve built on.
Why we want to watch it: In a country that is so traditional, we need to open a few eyes and give a glimpse of how different things work for different people. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea (in fact, some people are probably steering clear of the cinemas just because of its theme), but it’s a conversation that has to be had.
Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019 has a few surprises up its sleeve, it seems. We’re touching themes we haven’t before—sex, falling in love, ageing, unconventional relationships—in a unique way and definitely not with names as big as the ones connected to PPP 2019’s titles. Here’s to hoping we’re pleasantly surprised. Here’s to hoping that we’re convinced there’s a future to Philippine cinema beyond making money.
Art Alexandra Lara