Last Saturday, I attended the Gala Premiere of the movie NiÃ±o, a Loy Arcenas film which is competing under the New Breed Category of Cinemalaya Film Festival 2011. It is not my first time to watch a movie in the Cultural Center of the Philippines. In fact, this is my third time to attend this yearly appreciation of Philippine movies. What made this day special is I was able to watch a movie with my grandfather. How cool is that?
We arrived at 6PM just in time for the screening. I saw some familiar faces at the cinema and happy with the number of people seated while waiting for the movie to start. This year’s line up of movies are all promising as they tackle different topics from different genre. It is quite noticeable that in among all the movies competing, NiÃ±o didn’t really have a ‘giant’ mainstream star that can really help promote the film by making his/her life controversial to the press. The trailer is dominated by strong characters and opera-inspired music. The synopsis posted in the press release is quite intriguing yet it looks so serious. Most people were expecting a melodramatic film full of shouting and crying scenes… but no.
NiÃ±o Movie Synopsis
The Villa Los Reyes Magos, the decaying mansion of the Lopez-Aranzas, is the only remaining emblem of the once illustrious family of Gaspar and his sister Celia. When former congressman Gaspar slips into a coma, his opera doyenne sister Celia waits for a miracle through her grandson Antony, who she clads in Sto. NiÃ±o garb. But harsh reality in the figures of their children, Merced, Mombic, and Raquel, pushes the inevitable: the impending sale of the mansion to give way to a commercial venture. Celia wages her last battle to regain the glory of the past by hosting a splendid tertulla, her final eulogy to her own moribund class.
I won’t be putting much spoilers in here, but based on the reactions of most people, NiÃ±o exceeded their expectations. The camera movements were a bit shaky in the intro, but the insertion of dark humor within the complexities of families made it better and the movie kept on improving as the story progresses. You will also spot some of the most popular Philippine Opera Singers at the latter part of the story.
The movie is character-driven. The funny thing there is at the end of the movie, you can’t really pinpoint on who is the antagonist and yes, there are surprising dialogues and revelations =))
Here are some of the photos from the Gala Premiere of the movie. Sorry if the pictures are blurred 😐 (i hope converting it to black ‘n white is a good option LOL)
I’ll be spending my time and money at the Cultural Center of the Philippines the whole week as my way of supporting Philippine cinema. Today, I am set to watch three competing films. Yay!
July is the time of the year where my dream of becoming a full-pledged film maker awakens. With the huge number of moviegoers lining up for Cinemalaya movie screenings every year, it encourages dreamers to go and pursue the dream. You have a pool of audience watching and willing to support you! 😀
Btw, here’s the screening schedule of NiÃ±o:
16 July/Sat, 11:00AM at the Greenbelt 3 â€“ Cinema 5
16 July/Sat, 6:15PM at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theatre) â€“Â GALA NIGHT
17 July/Sun, 9:00PM at the Bulwagang Pambansang Alagad Ng Sining (CCP MKP Hall)
18 July/Mon, 1:30PM at the Greenbelt 3 â€“ Cinema 5
19 July/Tue, 12:45PM at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theatre)
20 July/Wed, 6:30PM at the Greenbelt 3 â€“ Cinema 3
21 July/Thu, 12:45PM at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute
21 July/Thu, 3:30PM at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theatre)
22 July/Fri, 12:45PM at the Bulwagang Pambansang Alagad Ng Sining (CCP MKP Hall)
23 July/Sat, 9:00PM at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute
Arthur AcuÃ±a, Fides Cuyugan-Asensio, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Tony Mabesa , Raquel Villavicencio, Diana Malahay, Joaquin Pedro Valdes and introducing Jhiz Deocareza.
CREATIVE & PRODUCTION STAFF
Director-Loy Arcenas, Screenplay-Rody Vera,Â Story-Loy Arcenas & Rody Vera,Â Â Producer-Daniel Arcenas & Philippe O. Chambon,Â Director of Photography-Lee Briones-Meily and jay Abello,Â Line Producer-Krisma Fajardo,Assistant Director-Issa Lopez,Â 2nd Assistant Director-Ed Lacson Jr.,Â Production Designer-Laida Lim,Production Managers-Philip Buena, Ron Capili,Â Editor-Danny AÃ±onuevo,Â Sound-Mike Idioma,Â Music-Jerrold Tarog.
I also asked child actor Jhiz Deocareza to invite everyone to watch the movie. He is regularly seen in the GMA-7 Primetime show ‘Futbolilits’.
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Have you seen the movie NiÃ±o? Are you planning to do a Cinemalaya marathon this week? Let’s meet! 😀 Support our Filipino filmmakers!