Another New Breed finalist that won't be seeing the light of day is director Eduardo Roy Jr.'s Lola Igna: a comedy/drama about an old woman who confronts her mortality after an unexpected, eerie premonition.
Taking the slots vacated by MNL 143 and Lola Igna in the festival's New Breed section are two coming of age movies: Marie Jamora's music-driven Ang Nawawala (about a displaced boy searching for his voice in a country he hardly fits in) and Gino Santos' The Animals (a high school drama dealing with teenage hedonism and heartache).
Mainstream actors dominate both the New Breed and Directors Showcase categories. Dennis Trillo (Ang Katiwala), Thai sensation Ananda Everingham (Kalayaan) and Eddie Garcia (Bwakaw) will each have a movie in the festival.
Garcia leads the cast of Bwakaw, Jun Lana's sentimental tale of a jaded man who forms an unlikely bond with a stray dog. There's a good chance that the eighty-three-year-old acting dynamo will win this year's Best Actor trophy. It will rain fire and brimstone if he doesn't.
The director of Niño (2011) and his muse make a strong comeback in this year's New Breed section. Director Loy Arcenas' second film, REquieme!, is a far departure from his previous effort. Arcenas reunites with Cinemalaya Best Supporting Actress Shamaine Buencamino in a black comedy that involves four dead guys, two wakes and the infinitely endearing Lilia Cuntapay.
After years of doing several pedestrian movies for Star Cinema and Regal, the 30-year-old actor's return to independent filmmaking is a welcome respite. An oasis, finally, has appeared.