MANILA -- Erik Matti’s acclaimed movie “Buybust” will be the opening film of this year’s Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, which runs from August 3 to 12 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and select Ayala Malls.
This was relayed to ABS-CBN News on Wednesday by Chris Millado, Cinemalaya festival director and CCP artistic director.
Asked why “Buybust” was chosen to open Cinemalaya since it will already be shown in cinemas nationwide starting August 1, Millado said they want “to help generate even more interest on a groundbreaking indie action film.”
“Buybust” had its world premiere on July 15 (Manila time) as the closing film for the New York Asian Film Festival and has earned rave reviews from critics. Screen Daily calls it “brazenly cynical and brilliantly executed.”
"BuyBust" stars Anne Curtis and Brandon Vera, who were both present at the New York premiere. It is not yet sure if the two or the film's other cast members Victor Neri, Joross Gamboa, Nonie Buencamino, Sheenly Gener and Paolo Rodriguez will attend Cinemalaya's opening at the CCP Main Theater on August 3.
Meanwhile, Millado also announced that Peng Fei Song’s “The Taste of Rice Flower” from China will be the closing film on August 12, also at the CCP Main Theater.
Hollywood Reporter calls it “a beautiful, bittersweet tale about belonging.” The story is about “a young woman's return to her home village and her attempt to rekindle the bonds she once had with her clan and her community.”
“The Taste of Rice Flower” had its premiere in 2017 Venice International Film Festival.
Many are wondering why the announcement was made 16 days before opening day and not at the press conference about three weeks ago.
In an earlier conversation with Millado, he told us their choices have been limited this year because most of the films they intend to use will premiere at the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, which opens on August 15, or three days after Cinemalaya’s closing day.
“PPP has made it a requirement that films should only premiere with them. It has affected our choices,” Millado said.
PPP is on its second year while Cinemalaya is on its 14th edition.
At any rate, the two festivals will benefit cinemagoers, who are all excited to have August as their busiest month.