THE LONG wait is over.
The Cebuano film “Patay Na Si Hesus” directed by Victor Villanueva will finally be screened in Cebu City after it was shortlisted as one of the Top 12 entries competing for the first run of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.
“We keep making films na Bisaya pero usual namo nga problema is—asa matan-aw? I mean there are streaming platforms pero nothing really beats the cinema experience. And now, thankful mi na dili lang Cebu, but nationwide na gyud. More people ang ma-reach sa among film, and we hope suportahan sa mga tao especially mga Bisaya,” Villanueva told CDN.
In a Facebook chat, he said that he learned about the film getting shortlisted for the PPP festival while doing pre-production for In a Facebook chat, he said that he learned about the film getting shortlisted for the PPP festival while doing pre-production for his next horror film to be shot in Cebu.
“I was so happy and at the same time nervous kay gahi ang mga films nga naa sa lineup,” he said.
A relatable road trip comedy-drama (dramedy), “Patay Na Si Hesus” tells the story of a dysfuntional family brought together
on a road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete City in Negros island.
“We based the story on long road trips around Cebu, especially the Cebu to Dumaguete route, which is very nostalgic to me. Many people who have seen the film also said the characters are very relatable,” said Villanueva.
The film was first screened at the QCinema International Film Festival October last year and brought home two recognitions —the Audience Choice Award and Gender Sensitive Film Award.
“I want viewers to relate to the dysfunctional family; see what makes a broken family still whole. Every screening we’ve been to has overwhelmingly positive. Pinaka-unexpected is when we screened sa US daghan kaayo na-ganahan, na-gets nila ang humor! So to Cebuanos, maka-relate gyud mo aning salidaha, as it is very local and familiar.”
Moreover, the film’s writer Fatrick Tabada has been shortlisted for the 40th Gawad Urian Awards for Best Screenplay and one of
the official selections for Frameline International Film Festival, San Francisco USA, one of the biggest LGBT film festivals.
“Patay Na Si Hesus” features award-winning actress Jaclyn Jose, Cebuana actress Chai Fonacier, Melde Montanez, Angelina Kanapi and Vincent Viado. The film is
produced by Bianca Balbuena and Moira Lang.
The film festival, from August 16 to 22, is one of the efforts of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) led by its CEO and chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra, as part of the nationwide celebration of the Philippine cinema, in line with Buwan ng Wika in the month of August.
The 12 entries will be shown in 790 cinemas around the country.
Aside from the Cebuano film, the other entries are: “100 Tula Para Kay Stella” by Jason Paul Laxamana, “Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B” by Prime Cruz, “AWOL” by Enzo Williams, “Bar Boys” by Kip Oebanda, “Birdshot” by Mikhail Red, “Hamog” by Ralston Jover, “Paglipay” by Zig Dulay, “Pauwi Na” by Paolo Villaluna, “Salvage” by Sherad Anthony Sanchez, “Star na si Van Damme Stallone” by Randolph Longjas, and “Triptiko” by Miguel Franco Michelena.
The films were selected by a committee composed of FDCP CEO and chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra, screenwriter Ricky Lee, award-winning director Erik Matti, director Jose Javier Reyes, DOP Lee Briones-Meily, Central Digital Lab CEO and president Manet A. Dayrit, film critic Oggs Cruz, and actress Iza Calzado.
“Unlike big studios, small-time producers like us don’t have budget for marketing, unya di pod lalim mag nationwide screening. Through the PPP festival, we want the Pinoy audience to know that there are other stories to tell, and we hope they can discover these gems that usually have a hard time screening in cinemas,” he said.