CEBU, Philippines - “Sta. Niña,” the highly-acclaimed and much-awaited indie comeback film of Gawad Urian’s Natatanging Aktor ng Dekada and ABS-CBN’s “Walang Hanggan” lead star Coco Martin, is now showing in selected cinemas nationwide. The said indie-turned-mainstream masterpiece directed by Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Palo was distributed by Star Cinema.
Graded ‘A’ by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB), “Sta. Niña” tells a moving story of a 2-year-old daughter of Paulino (Coco) who died and was buried for ten years. But when Paulino unexpectedly dig up the remains of his child, he discovered that she showed no signs of decay and this was perceived by many as a miracle.
Since its initial release during the 8th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival last July, the film earned nods from the moviegoers. Veteran actors, ordinary viewers, and even countless netizens and bloggers were all praises for the great storyline of the film and the stirring portrayal of Coco and the whole cast.
According to blogger and lawyer Francis Joseph Cruz, “Sta. Niña” has a greater message other than religion and faith. He commented, “There is actually more to the film than to pinpoint the blatant hypocrisies of the self-proclaimed religious. The film is made from a perspective that does not hold judgment towards these beliefs and practices. It finds humanity in the very reason why these beliefs and practices exist and persist. Nothing is more human than survival in a society that is quick to pass guilt and slow to forgive and forget.”
Eric Cabahug of InterAksyon.com, meanwhile, applauded Coco and Direk Manny’s remarkable contribution in making the film ‘beautiful.’ “For sure the movie succumbs to genre conventions, but director Emmanuel Palo treats all of them with understated confidence, intelligent feeling, and glorious restraint,” he said. “Coco Martin brings his rueful soulfulness to Paulino. It’s a finely nuanced performance that fully and beautifully captures the wounded heart, scrappy wit, and determined spirit of a crusading father, conflicted ex-husband, and dutiful grandson.”
“Sta. Niña” is a hot topic even in several popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. It received numerous positive comments on Twitter like: “@ppagong—Sta. Niña is such a thoughtful film which marries both the concepts of star power of mainstream and indie-style storytelling;” @kris_seb Sta. Niña has a very well written script delivered by really good actors and actresses; and @NizAlanon—Congratulations to the whole production of Sta Nina! I’m so proud that we can make Filipino movies of this caliber.” Facebook users were also acclaiming the uniqueness of the film—“Ummay Mergal Ora: Sulit ang panonood ko! Grabe! Two thumbs up para sa Sta. Niña. Ang galling! Powerful film with powerful actors;” “Russ Williams: A truly beautiful film. I enjoyed every frame of it;” and “Angeli Joyce Cunanan: Sobrang ganda ng movie na ito at sulit ang bayad n’yo. Watch ako ulit. Ang galing ng lahat.”
Also featured in “Sta. Niña” are critically-acclaimed actors including Angel Aquino, Irma Adlawan, Leo Martinez, Nanding Josef, Anita Linda and Alessandra de Rossi.
“Sta. Niña” is still showing in selected cinemas nationwide.
Meanwhile, continue to follow Coco and his character Daniel in the top-rating Primetime Bida drama series in ABS-CBN, “Walang Hanggan,” weeknights, after “Princess and I. (FREEMAN)