Joel Lamangan, Nora Aunor reunite in possible MMFF entry
STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky Calderon (The Freeman) - July 31, 2019 - 12:00am

“Isa Pang Bahaghari,” a project of Heaven’s Best Entertainment Productions and intended as an entry to the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival, is the reunion film of award-winning director Joel Lamangan and superstar Nora Aunor.

The last time they did a film together was in 2014 when he directed the actress in “Hustisya,” a Cinemalaya entry for which Nora won that year’s best actress award from the prestigious independent film festival.

“Isa Pang Bahaghari” is the sixth time Direk Joel and Ate Guy are working in a movie. Their first project was the critically-acclaimed “The Flor Contemplacion Story” for which they both won numerous awards here and abroad.

In the story conference for “Bahaghari,” Direk Joel said it is always a pleasure working with the actress.

“She comes to the set prepared. She knows her lines and she always gives her best. Nora as an actress is like wine. Habang tumatagal, lalong sumasarap. She’s that good,” said Direk Joel.

Ate Guy returned the compliment, saying Direk Joel can also be compared to brandy. “Mahal na alak ang brandy pero sobrang sarap rin. He always brings out the best in me,” she said.

Playing important roles in the movie are Philip Salvador and Michael de Mesa as Nora’s leading men. The young Nora, Phillip and Michael will be portrayed by Maris Racal, Albie Casiño and Migs Almendras. Also in the cast are Joseph Marco, Sanya Lopez, Zanjoe Marudo ,Lloyd Samartino, Shido Roxas, Angela Cortez, Mari Preizer, Tabs Sumulong and Fanny Serrano.

“Bahaghari” is written by Eric Ramos, who also wrote “Rainbow’s Sunset.”

***

The Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2019 set from August 2-11 is doubly special for Albert Almendralejo’s Spear Films because the company is presenting another children’s film titled “Children of the River.”

Albert, a former GMA-7 executive, was so happy that his directorial debut, the documentary “Journeyman Finds Home: The Simone Rota Story” was shown in exhibition at last year’s Cinemalaya.

Albert is a big fan of the festival. When it is Cinemalaya week, he clears his busy schedule so that he can watch the films at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Last year was memorable because he attended the festival as a producer-director and not just as a member of the audience.

This year, Spears Films is fielding the drama about art and love entitled “Malamaya,” and the family picture, “Children of the River.”

“Children of the River” is Spears’ venture with Luna Studios and GMA Pictures. Written and directed by Maricel Cariaga, it is the tale of three young friends whose fathers have gone off to war and are now left with the responsibility of caring for their respective families. In the cast are Cinemalaya 2017 Best Actor Noel Comia Jr., Juancho Trivino, Rich Asuncion, with the special participation of Urian Best Actor Jay Manalo.

“It is an idyllic story in the province of Quirino. I dare say it can be a dark horse in Cinemalaya,” said Albert.

For Albert, Cinemalaya 2019 is a homecoming of sorts. “It’s full cycle for me because the first film I produced, Ralston Jover’s directorial debut, ‘Bakal Boys,’ won the NETPAC Prize in the 2009 Cinemalaya. It feels great to be part of this significant festival.”

***

“Kung Hindi Lang Tayo Sumuko,” “Love is Landian with Effort” and “Secret Nights” are just some of the titles from Viva Books that will be launched exclusively in Viva Con on August 3-4 at the World Trade Center.

“Sumuko” is a new collection of poetry with accompanying images from bestselling writer Marcelo Santos III. It’s the Hugot King’s followup to his bestselling first poetry book, “Muntik Nang Maging Tayo,” released by Viva n February 2018.

“Landian” finds bestselling non-fiction writer Stanley Chi training his sights on romance and relationships to offer real talk and his inimitable insights laced with humor. His previous book, “Office Petiks,” was also released by Viva in 2018 and became a bestseller for several months.

“Secret” is Viva Books’s resident erotic novelist Aivan Rivero’s newest release. It’s a steamy high school-set love triangle among Amber, her classmate and his brother. This is Rivero’s followup to last year’s

“Midnight Lovers.”

Another love triangle story offers up kilig and laughs in “Three Ang Gulo,” a romcom novel from stand-up comedian and Miss Q&A runner-up Chad Kinis.

The Viva Books booth will also give fans lots of exciting opportunities. They can have their books signed by their favorite authors including Viva stars Bela Padilla (“100 Tula Ni Bela”), Yassi Pressman (“Say Yass to Happiness”), Mark Bautista (“Beyond the Mark’), Julian Trono and Ella Cruz (“Jump In”) and celebrity directors Jason Paul Laxamana (“100 Tula Para Kay Stella”), Irene Villamor (“Sid & Aya”), and Sigrid Andrea Bernardo (“Kita Kita,” “Mr. & Mrs. Cruz”).

VivaCon is the biggest entertainment convention in the country. It will feature appearances by Viva’s biggest stars including Anne Curtis, James Reid, and Nadine Lustre. Tickets give guests unlimited access to hundreds of booths and all activities including shows, workshops, and auditions.

JOEL LAMANGAN METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL NORA AUNOR
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