Jericho Rosales’ award-winning indie film Alagwa (Breakaway) will finally have a Philippine mainstream theatrical release under Star Cinema, in line with its 20th anniversary. The production received an 'A' grade from the cinema evaluation board.
Jericho's first local indie movie, "Alagwa" is an advocacy film about human trafficking and inspired by a popular urban legend about a child's disappearance in Chinatown Manila. The film uncovers the dark facets of the underground business of human trafficking in the Philippines.
"Alagwa" has been showcased as an official selection in various international film festivals last year around the world. As having won numerous awards, most recent of which is its victory globally at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival where Jericho won Outstanding Achievement in Film Acting and locally at the 2013 36th Gawad Urian and Gawad Tanglaw where he won best actor trophies for his superb portrayal in this intense and chilling advocacy film that centers on the loving relationship of a father and a son and how it is shattered by human trafficking.
Prior to the Newport Beach Film Festival, Alagwa was first showcased at the Busan International Film festival in Korea where it was called one of the Best of the Fest and profusely praised by The Hollywood Reporter, which described Alagwa as a low-budget standout:
“This sophomore effort from young Filipino director, Ian Loreños, is not only a powerful film about human trafficking; it is also a small gem portraying a father-son relationship with nothing fake or sentimental about it.”The Reporter also commended the topnotch performance of Jericho and child actor Bugoy Cariño: “The film owes a great deal to the natural chemistry between singer-actor Rosales and Cariño, the child star of the TV series E-Boy, whose playful, mischievous nature contrasts with Rosales’s nervous hen approach to child-rearing. The spontaneity is a welcome change from the usual parent-child sentimentality on screen.”
Jericho’s performance was moreover described as such “Nagging, brusque and critical, Rosales expertly conveys the over-compensation of the single-parent in the tough love Robert (Rosales’s character) shows his son.”
Alagwa since then toured Malaysia (Asean International Film Festival), participated in three festivals in India, in Cambodia, as well as in Palm Beach International Film Festival where it sold out on both nights that it was shown.
The movie had several special screenings in Manila, particularly in 2012’s Cinema One Originals festival, and it also had two special private screenings at the residence of USA Ambassador Harry Thomas. In the last week of September, it was given the distinction of having been chosen as the Best Indie Narrative Feature in the World by the Third World Indie Festival in Milpitas, California among 700 entries from 30 countries.
|U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr. and |
"Alagwa" (Breakaway) director Ian Lorenos.
The US government, through Thomas, is in full support of Alagwa as the film aggressively exposes human trafficking and the plight of the people who are victimized by it.
With the upcoming mainstream theatrical release of Alagwa here in the country, Jericho (who is also co-producer of the film) and director Ian Loreños (who won best indie director and best screenplay writer in the 2013 PMPC Star Awards for Movies) are united not only in entertaining Pinoy moviegoers, but also in educating them about the horrors of human trafficking.
“Anybody can be victimized by human trafficking as it doesn’t choose any gender and social class. This is a serious issue that needs our serious attention,” explains Jericho.
Alagwa also stars Leo Martinez, Smokey Manaloto, Nanette Inventor, John Manalo, Jeremiah Rosales, Iñaki Ting, Garry Lim, Jamieson Lee, EJ Caro and in a very special cameo role, the beautiful Malaysian star, Carmen Soo. Awit Awardee Gabriel Valenciano produced and arranged the musical score of the movie.
The film aims to donate a portion of the proceeds of the film to several organizations championing the cause of human trafficking such as Visayan Forum and Called To Rescue.
The film is supported by ABS-CBN, Smart, Manila Genesis Entertainment and Management in cooperation with ASAP 18, CenturyPacific (555 Sardines), Kaseki, Collezione, Mesa Grille and the Philippine Star.
|Smokey Manaloto, Bugoy Cariño, Director Ian Lorenos, Jericho Rosales and Leo Martinez during the Alagwa press conference held at Luk Foo Chinese Restaurant, Quezon City, October 3, 2013.|
Alagwa will have a red-carpet premiere night on Oct. 7, and it will be shown in all SM Cinemas nationwide starting Oct. 9.
More photos: here.
More photos: here.