VIVA Films’ latest offering, the film bio Felix Manalo stands to make a new chapter in the history of Philippine Cinema as it aims to break two world best attempts in the Guinness World Record feat for the largest audience attendance in a film premiere and screening on October 4.
The premiere showing will be held at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, three days before the movie begins it commercial run on October 7, nationwide.
The country’s biggest stars and other prominent celebrities, led by versatile actor Dennis Trillo and director Joel Lamangan, are expected to grace the momentous event.
In line with the film premiere, the Philippine Arena will be transformed into a theater with 22 meters by 40 meters screen mounted for a full movie house experience.
In the movie’s grand press conference on September 23 that gathered both actors and the impressive production team behind the epic, it was revealed that the 58-day shoot for Felix Manalo resulted in a six-hour long film that traces the origins and growth of the Iglesia ni Cristo since 1914. It painstakingly covers and replicates events and locations as early as 1886 when Ka Felix was born until his demise in 1963.
The material has since been edited to exactly two hours for the commercial run, with a director’s cut to be released in the future already the works.
“We’re doing this because what we have is movie that only had the best and well-respected names in the local film production scene doing tedious work on the bio to ensure world-class quality,” explained Viva’s Vincent del Rosario.
Introduced during the press conference at the Fiesta Pavilion of The Manila Hotel no less was Lamangan’s impressive production team comprised of director of photography Rody Lacap, production designer Edgar Littaua, set designer Danny Red, costume designer Joel Marcelo Bilbao, hair and make-up artist Juvan Bermil, musical director Von de Guzman, sound engineer Albert Michael Idioma, film editor John Wong, visual effects supervisor Adrian Arcega, assistant director Arman Reyesand, and associate director Julius Alfonso.
As for the cast of 100 actors who bring to life Ka Felix’s trials and tribulations as an ordinary human being, a dutiful husband, a doting father, and a dynamic leader, the pivotal characters are as follows:
Dennis Trillo Portraying the title role of Felix Manalo is acclaimed versatile actor and singer Dennis Trillo. He rose to fame with his multiawarded performance in the movie Aishite Imasu. More recently, he won accolades for his performances in the hit teleserye My Huband’s Lover and the acclaimed indie action-thriller The Janitor.
Bella Padilla Taking on the role of Felix’s wife, Honorata, is Bella Padilla, one of today’s stunning beauties in showbiz. Born to a Filipina mother and a British father, Bela possesses a natural charisma, which is the trademark of the wellknown Padilla clan in the industry, who happens to be her distant relatives. In 2013, she played a significant role in Robin Padilla’s award-winning movie 10,000 Hours.
Gabby Concepcion Bringing the older Ka Erano Manalo (Ka Erdy) to life on screen is iconic Filipino actor, Gabby Concepcion. Gabby is known for his film Katorse that catapulted him to matinee idol status. From 1980 to 2014, he has made 88 films with several acting nominations from prestige award giving bodies such as Gawad Urian, FAMAS and PMPC Star Awards.
Snooky Serna Dramatic actress Snooky Serna stars on screen as the older Pilar, Ka Felix’s eldest daughter. Even as a child, Snooky already captured the hearts of the Filipino audience via Lino Brocka’s Sana Mahalin Mo Ako, that won her a FAMAS’ Best Child Performer. Since then, she has starred in over 80 films from 1970 to 2004 and won a total of six acting awards from Star Awards for Movies (1990, 2003, and 2009) and FAMAS (1973, 1995, and 2009).
Gladys Reyes The role of Avelina, one of Ka Felix Manalo’s daughters, is played by Gladys Reyes. Know for her antagonist roles on TV and movies, Gladys was dubbed as the Primera Kontrabida of Pinoy Soap Opera. More recently, Gladys was seen portraying lighter roles in GMA’s Let the Love Begin and in Star Cinema’s This Guy’s In Love With U Mare (2012).
Dale Baldillo Child actor and model Dale Baldillo is starring as young Eduardo. He began modeling at age 10 for apparel brands before appearing on Philippine television. He was first seen in the fantasy drama Wansapanatym in the episode Gising na Omar. In 2011, Dale was cast in the primetime drama television series, Budoy, as the young Budoy.
Jacyln Jose Seasoned actress Jacyln Jose depicts Ka Felix Manalo’s Tiya Victorina. Known for her memorable roles in the films Salome, White Slavery, and Santa Juana, Jacylyn is a versatile cinematic and television actress who has earned critical acclaim from both local and foreign awardgiving bodies.