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Young love takes over cinemas



Oh, to be young and in love! These are two things that will never go out of fashion and remain ever so powerful as the next round of Philippine movies will show beginning today.

Still an inspiration for storytellers, young love — and its far more complicated complications — is the catalyst for Regal Entertainment’s latest ensemble movie, “Ang Henerasyong Sumuko Sa Love.”

Written and directed by the equally young, prolific and passionate filmmaker Jason Paul Laxamana (“100 Tula Para Kay Stella,” “Bakwit Boys”), expect none of the cute depiction of falling in love in what is touted as a definitive presentation of attraction among the day’s millennials.

“We wanted to come up with a no-holds barred barkada movie na hindi pa-cute at hindi pa-bebe. [The movie’s aim is to] show the real challenges that the young generation experience today,” the director says.

Starring Jane Oineza, Jerome Ponce, Albie Casiño, Myrtle Sarrosa, Tony Labrusca and Thia Thomalla, “Ang Henerasyong Sumuko Sa Love” (AHSSL) seems to have piqued the interest of its target audience as its Facebook trailer is pushing 10 million views and a hundred thousand shares as of press time. A generation who’s always eager to unlock the workings of the universe, the movie’s premise has certainly hooked the millennials who want to know the answer to: “Can you change the world through love, or will the world change you?”

“The story resonates with the millennials today, who aim to find their identity in a world full of challenges and confusion,” Laxamana adds.

The cast of ‘Ang Henerasyong Sumuko Sa Love:’ Albie Casiño, Myrtle Sarrosa, Tony Labrusca, Jane Oineza, Jerome Ponce and Thia Tomalla

Let’s get deeper into the plot. AHSSL is the story of a college barkada who make a pact right after graduation to meet after a year to celebrate their friendship, not knowing the surprises and challenges that await each of them in terms of career, relationship problems and societal issues.

Jane plays the role of Ma-an, a competitive vlogger who advocates empowered women. She gets all the more aggressive when she finds out that her fiercest vlogging competitor (Thalia) is now her ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend. Despite her strong façade, however, insecurity is eating her up.

Jerome is Denzel, an openly gay and confident restaurateur and achiever. He is practically successful in everything he endeavors, save for finding a relationship for keeps.

Video editor Hadji (Albie) is li­ving in with promodizer girlfriend Juna-Mae (Myrtle). Idealistic when it comes to romance, Hadji’s concept of love and romance is highly influenced by what he sees in social media. Juna-Mae is his complete opposite because of a past experience and does not believe in happily-ever-after. She fears commitment, which affects her relationship with Hadji.

Finally, Kurt (Tony) is a guy determined to make it big until he realizes a huge piece missing in his life. He constantly compares himself to others on social media and ends up burnt out and depressed from his competitive streak.

How then can love grow amid their issues? Find out how each of them fares in cinemas nationwide beginning today.

* * *

Further proof that the subject of young love is timeless hits the screens anew on October 9, when GMA Network’s rising star Kyline Alcantara headlines her debut movie, “Black Lipstick” — the millennial version of Snooky Serna’s 1986 blockbuster “Blusang Itim.”

‘Black Lipstick’ stars Kate Valdez, Manolo Pedrosa, Kyline Alcantara and Migo Adecer

Those familiar with the original should immediately figure out that Kyline, who plays the role of Ikay/Jessica, is an ugly duckling who transforms into a beautiful swan each time she puts on her black lipstick. This is the updated version of Snooky’s Jessa whose magical makeover takes place whenever she wears her special black blouse.

The “upgrade” in the plot as the millennials like to say, is how Ikay is taunted for her looks via cyberbullying.

She falls in love with campus heartthrob Gelo (Manolo Pedrosa), while leaving her shoulder to cry on Emil (Migo) quietly hurting for he loves Ikay despite her looks.

According to Kyline, the movie’s all-important message for millennials is self-acceptance and self-love amid the pressures of social media. She admits that despite her stature as a young celebrity, she can very much relate to her character.

“I used to cry and feel bad whenever I’m bashed on the Internet,” Kyline relates. “I’d also compare myself to my peers especially when I was starting out. But over time, I realized how getting affected by these things doesn’t do me any good so I learned to love myself little by little, which is what I hope this movie will inspire [my generation] to do.”

Of course, amid the self-help component of Black Lipstick, 17-year-old Kyline promises many “kilig moments” in the movie what with her good looking leading men. A bonus too is that original Blusang Itim star Snooky Serna portrays her mom in the reboot.

Directed by Julius Ruslin Alfonso, Black Lipstick is a production of Obra Cinema.

* * *

Finally, with a date of release yet to be announced, TBA Studios (Tuko Film Productions, Buchi Boy Entertainment and Artikulo Uno Productions) nonetheless revealed that its next offering is a romantic-comedy titled “Write About Love,” starring young actress Miles Ocampo (“Maledicto,” “The Debutantes”) who portrays an up and coming screenwriter. She finds herself partnered with a more senior screenwriter in Rocco Nacino for a romantic film, causing creative differences to explode.

‘Write About Love’ with Miles Ocampo, Rocco Nacino, Joem Bascon and Yeng Constantino

Says executive producer Eduardo Rocha and one of the founders of TBA, “We wanted to do a film about the unsung heroes of filmmaking — the script writers — their writing process and how they create characters which often turn out to be their alter egos.”

Of course, love creeps into the picture as opposites do attract, and it will be very interesting how first-time director Crisanto B. Aquino will weave this movie-within-a-movie romance.

Incidentally, the sneak peak into Write About Love took place at TBA Studios’ contract signing with leading entertainment publicity firm Publicity Asia. Present were the latter’s founder and lead strategist Joyce Ramirez and TBA’s big three, Rocha, Vincent Nebrida and Fernando Ortigas of the “Heneral Luna” fame, among others.

In a statement sent to The Manila Times on the new partnership, “Ramirez is set to lead both terrestrial and worldwide branding, marketing and communications at TBA Studios as a ‘premiere commercial film company in the Philippines committed to producing high-caliber and relevant films that resonates not just to its primary Filipino audience but also to a wider, global market.’

“Part of the deal also includes the development and execution of data-driven, creative campaigns to grow TBA Studios’ reputation of producing high quality films that offer Filipino audiences the alternative from traditional selections, increasing its fan base, working on studio branding and staying current on the OTT and user acquisition landscape, growth trends, best practices, and competitor strategies to serve as the subject matter expert on growth and business development.”

It can be recalled that Publicity Asia was previously contracted to Sony Pictures Entertainment Network in Singapore for a decade handling the PR of SPE channels AXN and ANIMAX from 2004 to 2014.

In 2012, the agency spearheaded the massive “All Stars” campaign featuring the likes of Zac Efron, former British boy band One Direction and Thai superstar Mario Maurer.

Ramirez says further, “I am thrilled to make this move where I am able to work and learn alongside industry professionals whom I admire and respect. My good friend Ed Rocha (Buchi Boy Entertainment) have been a steadfast supporter and believer of my body of work and discipline since we first worked together in the film ‘Bonifacio’ in 2014.”

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Today’s Front Page January 24, 2020

Today’s Front Page January 24, 2020