MANILA, Philippines - Adolfo Alix Jr.?s ?Adela? will open this year?s Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.
The news was confirmed on Saturday by Nestor Jardin, president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), and Laurice Guillen, Cinemalaya competition director.
?Adela? topbills veteran actress Anita Linda as a woman who celebrates her birthday alone, after her children fail to visit her.
Gala night for the first cut of ?Adela? is July 11 at the CCP Main Theater, according to Robbie Tan, chair of the production and monitoring committee.
?We are glad that the opening film is directed by a Cinemalaya baby,? Tan said.
Alix made his feature-film debut with ?Donsol,? an entry in the second Cinemalaya in 2006. Last year, he directed another Cinemalaya entry, ?Kadin.?
?Adela? is produced by Bicycle Pictures and co-stars Perla Bautista, Ricky Davao, Iza Calzado, Joem Bascon, Jason Abalos and German Moreno.
Noel Ferrer, executive producer, told Inquirer Entertainment that Bicycle Pictures has invited Anita?s past co-stars and directors to grace the gala night, along with the cast of ?Adela.?
Among them are Sharon Cuneta (?Caregiver?); Judy Ann Santos, Rhian Ramos and Jolina Magdangal (?Ouija?); Jaclyn Jose (?Takaw Tukso?); Phillip Salvador and Amy Austria (?Jaguar?); Caridad Sanchez (?Botelya?); and Vilma Santos (?Sister Stella L.?).
Also invited are Anita Linda?s past directors, among them Eddie Romero (?Buhay Alamang?), Mario O?Hara (?Babae sa Bubungang Lata?), Joel Lamangan (?Aishite Imasu?), Chito Roño (?Itanong Mo sa Buwan?), Maryo J. de los Reyes (?Sa Paraiso ni Efren?), Jeffrey Jeturian (?Houseboy? episode of ?Maalaala Mo Kaya?) and Elwood Perez (?Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig?).
The gala screening is meant as an industry-wide tribute to the actress whose career spans seven decades, Ferrer explained.
?The last time she played the lead was in the 1970s (in Lino Brocka?s ?Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa?),? Ferrer noted. ?She has ably supported other stars; it?s high time she was given not only a meaty part, but a tribute from her peers.?
Anita Linda told the Inquirer: ?At first, I was shocked when Adolfo offered ?Adela? to me. I asked him: Why are you hiring me? Your movie may not make money [at the box office].?
She added: ?Until now I?m wondering what I did to deserve this honor (the tribute). But I?m happy and excited to see all my friends and colleagues at the CCP.?
Also in the works is a retrospective of her classics, including Gerry de Leon?s landmark 1951 film ?Sisa,? in UP Diliman.
(During the run of Cinemalaya from July 11 to 20, a retrospective of the films of actor-director Manuel Conde is scheduled.)
?Adela? has received invitations from A-list film festivals in Europe and North America.