action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Cignal Steps In for Incapable TV5

The lack of an entertainment division on TV5 has forced its affiliates to pick up the slack.

Satellite subscription service Cignal recently launched its entertainment division, with the intent towards distributing content to its online and satellite television platforms. The newly-launched Cignal Entertainment will kick things off with the mini-series ‘Tukhang’.

The two-episode pilot will air July 22 on Colours and Sari-Sari Channel. It will star James Blanco, Karel Marquez, Mon Confiado, Jake Macapagal, Janna Victoria, Butch Francisco, Yul Servo, Archi Adamos, Jerould Aceron and Zandra Summer.

Cignal Entertainment will also have a few other offerings in store for its subscribers. They are:

Born Beautiful – The sequel to the critically-acclaimed movie ‘Die Beautiful’, it will star Christian Bables as Barbs. The story will pick up from the time Trisha (Paolo Ballesteros) died.

The Orbiters – This original series will star Cedrick Juan, Malak So, Bob Jbeili and Victor Anastacio. It will be directed by Miko Livelo and Dominic Lim.

Sleepless – Another independent film that is being transformed into a television series, it will star Albie Casino, Mara Lopez, Trina Legaspi, Acey Aguilar, Shaira Mae and Martin Escudero. Directed by Prime Cruz.

Feels Like Forever – An original series that focuses on love and other things that can happen in 24 hours. It will be directed by Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo and Ivan Payawal.

With the exception of ‘Tukhang’, all of Cignal Entertainment’s upcoming series will be produced by The IdeaFirst Company. The company’s president, Perci Intalan, is a former entertainment head at TV5.

The only way to go is up, and as TV5 focuses more on sports, news and imported entertainment shows, Cignal makes sure that the entertainment aspect within the MVP Group will not go down quietly. The division is still young, but with the help of independent producers such as IdeaFirst, all the hard work should be worth it.

Now let’s just hope that the new Cignal Entertainment will not fall from grace the same way TV5’s entertainment division did. This is a prime opportunity for Manny V. Pangilinan to bounce back, so make it count.

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entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

MMFF in Challenging Position With Emphasis on Quality

MMFF mainstays such as 'Enteng Kabisote' are a thing of the past as organizers emphasize more on quality than commercial success in this year's filmfest. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

Without blockbuster franchises and stars such as Vic Sotto’s ‘Enteng Kabisote’ series, the new-look MMFF faces an uphill battle this year. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

This is a From the Tube special report. The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and do not reflect those of the Metro Manila Film Festival.

This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival will be a different experience for moviegoers and viewers alike.

Gone are the top drawers, big-spending production outfits and movie franchises that made the MMFF an annual Christmas tradition. Instead, the eight official full-length films will feature mostly independent productions, some of which were previously screened in other film festivals around the world.

The eight entries are:

  • Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough – directed by Marlon Rivera; stars Eugene Domingo, Jericho Rosales, Kean Cipriano, Khalil Ramos, and Cai Cortez
  • Die Beautiful – directed by Jun Robles Lana; stars Paolo Ballesteros, Joel Torre, Gladys Reyes, Luis Alandy, Albie Casiño, and Iza Calzado
  • Kabisera – directed by Arturo San Agustin and Real Florido; stars Ms. Nora Aunor, Ricky Davao, JC De Vera, Luis Alandy, Jason Abalos, and RJ Agustin
  • Oro – directed by Alvin Yapan; stars Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, and Joem Bascon
  • Saving Sally – directed by Avid Liongoren; stars Rhian Ramos, and Enzo Marcos
  • Seklusyon – directed by Erik Matti; stars Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Elora Espano, Neil Ryan Sese, Ronnie Alonte, Lou Veloso, Dominique Roque, John Vic De Guzman, and JR Versales
  • Sunday Beauty Queen – directed by Babyruth Villarama Gutierrez; stars Hazel Perdido, Cherrie Mae Bretana, Mylyn Jacobo, Leo Selomenio, and Rudelyn Acosta
  • Vince & Kath & James – directed by Ted Boborol; stars Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia, and Ronnie Alonte

The selections were based on the following criteria: story, audience appeal and overall impact (40%); cinematic attributes or technical expertise (40%); global appeal (10%); and Filipino sensibility (10%). In essence, the MMFF organizers wanted to feature a greater emphasis on quality rather than commercialism alone.

Even though the change in approach is crucial in providing a more even playing field, promoting these films could pose a challenge. Many of the films were produced by independent companies, while a majority of them feature second or third-tier actors, some of whom are relative unknowns.

Let’s face it, while Eugene Domingo has box-office potential (‘Ang Babae sa Septic Tank’ raked in millions during its initial run), she is no Vic Sotto or Vice Ganda. And while Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia are not a bad tandem, they are no AlDub or KathNiel in the appeal department.

The major television networks such as ABS-CBN and GMA, once major players in the MMFF, are in a similar predicament. In previous years, both played a big role in the success of MMFF entries, but with this year’s field, they may not be a factor at all.

This does not mean that all eight films are bad, however. They are still worth watching as far as moviegoers go, but it will be up to them to become seriously interested with these entries.

Come Christmas Day, all eyes will be on the eight Metro Manila Film Festival entries. Still, it remains to be seen if this year’s filmfest will be a blockbuster or a flop.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Coming Soon: Confessions of a Torpe, Plus Other TV5 Updates

Both Ogie Alcasid and Alice Dixson will be part of ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, slated to launch this March 3.

Last October, TV5 decided to distinguish themselves from its competitors by airing a more light-hearted primetime comedy and drama series ‘Madam Chairman’. This March, the Kapatid network is set to introduce a similarly-themed series as a worthy follow-up.

Enter ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, a series topbilled by Ogie Alcasid, Bayani Agbayani, Gelli de Belen, Wendell Ramos, Plita Corrales, Alice Dixson, Jojo Alejar, Albie Casino, and Mark Neumann. This will be Alcasid’s first weeknight primetime series as a Kapatid; his intended first series ‘The Gift’ was shelved for the time being. Alcasid, de Belen and Ramos are also part of the gag show ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’, while Neumann and Dixson recently starred in the Studio5 original ‘Lady Next Door’. ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ debuts this March 3.

The departure of ‘What’s Up Doods?’ enabled News5 to fill the 10:30 slot with a pair of documentaries. First aired was ‘Kaya’, hosted by News5 executives Patrick Paez and Luchi Cruz-Valdes. The two-parter, aired last February 8 and 15, tackled issues such as stem cell treatment and the impending worldwide disaster that may affect the Earth. Tonight, another documentary called ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ will focus on the country’s natural resources and the responsibility that comes through it. The documentary will be hosted by Interaksyon.com editor-in-chief Roby Alampay.

And on the ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block, ‘Bigtime’ will take over the slot vacated by ‘Dayo’. Aired every Thursday before ‘Pilipinas News’ and hosted by Twink Macaraig, ‘Bigtime’ will focus on various individuals as they share their hard work and triumph, as well as secrets to their success.

Meanwhile, starting February 24, ‘Aksyon’ and ‘Pilipinas News’ will now be broadcast inside a newly-built virtual studio at the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong. In addition, the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics will be aired Monday midnight on TV5 and its affiliates. And finally, the U.S. NCAA March Madness is coming to TV5 this March, with further details coming in future articles.

It has been said that the only way TV5 can be relevant today is when they introduce alternatives to already established norms in television viewership. So far, it has paid off despite committing several missteps. And with more alternative programs coming in the succeeding weeks, expect TV5 to expand its effort in bringing a different kind of programming to more knowledgeable viewers.

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