“Bagahe” is one of the eight entries to the 2017 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, which started on Aug. 4 and will end on Aug. 13. Here are 10 of the many reasons why you should watch this film.

1.  It is a Cinemalaya film. (self-explanatory)

2. The creative consultant is Armando “Bing” Lao.
Lao is the Father of Found Story, the school of filmmaking followed by 2009 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Mendoza. Lao was also the creative consultant of 2016 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival Best Film “Pamilya Ordinaryo” by Eduardo Roy Jr.

3. It was written and directed by Zig Dulay.
Dulay is the director behind the 2016 ToFarm Film Festival Best Film “Paglipay” starring Anna Luna, Garry Cabalic and Joan Dela Cruz. Like in “Paglipay,” he made sure “Bagahe” kept the truth and the depth intact but still manages to entertain the audience.

4. Everything was real.
Dulay could have just faked some of the scenes like how it is traditionally done to make his life and the lives of his cast and drew easier. But he opted otherwise. Every scene in “Bagahe” was real from the injection to the crossing of a dangerously high and long hanging bridge to the emotions of the characters.

5. It was partly filmed in Kapangan, Benguet.
The dangerously high and long hanging bridge is located in Kapangan, Benguet. Such bridges are not that many in the Philippines and Dulay made sure he made the most of the bridge in “Bagahe.” Moreover, Benguet is a mountainous place. Expect a spectacle.

6. It was based on a true story.
The premise of the story was real. So is Dulay’s voice as a filmmaker.

7. Brillante Mendoza’s protégés Natileigh Sitoy and Cataleya Surio are in it.
Mendoza himself was one of the veteran filmmakers Dulay asked advice from before the completion of “Bagahe.” Sitoy and Surio gave the film a different side, particularly the entertainment department. The two won Best Actress at Brillante Film Workshop in 2014 and 2015, respectively.  

8. It may have the best Filipino ensemble cast in 2017.   
Among many things, “Bagahe” prides itself in its cast stacked with high-caliber actors namely Angeli Bayani, Shamaine Buencamino, Boots Anson-Roa, Raquel Villavicencio, Bing Pimentel, Yayo Aguila, Arnold Reyes, Menggie Cobarrubias, Sue Prado, Matt Daclan, Madeliene Nicolas, Micko Laurente, Alvin Nakassi, Erlinda Villalobos, Jeanette Queblatin, Rolando Inocencio, Chanel Latorre and Jill Palencia. Aside from Sitoy and Surio, Vince Rillon, also a protégé of Mendoza, has a special participation in the film.   

9. Angeli Bayani’s performance here may be the best performance by a Filipino actor in 2017.
It is challenging for an actor to tell a story in a film without speaking that much. Bayani did this with finesse in “Bagahe.” The audience will see nothing from Bayani as an actress here. All the viewers see is the character, no more, no less. No Filipino actress has achieved such perfection in a movie performance so far in 2017.

10. Shamaine Buencamino is piercingly believable.
People who do not know Buencamino as an actress may think she is not one but the character that she plays in “Bagahe.”

Here are some photos from ConanDaily during the “Bagahe” premiere night on Aug. 5:

Meanwhile, here is a short interview with Bayani:  


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