‘Mañanita’ Star Bela Padilla Shines at Tokyo Film Fest

BY: Rohn Romulo

BELA Padilla, together with director Paul Soriano, graced the red carpet at the prestigious ’32nd Tokyo International Film Festival’ to represent Mañanita last October 28, 2019.

Produced under Ten17P and VIVA Films and penned by award-winning filmmaker Lav Diaz, Mañanita is among the eight Filipino films featured in the Festival. The drama-suspense film was given a Graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB).

Bela first participated in the Tokyo Film Fest last 2016 for I America by Ivan Andrew Payawal, which competed in the Asian Future category.

paul & bela1

“The red carpet event last night was different than the first time. I was nervous, but at the same time, super calm. Maybe because we’re here already at terms I didn’t expect at all,” said Bela Padilla.

She added, “I didn’t know we were part of the main competition until our press con a few weeks ago, and that in itself is already a huge blessing for me. There are so many interesting films this year, and I’m just happy to be here.”

Meanwhile, director Paul noted that this is also his second time in the Tokyo Film Fest as his film Kid Kulafu had its Japanese premiere under the Festival’s CrossCut Asia Section last 2015.

For this year’s Tokyo Film Fest, he shared, “We had a really successful world premiere and a great Q and A right after the screening. The audience really embraced the film and really got what I was trying to say.”


He also mentioned, “I was also told that out of over a thousand submissions, they included ‘Mañanita’ in the 14 competition films, so it’s just truly an honor. We’re really excited and honored to represent the Philippines here in Tokyo.”

Mañanita revolves around a female sniper who loses her job and spends her nights getting drunk in a bar–until a phone call changes everything.

The film had its world premiere last October 29, 2019 at the EX Theater Roponggi and will screen nationwide this December 4, 2019.

The 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival runs from October 28 until November 5, 2019.

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