FAMAS-winning Katips: The Movie premieres this week

SET during Martial Law and following the struggles of student activists under the dictatorship, Katips: The Movie premieres in cinemas on Aug. 3.

The musical drama by Philstagers Films was adapted from the 2016 stage musical Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero which won Best Musical Performance at the 2016 Aliw Awards. The film was first screened for the press on Nov. 27, 2021 at Gateway Mall in Quezon City, with a second screening for the public on Dec. 3, 2021. The film, which won several FAMAS awards over the weekend, will go on wide release this week.

Written and directed by lawyer and filmmaker Vince Tañada, who also stars in the film, the film’s story follows a group of rebels, led by student leader Greg (played by Jerome Ponce), subversive writer Panyong (Mr. Tañada), and Alet (Adelle Ibarrientos), and their efforts to keep up the fight against the Marcos dictatorship even when the odds seem stacked against them.

“In the midst of uncertainty, there’s no other passion that can pull us back to freedom but the burning fire that hides within each of us. Katips is a tale of the young, in their fight for their ideals, how big can one get against a force too much bigger than yourself,” Mr. Tañada wrote in a Facebook post on Sept. 22, 2021.

Mr. Tañada is the grandson of Senator Lorenzo Tañada who staunchly opposed Martial Law under the Marcos administration.

Maraming dapat ipaglaban sa buhay, ang problema, kadalasan kapag nakikipaglaban ka, wala kang panahon o kaya wala kang kakayanan (There are many things to fight for in life, but it is often that we do not have the time or the means to) — the proper resources to fight for something you really believe in,” Mr. Tañada said in a behind-the-scenes video of the film uploaded on Philstagers Films YouTube page. “And given these resources and given this time, for me to do it now, why not? So, I did this.”

The film’s release coincides with and challenges the release of Darryl Yap’s Maid in Malacañang which is told from the perspective of the Marcoses about the 72 hours before their exile to Hawaii in 1986.

Mr. Tañada expressed that it is very important to inspire and educate audience members through film.

“It is a good opportunity to educate, inspire the youth through film,” he said in Filipino.

With music by Pipo Cifra, the film also stars Nicole Laurel, Johnrey Rivas, Joshua Bulot, Vean Olmedo, Dexter Doria, Lou Veloso, OJ Arci, Dindo Arroyo, Afi Africa, Patricia Ismael, Carla Lim, Chris Lim and Mon Confiado. An ensemble cast from Philippine Stagers Foundation also join the cast.

The film bagged seven awards at the 70th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards (FAMAS) held on July 30. It won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Vince Tañada, Best Supporting Actor for Johnrey Rivas, Best Original Song for “Manhid and Sa Gitna ng Dulo,” Best Musical Score, and Best Cinematography. — MAPS