Friday, December 23, 2016

December's HOOQ Hangouts Feature Celebrity Premier of MMFF Entry SEKLUSYON

I love the HOOQ app. These past months, I was able to catch up on old and new TV series I like as well as movies I wasn't able to catch in cinemas -- during my most convenient times! Last year, I was also able to watch on HOOQ some entries from the New Wave Category of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

HOOQ team with the cast of Seklusyon and Direk Eric Matti
This year, HOOQ is once more a co-presenter of the 42nd MMFF and concludes 2016 with a special HOOQ HANGOUTS feature by holding a celebrity-studded premiere of Direk Erik Matti's SEKLUSYON  a few days before its regular run in theaters.

Jane Cruz-Walker, HOOQ Philippines Country Manager, shared that they started HOOQ HANGOUTS this year to provide a forum to showcase HOOQ's vast library that includes local content spanning almost five decades. "That is why we are ending the year with this HOOQ HANGOUTS featuring an exclusive screening of Seklusyon, produced by Reality Entertainment, which incidentally is also our partner in creating OTJ: The Series," she explained.

Seklusyon starts showing on December 25, 2016
Seklusyon stars Ronnie Alonte, Neil Ryan Sese, Lou Veloso, Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Elora Espano, Dominique Roque, John Vic De Guzman, and JR Versales. Set in the 1940's, the story revolves around the ritual imposed on deacons seven days before they are ordained as priests. Required to stay inside a sacred sanctuary, each soon-to-be priest has to fight his own "demons" and past sins to be worthy of the ordination.

Although I had to cover my eyes several times to avoid getting a heart attack, I liked the film for the following reasons:
  • The story has a strong parallelism with what's happening right now in the Philippines. One of the dialogues that struck (and saddened) me was about people wanting to do something not because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the easiest. How I wish more Filipinos would learn to go beyond that bad habit.
  • Viewers would likely identify themselves with one or more of the characters. After all, who among us isn't guilty of one sin or another? By watching Seklusyon, Direk Erik expressed how he hopes people to get relevant insights about religion and their faith and relationship with God.  
  • The movie features promising young talents. I especially admired the young girl, Rhed Bustamante, for playing her role like a pro. Do catch Seklusyon in cinemas to see what I mean as I wouldn't want to post any spoilers, here.
with Rhed, a very sweet and talented young actress 
With positive reviews since making its international premier at the recent Macau International Film Festival, it's no wonder Seklusyon has become one of the most anticipated entries being the only horror-themed film in the 2016 MMFF.

Catch Seklusyon starting December 25 in local cinemas and also support other Filipino films included in the MMFF. This Christmas break, you may also want to catch past winners and finalists of the MMFF on HOOQ such as Baler, Tanging Yaman, Mulawin the Movie, Muro-Ami, and many more. 

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