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Cinema Evaluation Board is all praise for ‘Deadma Walking’

Joross and Edgar Allan in ‘Deadma Walking’

Joross and Edgar Allan in ‘Deadma Walking’

by Nestor Cuartero

JUST A THOUGHT: Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. – Carl Sagan


‘DEADMA WALKING’ FIRST TO GET AN A: The buzz is that Deadma Walking, the first MMFF entry to be graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board this year, may just run away as the sleeper hit of the festival.

Grade A is the highest merit given by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) to a film submitted for evaluation.

In line with Republic Act 9167, films which have obtained an ‘A’ grading from the CEB are entitled to an amusement tax reward of 100 per cent of the tax collection on such film.

The story of two gay beshies (best friends) who stage a fake death and subsequent wake is based on a 2016 Palanca-winning screenplay by Eric Cabahug. Its book version, released recently by Viva, has also figured among the top 10 best sellers at a popular book store.

Members of the CEB panel who reviewed Deadma Walking, opening Dec. 25, were quoted as saying they enjoyed the film immensely.

The CEB wrote in the final analysis: ‘Director Julius Alfonso has an auspicious debut film in Deadma Walking which is brilliantly visualized and combines humor, drama, and camp to come up with the right mix seldom seen in the year-end festival.’’


TEST OF FRIENDSHIP: Starring reliable actors JorossGamboa and Edgar Allan Guzman, the film is based on the screenplay of the same name which won the 2nd Prize in the Screenplay division of the 2016 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the most prestigious literary prize in the Philippines. Past winners in the same category include the blockbuster romance-comedy ‘That Thing Called Tadhana.’

The story revolves around gay BFFs (best friends for life) John and Mark whose friendship is put to test when one of them is diagnosed with a terminal illness and asks the other to help him stage his fake death, wake, and funeral as his dying wish. The result is a comedy of “deadly” proportions.

‘Deadma Walking’ also features the special participation of PioloPascual, Gerald Anderson, Vin Abrenica, and EugeneDomingo, among so many others. They are joined by Candy Pangilinan, Dimples Romana, Ricci Chan, Jojit Lorenzo, Nicco Antonio, Ruby Ruiz, Bing Pimentel, and Bobby Andrews.


WHAT THE CEB SAID: Eric Cabahug, the film’s writer and producer for T-Rex Productions, sharedthe following highlights from the review summation of CEB on ‘Deadma Walking’:

  • Superb storytelling
  • Brilliantly visualized
  • Combines humor, drama, and camp to come up with the right mix seldom seen in the yearend filmfest
  • Witty exchanges and believable characterization
  • That it was successfully transposed from a Palanca-winning script to the screen is a triumph in itself
  • Cinematography is very good
  • Production design has wow factor
  • Musical score made good use of local talent
  • Good performances from the entire cast
  • The dark, morbid subject matter treated lightly is altogether entertaining and engaging
  • The gay tragicomedy is a different fare for the filmfest and does not disappoint.
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