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Chito Roño’s ‘Badil’ to open on Friday the 13th, ‘Bahay ng Lagim’ to follow the next day?

Detail from the 'Bahay na Lagim' poster.

“After unforeseen technical difficulties, Chito Roño’s “Badil” will finally join the roster of films included in this year’s Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival All-Masters edition. The film will begin screening at all SM Cinemas on Friday, the 13th of September.”

That’s the official announcement made by the Film Development Council of the Philippines in a communique sent to InterAksyon Thursday.

“Badil” missed the opening of the film festival last Wednesday along with three other films, namely Romy Suzara’s “Tinik”, Tikoy Aguiluz’s “Eman” and Celso Ad Castillo’s “Bahay ng Lagim” which is also supposed to be screened with the documentary, “The Gospel According to Celso Kid”. According to an earlier statement by the FDCP issued Wednesday, all four films were still in various stages of post-production.

The cryptic poster for 'Badil'.

That is no longer the case with “Badil” as of Thursday, September 12. The political drama follows the story of young man named Nonoy who is assigned to take over the role of monitoring and guarding a number of people who are in their list of voters committed to support their party candidates.

Named after a Bicolano word for gun, “Badil” stars Jhong Hilario, Dick Israel and Nikki Gil. Lead star Jhong Hilario tweeted that the film has been rated A by the Cinema Evaluation Board.

In a Twitter message to InterAksyon, CEB board member Bum Tenorio revealed that four films in the festival, namely “Badil”, “Sonata”, “Ano ang Kulay ng mga Nakalimutang Pangarap” and “Lauriana”, were all given a grade of A by the CEB.

Although the FDCP earlier said that all four films that did not open last Wednesday “will be made available in selected SM Cinemas by no later than this Friday”, they have not made any separate or categorical announcement when “Eman”, “Tinik” and “Bahay ng Lagim” will actually be screened.

In a separate interview with InterAksyon, however, Christopher Ad Castillo revealed that the accompanying documentary to his father’s last work, “Bahay ng Lagim”, was still being edited and was supposed to be screened this Saturday, September 14.

The younger Castillo, who recently directed “The Diplomat Hotel” and is now back in his home in Los Angeles, added that he was supposed to finish “Bahay ng Lagim” after finishing the filming of his entry for Cinemalaya 2013.

“I spoke with the producer of ‘Bahay Ng Lagim’ last November after my father passed. I saw the footage which was still missing a lot of scenes and the idea was that I was going to segue into ‘Lagim’ after ‘The Diplomat Hotel’. But I never heard from them again and I just found out recently that the film was screening at the Sineng Pambansa,” he recalled.

“So I’ve never seen the film but they say it’s complete. I hope it’s good because I’m very protective when it comes to my father’s works. Most producers don’t care about a filmmaker’s legacy so I’m hoping they did the right thing here. There’s nothing much I can do but hope for the best,” he said.