Puregold CinePanalo best picture “Under A Piaya Moon” comes home to Bacolod

Negrense director Kurt Soberano’s debut masterpiece Under A Piaya Moon, which bagged eight major awards at the 2024 Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival including Best Picture, will have a commercial screening run in the province that inspired it.

The award-winning film, starring Jeff Moses, Pau Dimaranan, Chart Motus, and veteran actor Joel Torre will open in Ayala Malls Capitol Central and SM City Bacolod on May 29.

In its premiere at the recently concluded Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival,  Under A Piaya Moon captivated audiences and critics alike. It nabbed eight awards and numerous nominations including Pinakapanalong Mahabang Pelikula (Best Full-Length Film), Panalong Aktor for Jeff Moses (Best Actor), Panalong Pangalawang Aktor for Joel Torre (Best Supporting Actor), a Mowelfund Special Citation, MTRCB Responsableng Paglikha, Panalo sa Cinematography, Panalo sa Editing, and Panalo sa Production Design.

Many critics praised the film, with Marco Sumayao of Adobo Magazine calling it “meant for the global stage,” which “couldn’t have been told by other voices or in other settings.” Respected film critic Philbert Dy further opined on his personal Letterboxd, praising Joel Torre’s acting as ”such a fine performance that it practically makes the film worth recommending on its own.”

Under A Piaya Moon, directed by Kurt Soberano, will make its triumphant debut in Bacolod
cinemas on May 29

Under A Piaya Moon is Soberano’s beautifully crafted homage to his province Negros. Unlike many award-winning films dominated by Manileño culture, Piaya Moon is a defiant film, with its dialogue being spoken entirely in the local Negros language of Hiligaynon. Upon its release, it was adored by audiences and critics alike for its sincere display of Negrense culture, particularly its rich culinary tradition.

According to director Kurt Soberano, the choice to put Negros Occidental was a labor of love, as a Bacoleño himself. For him, few provinces have changed and grown the way Negros Occidental has throughout the years, which makes it a perfect backdrop for a story like Under the Piaya Moon, which is all about growth, exploration, and perseverance.

The movie has its dialogue spoken entirely in Hiligaynon, and is peppered with many tiny
references that native Ilonggos will understand and appreciate

“It’s in the sweetness of piaya and the depth of muscovado sugar that this movie seeks to reflect the collective identity of Negrenses, and our indomitable, enduring spirit,” says Soberano. “I made this movie in part to celebrate Negros, both to celebrate how it’s progressed, and preserve the culture we can’t afford to lose.”

Outside of being a landmark film when it comes to Negrense culture, Under A Piaya Moon is also notable for being a heartwarming film about the delicate balance of professional success and personal growth, and how the breaking of bread can bind families. The film tells the story of Stephen, who arrives in town as the heir to his grandparents’ local panaderia, but finds himself caught between his professional aspirations, his family’s troubled past, and the irresistible pull of Negrosanon culture.

For his performance in the film, leading man Jeff Moses won the 2024 Puregold CinePanalo
Best Actor Award.

“We are proud to have premiered Under A Piaya Moon at the 2024 Puregold CinePanalo and are eager to see it run in the province that inspired it,” said Puregold President Vincent Co. “This film marks a significant milestone in representing the cherished province of Negros in cinema, and we are confident our audiences will appreciate and enjoy it.”.

Ms. Ivy Piedad, Puregold Senior Marketing Manager, concurs with this sentiment. “It’s very rare that Negros culture is celebrated in this way, with this much care and artistry put into it,” said Piedad. “We’re more than proud to be part of something as personal to the province.”

Under A Piaya Moon will be screening in Negros beginning May 29 at Ayala Malls Capitol Central and SM City Bacolod. All interested watchers are invited to partake in the cinematic event and buy their tickets before the screening run ends.

 

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