December 12, 2009

Engkwentro by Pepe Diokno, Big Winner at Venice Film Festival

PLDT myDSL Watchpad myFlicks presents FELIX ROCO in the award-winning film, ENGKWENTRO – in theaters December 11, 12 & 13 SM Cinemas in Mall of Asia, North Edsa, MegaMall, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Bacoor. Inspired by true events, Engkwentro follows the last 24 hours of 2 teenage brothers on opposite sides of a gang war. With a career-making performance by young heartthrob Felix Roco and directed by 22-year-old PEPE DIOKNO, the film took home 2 major awards at September's Venice Film Festival -- including the Horizons Prize for new trends in cinema, and the US$ 100,000 Lion of the Future - "Luigi de Laurentiis" Award for best debut film.


Inspired by true events, 'Engkwentro' tells the story of Richard and Raymond, two teenage brothers on opposite sides of a gang war. Richard is the leader of his gang, 'Bagong Buwan' ('New Moon') while Raymond is just being inducted into 'Batang Dilim' ('Children of the Night'), a rival gang led by charming solvent boy, Tomas. Complications arise at a deadly midnight 'engkwentro' (clash), when Tomas gives Raymond the task of killing his older brother.

All this happens while the City Death Squad lurks the streets. This real-life vigilante group is allegedly backed by the omnipresent Mayor Danilo Dularte Suarez, and is responsible for many unsolved murders of teen gangsters. Today, they are hunting down Richard. Will they take the younger brother, too?


A scion of a local cinema legend Bembol Roco and an up-and-coming heartthrob in Pinoy showbiz, 20-year-old Felix Roco makes a mark with his internationally acclaimed performance in the Venice Film Festival double-awardee “Engkwentro.”

Taking the lead role of Richard, a gangster running away from the murderous City Death Squad, Felix shows an undeniable range and versatility for what many call one of the most challenging performances ever taken on by an actor. Because Engkwentro was shot a la one continuous take, Felix styled his performance like a stageplay – memorizing all his lines and deeply internalizing his character. With no room for mistakes, Felix delved into the role – doing his own stunts, and narrowly avoiding injuries on set.

In order to prepare for his performance, Felix drew from his own past experiences. A former fraternity member, Felix overcame his “wild” younger days and has now transformed himself into a very professional, serious actor. He wants young viewers to follow his example of conquering challenges and chasing dreams.


22 year old Pepe Diokno has been called one of the most promising filmmakers of our time. Born in Manila on August 13, 1987 he took home to awards at the 2009 Venice Film Festival -- including Lion of the Future - "Luigi De Laurentiis "Award for Debut Film. This, for his film Engkwentro, a movie he wrote, produced and directed, after a year of research touring jails around the Philippines. Not one to shy away from stories of urgency, his second film centers on children warriors within the Islamic insurgency in southern Philippines. The fast-paced, action packed movie begins shooting next year.

ENGKWENTRO Deserved The Award

When I knew that there was still open slots for the Press Screening of Engkwentro at The Podium, I immediately grabbed the chance to get my name in there. Luckily I did. The star-studded event is attended by Tim Yap, Bembol Roco, Princess Ryan, Alwyn Uytingco, Celso Ad Castillo, Dominic Roco among others. The main cast Felix Roco, Daniel Medrana, Zyrus Desamparado & also director Pepe Diokno is also there.

I'm suprised that Jim Libiran has a 'special participation' on this film, first because he's not really an actor :) and second his indie movie Tribu has almost the same theme as Engkwentro, I wonder if he also writes for this one.

The movie uses Bisaya with English subtitles & sometimes the subtitles is not sync with what's happening on the screen so you'll know who's Bisaya in the audience :) Since the movie is "handheld style" sometimes you will end up dizzy because the cameraman is running which is good, in a way, because you will feel  as if you’re there. I dunno if it's in the The Podium's cinema projector or the movie is just too dark. I mean it's just afternoon on the scene, but you can't barely see the faces of the characters especially on the first few scene where Richard (Felix Roco) is eating with his family.

This movie is really an eye opener that there is really a City Death Squad in the Philippines which the government continues to deny. You already know what city this movie is talking about.

Catch ENGWENTRO in SM Cinemas

Watch ENGKWENTRO in HD– in theaters December 11, 12 & 13 at SM Cinemas in Mall of Asia, North Edsa, MegaMall, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Bacoor.

Official website:


  1. must b a gd watch

    A smile from SJ =)

  2. they wont win on Venice Film Festival for nothing :)

  3. Wow! Venice Film Fest awardee! Another great pinoy movie :)


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