One of the most anticipated local events of the season, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), formally returns to theaters after releasing the list of official entries this year. Among the contenders that made it on the roll is Jun Robles Lana’s dark comedy, Big Night!

Produced by Cignal Entertainment and IdeaFirst Company, together with OctoberTrain Films and Quantum Films, Big Night!, tells the story of a gay beautician named Dharna, played by Christian Bables, who is caught up in the war against drugs in the present-day Philippines. Mistakenly placed on the current drug users’ watchlist or “Oplan Tokhang,” Dharna struggles to go to great lengths in order to clear his name.

Christian Bables

Cignal TV President and CEO Robert P. Galang expressed his excitement for the upcoming holiday film festival.

“The inclusion of Big Night! in this year’s MMFF is a huge leap for Cignal Entertainment as it continues to showcase relevant and internationally-acclaimed films to the general public. Big Night! will surely add a new flavor to the festival’s movie lineup with its boldness, substance, and distinctive quality entertainment that only Director Jun Robles Lana can pull off,” he shared.

Lana is recognized for films that make powerful social implications, such as Kalel, 15, which depicted the struggle of HIV patients in the country, and Barber’s Tales and Anino sa Likod ng Buwan, which illustrated life under military rule.

Delving into the controversial mandate to apprehend suspected drug users, Big Night! substantiates the overwhelming casualties caused by “Oplan Tokhang” to this day.

Christian Bables
Janice De Belen

Joining Christian Bables in this highly-anticipated film is a powerhouse cast led by Eugene Domingo, Gina Alajar, John Arcilla, Janice de Belen, Ricky Davao, and Gina Pareño, with the support of Nico Antonio, Allan Paule, Soliman Cruz, Martin del Rosario, Awra Briguela, VJ Mendoza, Cedrick Juan, Ogie Diaz, and Sue Prado.

During the conference, Christian Bables was praised for his exceptional portrayal of the character of Dharna. It was commented that Big Night! though dealing with a very sensitive issue is also non-offensive. It is fair and most of the time able to present a comical interpretation of even the most serious scenes. The film is loaded with symbolisms that attack the very core of the overall theme which digs deeper than the so-called war on drugs and EJK. Direk Jun Lana said that while he selected the cast based on talent and if they are best suited for the role, he also assumed that they, after reading the script and agreeing to do the film, are also firm believers of what the film is trying to convey. Direk Jun Lana also revealed that Big Night! is going to have a sequel. The ending of the film also suggests that.

Watch the media conference here with Direk Jun Lana, Christian Bables, Janice De Belen and other members of the cast:

As an added honor for Big Night!, the upcoming MMFF 2021 entry was also recently screened at the prestigious Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Europe from November 12-28, 2021.

Christian Bables

Cignal Entertainment is the film and television production unit of Cignal TV Inc. the leading Pay-TV provider in the Philippines, whose vision is to inspire and empower Filipinos by creating high quality original content, delivered in the most awesome manner. It is a hub for collaboration among innovators who aim to provide compelling content to different audiences worldwide.

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