GUN FOR HIRE. Eula Valdez stars in 'Neomanila.' Still courtesy of TBA Films

MANILA, Philippines – Almost two years after it was first screened, Neomanila, an urban noir assassin thriller by director Mikhail Red, will get a commercial run in the Philippines. 

Neomanila tells the story of gun-for-hire Irma (Eula Valdez), who mentors Toto (Timothy Castillo), a low-rent drug runner who needs bail money for his brother. It was part of the 2017 QCinema International Film Festival and has since made the rounds in film festivals worldwide. 

It begins its commercial release on March 13.

During a Rappler Talk Entertainment interview, Mikhail said Neomanila was inspired by a BBC report on a young woman who claimed to be part of a gun-for-hire group. She said the killings were part of the government's campaign against illegal drugs or the so-called "war on drugs."

The idea, said Mikhail, was to tell the story of the "drug war" from the perspective of the middle-men – both in the hierarchical and literal sense. To prepare for the movie, Mikhail and his team trailed journalists covering police operations and deaths associated with the anti-drug campaign. 

Ultimately, said the young director, the idea is to tell a universal truth – that in any war, nobody really wins. 

Neomanila is the first of two movies Mikhail is set to release in March. By the end of the month, the horror movie Eerie is slated to be released commercially. The director is also working on two movies – crime heist Dead Kids and zombie thriller Block Z. –

Source: Rappler

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