Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joel Lamangan|
|Written by||Bienvenido Santiago|
|Music by||Von de Guzman|
|Distributed by||Viva Entertainment|
|Box office||₱226 million|
Felix Manalo is a 2015 Philippine biographical drama film about the life of Felix Ysagun Manalo, the first Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC; English: Church of Christ), and the church he preached. Manalo is regarded by the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo as the last messenger of God and the restorer of the true Church of Christ, whom the INC gives the title Sugò (Tagalog, "messenger" or "envoy"). The story and screenplay were written by INC evangelism head Bienvenido Santiago. The film was directed by Joel Lamangan. All content of the film was screened and approved by the INC.
The film broke three Guinness world records for film attendance upon release.
Felix Manalo (portrayed by Trillo) studies, joins, doubts, and eventually leaves both Catholicism and Protestantism before starting a church he believes to be a restoration of the Biblical church founded by Jesus.
Joel Lamangan served as the overall director of the film with Armando Reyes as the assistant director, and Glicerio Santos III as the creative producer. The production design was done by Edgar Martin Littaua, Joel Marcelo Bilbao and Daniel Red. Other members of the production team were Bienvenido Santiago (story and screenplay), Rody Lacap (director of photography), Albert Michael Idioma (sound supervisor), Von de Guzman (musical director), John Wong (film editor), and Juvan Bermil (makeup and hair design). The script was written by the head of evangelism of the INC, and the church approved of all content in the film.
About one hundred actors were included in the cast, while 8,000 people were hired as extras. Scenes were shot in Metro Manila, Laguna, Subic, and Bataan. This includes the INC Chapel F. Manalo (formerly Riverside) in San Juan, and the chapel in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City, which was used in the funeral. The Laguna de Bay stood in for Pasig River in the baptism scenes. The whole film was about 6 hours or 360 minutes in length, but a shorter version was used for its theatrical release.
Supporting cast (in alphabetical order)
- AJ Muhlach as young Erdy Manalo
- Allan Paule as INC Member / Kapatid
- Alex Medina as Avelina's Husband
- Alfred Vargas as Prudencio Vásquez
- Alice Dixson as Lilia
- Alvin Fortuna as Doro
- Andrea del Rosario as Salvador's Wife
- Anja Aguilar as young Avelina Manalo
- Anita Hain as Mrs. Wolfe
- Antonio Aquitania as Atanacio "Tana" Morte
- Arci Muñoz as Tomasa Sereneo-Manalo
- Arkin del Rosario as young Salvador
- Bembol Roco as Quintín Rivera
- Biboy Ramirez as Elias
- Bobby Andrews as Apolinario "Inar" Ramos
- Boy 2 Quizon as Maximiano "Mianong" Diosenito
- Brian Arda as Pastor
- Carl Acosta as young Felix Manalo
- Carla Humphries / Hannah Joy Magdales as young Pilar Manalo-Danao
- Caprice Cayetano as Lilia's Daughter
- China Cojuangco as Glicerio's Wife
- Chris Perris as Finster
- Christian Vasquez as Avelina's Husband
- Christopher Roxas as Sandoval
- Crispin Pineda as Kutsero 1
- Dale Baldillo as Eduardo "Eddie Boy" V. Manalo
- Dexter Doria as Tiya Isabel
- Dennis Coronel as Turla
- Dennis Pascual as Simbilio
- Eddie Gutierrez as Pastor Victoriano Mariano
- Edison Piloton as young Dominador
- Ejay Falcon as Serapio Dionisio
- Elizabeth Oropesa as Cianang
- Ermie Concepcion as Kumadrona
- Felix Roco as Bangkero
- Gabby Concepcion as Eraño "Ka Erdy" G. Manalo
- Gilleth Sandico as Babae 1
- Gladys Reyes as Avelina Manalo-Makapugay
- Glydel Mercado as Dominador's Wife
- Heart Evangelista as Cristina "Ka Tenny" Villanueva-Manalo
- Jaclyn Jose as Tiya Victorina
- Jacky Woo as Rev. Nakada
- Jaime Fabregas as Fr. Mariano de Borja
- Jaime Pebanco as Justino Casanova
- Jason Lacson as Grandchild
- Jay Manalo as INC Member / Kapatid
- Jess Evardone as Juanario
- Johan Santos as Pilar's Husband
- Joel Torre as Teofilo "Ka Pilo" Ramos
- Joem Bascon as Lucio Silvestre
- Jon Lucas / Ronnie Liang as Bienvenido "Bien" Santiago-Manalo
- Joshua Clemente as Modesto
- Kevin Kier Remo as Bully Kid 1
- Kristel Fulgar as Grandchild
- Kuya Manzano as Prayle
- Lander Vera Perez as Rev. Nicolas Zamora
- Lloyd Samartino as Atty. Juan Natividad
- Lorna Tolentino as Doctor
- Marco Brillo as Bully Kid 2
- Mark Anthony Robrigado as Andres Tucker
- Martin Escudero as Jun Santos
- Martin Venegas as Bully Kid 3
- Menggie Cobarrubias as Teodoro Briones
- Mike Magat as Federico
- Mon Confiado as Leoncio Javier
- Mylene Dizon as Bonifacia "Facia" Manalo
- Neil Ryan Sese as Tomas dela Cruz
- Noel Colet as Salvador
- Paul Holme as Rev. Leslie Wolfe
- Phillip Salvador as Seventh Day Adventist Pastor
- Phoemela Barranda as Benjamin's Wife
- Ping Medina as War Victim
- Ramon Christopher Gutierrez as Maestro Cario
- Raymond Bagatsing as Carling
- Raymond Lauchengco as Dominador
- Regine Angeles as Asi
- Rey "PJ" Abellana as Pilar's Husband
- Ricardo Cepeda as Rosendo de Guzmán
- Richard Cunanan as Bruce Kershner
- Richard R. Felkey as Rev. J.B. Daugherty
- Richard Manabat as Methodist Pastor
- Richard Quan as Teofelo Ora
- Richard Yap as Glicerio Santos
- Ronnie Golpeo as INC Member / Kapatid
- Roxanne Barcelo as Praxedes Ysagun
- Ruby Ruiz as Marcelina
- Ruru Madrid as Eusebio Sunga
- Ryan Eigenmann as Methodist Pastor
- Sheryl Cruz as Sanang
- Simon Ibarra as Mariano
- Snooky Serna as Pilar Manalo-Danao
- TJ Trinidad as Pastor Emiliano Quijano
- Tonton Gutierrez as Benjamin Santiago
- Tony Mabesa as Pastor Guillermo Zarco
- Wendell Ramos as Juanario Ponce
- William Lorenzo as Ministro
- Wreijh Casimiro as young Bienvenido "Bien" Santiago-Manalo
- Yul Servo as Clemente "Mente" Mozo
The theme song and music video of the film entitled "Ang Sugo ng Diyos sa mga Huling Araw" (English: The Messenger of God in the Last Days) was released on October 4, 2015 at the Philippine Arena. The song was performed by Sarah Geronimo, composed by Joan and Ryan Solitario, and arranged by Louie Ocampo.
On October 4, 2015, its premiere broke three Guinness world records for the largest audience in a film premiere, the largest audience in a film screening and the largest paying audience for a film premiere, with 43,624 attendees. VIVA Films set up a five-story, 22 by 40 meters high definition screen for the premiere at the Philippine Arena.
Felix Manalo was released in Philippine cinemas on October 7, 2015.
The Cinema Evaluation Board of the Philippines, the governing council for Filipino films, gave the film an "A". The film was graded based on its direction, screenplay, cinematography, editing, production design, music scoring, sound, and acting performances.
Reviewers have noted the makeup team's work on Trillo, which during the course of the film ages him from a young man through to age 76, and the nearly three-hour running time. The PhilStar commended the film's recreation of multiple historical time periods. The Manila Bulletin states the film "makes no qualms in its aim to preach" and that a lot of money was spent on the film because it will be "screened in several INC gatherings for many years to come."
Philbert Ortiz Dy of ClickTheCity was also critical, giving it 2 out of 5 stars and wrote, "It is slow, ponderous, and focuses on things that aren’t very interesting at all." While Michael Alegre of the Philippine Online Chronicles did not give a rating, he said in his review that it suffers from "a lack of focus, excessive content, an uneven pace, some jerky editing, and a noticeable partiality towards Felix Manalo".
Fred Hawson of ABS-CBN gave the film 7 out of 10 stars, praising the film's production, cinematography, and acting (particularly of Trillo), and noted the film's educational value "to know our INC brothers better."
|2016||32nd Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards for Movies ||Movie of the Year||Felix Manalo||Won|
|Movie Director of the Year||Joel Lamangan||Won|
|Movie Actor of the Year||Dennis Trillo||Won|
|Movie Supporting Actress of the Year||Bela Padilla||Nominated|
|Movie Screenwriter of the Year||Bienvenido Santiago||Nominated|
|Movie Cinematographer of the Year||Rody Lacap||Nominated|
|Movie Production Designer of the Year||Edgar Martin Littaua, Joel Bilbao, and Danny Red||Won|
|Movie Editor of the Year||John Anthony Wong||Nominated|
|Movie Musical Scorer of the Year||Von de Guzman||Nominated|
|Movie Sound Engineer of the Year||Albert Michael Idioma||Nominated|
|Movie Original Theme Song of the Year||“Ang Sugo Ng Diyos Sa Mga Huling Araw” – composed by Joan Solitario and Ryan Solitario; arranged by Louie Ocampo; interpreted by Sarah Geronimo||Won|
|34th Luna Awards ||Best Picture||Felix Manalo||Nominated|
|Best Director||Joel Lamangan||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Dennis Trillo||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay||Bienvenido Santiago||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Rody Lacap||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||Edgar Martin Littaua||Nominated|
|Best Musical Scoring||Von de Guzman||Nominated|
|Best Sound||Albert Michael Idioma and Lamberto Casas Jr.||Nominated|
|2016 FAMAS Awards||Best Picture||Felix Manalo||Won|
|Best Director||Joel Lamangan||Won|
|Best Actor||Dennis Trillo||Won|
|Best Actress||Bela Padilla||Nominated|
|Best Child Performer||Carl Acosta||Nominated|
|Best Story||Bienvenido Santiago||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay||Bienvenido Santiago||Won|
|Best Cinematography||Rody Lacap||Nominated|
|Best Editing||John Anthony Wong||Nominated|
|Best Sound||Albert Michael Idioma||Nominated|
|Best Musical Score||Von de Guzman||Nominated|
|Best Theme Song||“Ang Sugo Ng Diyos Sa Mga Huling Araw” – composed by Joan Solitario and Ryan Solitario; arranged by Louie Ocampo; interpreted by Sarah Geronimo||Won|
|Best Production Design||Joel Bilbao, Edgar Martin Littaua and Daniel Red||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||Adrian Arcega||Nominated|
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