If it weren’t for guests wearing face masks, it did seem like one of the glitzy showbiz events that were held before the pandemic.
The romantic film Ngayon Kaya — starring rumored sweethearts Paulo Avelino and Janine Gutierrez as “almost lovers” trying to reclaim their past — had its premiere night at SM Megamall a day before the movie’s opening day on June 22.
Producers T-Rex Entertainment and Paulo’s own company, WASD Films, pulled out all the stops to herald the return of Filipino films in commercial theaters this year and make the premiere festive with a red carpet, soundtrack blaring from the speakers, win-premiere-tickets promotions, festive decor, a program and a mini-party right before the screening.
Ngayon Kaya is the first locally-produced film to have a wide theatrical release this year as it screens in almost 100 cinemas all over the Philippines.
This milestone was celebrated by the PauNine (Paulo and Janine) fans, friends, family and supporters who flocked to Megamall Cinema 1 to get a first look of Direk Prime Cruz and screenwriter Jen Chuaunsu’s latest masterpiece.
Aside from Janine and Paulo’s movie co-stars Gabby Padilla, Iana Bernardez, and Donna Cariaga, among those who graced the premiere included Jake Cuenca, Enchong Dee, Edward Barber, Jake Ejercito, Ria Atayde, directors JP Habac and Chad Vidanes, photographer BJ Pascual, Film Development Council of the Philippines Chair Liza Diño, Ice Seguerra, Janine’s father Ramon Christopher, the members of the band Mayonnaise, talent manager Tyrone Escalante and his artists, Angellie Nicole Sanoy and others.
Janine acknowledged the presence of the crowd and made special mention of their (hers and Paulo’s) family, friends and fans.
She said, “Thank you so much sa naglaan ng oras… to be here. It means so much to us.”
Paulo was visibly overwhelmed with emotion to see an eager audience filling up the theater as he said, “I’m out of words. It’s been a while since I attended a premiere in a moviehouse. Masaya ako na nandito kayo at masaya ako na may pelikulang Pilipino ulit na pinalalabas sa sinehan.”
Ngayon Kaya is now showing in movie theaters nationwide.