Following the success of Deleter, Nadine Lustre and Mikhail Red teams up once more for Nokturno, another horror movie to get excited about this 2023.
Coming off of the heels of the top-grossing and award-winning success of the psychological horror movie, Deleter, last year, Filipina multi-hyphenate Nadine Lustre and filmmaker Mikhail Red are once again reuniting for another exciting project. This comes after an awards haul in the last edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival where Deleter bagged eight accolades (including best actress, best director, and best picture) and earned a whopping P240 million locally.
Truly, it seems that the Nadine-Mikhail team-up, which makes for a cinematic offering that has an engaging storyline plus a tour de force performance, proves to resonate with a lot of Filipino audience. And this year, courtesy of Viva Films and Mikhail’s new production studio, we’ll get to see more of this tandem as another blockbuster in the making is in the works right now with the working title, Nokturno. Here’s what we know about it so far.
A HORROR MOVIE
Known for crafting effective genre works, director Mikhail Red is the storyteller to go if you’re looking for the chills and thrills. From his neo-noir thriller, Neomanila, and mystery horror, Eerie, to his zombie flick, Block Z, and his latest action-packed Arisaka, Mikhail has proven himself to be one of the most exciting cinematic voices in the country today.
So, it is not surprising that Nokturno also runs in the same vein of his past works as a full-blown horror film. As revealed in a press release, Nokturno centers on a Filipino family and a daughter who lives overseas as they get haunted by a primal and supernatural curse. Direk Mikhail also describes it as a “bigger” and “scarier” project than Deleter.
NADINE LUSTRE AS THE LEAD
As already mentioned, award-winning actress Nadine Lustre is set to be the protagonist of Nokturno. “I really appreciate her appetite for challenging roles and genre films,” says director Mikhail in a press conference. While the full casting details have yet to be unveiled, it’s reasonable to expect another powerful performance from the FAMAS and Gawad Urian winner who, after Deleter, is now on her way to becoming the country’s new muse of horror movies.
VIVA FILMS X EVOLVE STUDIOS COLLAB
Nokturno also marks the beginning of an exciting partnership between Viva Films and Evolve Studios, a new production company helmed by Mikhail Red. As its chief creative officer, the Filipino genre master aims to make Evolve Studios as a home to local stories that feature “exciting plots and imaginative ideas” and “quality genre films that strive to both entertain and engage.” Meanwhile, his brother and longtime collaborator, Nikolas Red, will serve as the studio’s creative producer.
About his decision to work with Viva Films, Mikhail shares that the media giant has always given him the creative freedom and thus is “the best platform” for him to continue creating his genre works and “making sustainable cinema.” “We try to make films that we would want to see as an audience,” adds Mikhail. “And we hope that a lot of people out there looking for a different kind of a filipino genre film think like us or want the same things as us.”
More so, Mikhail Red’s Evolve Studios also aims to search and hone other Filipino genre talents and to always be an “audience-first” film company. “We want to foster genre talent and collaborate with new and established artists and voices, to reinvigorate the industry and help diversify film output for the average Filipino audience,” Mikhail says in a statement.
While there’s no exact date yet, Nokturno is slated for a 2023 release. Another “more ambitious” sci-fi horror offering from Evolve Studios, Helel, is also expected to go out this year. Mikhail Red further explains that in the succeeding years, they plan to release two films annually made by different local storytellers.
Starting with Nokturno, Viva Films and Evolve Studios aim to produce works that will go at par with the increasingly global demand for quality storytelling, especially because of the rise of international streaming platforms. And it’s just fitting that an internationally acclaimed filmmaker like Mikhail Red is at the forefront of this mission. Birdshot is the first Filipino film to be distributed by streaming giant, Netflix, while the heist movie, Dead Kids, is Netflix’s first original Filipino movie.
“We will take wild swings, aim for spectacle and fresh concepts, yet ground them in sustainable and feasible production,” shares Mikhail Red in an interview. “Our films aim to be accessible and exciting to the everyday Filipino audience and will have the craft, production value, and sensibilities for international export as well.” What an exciting and vibrant future for mainstream Filipino cinema indeed.
Continue Reading: 3 Things We Loved (And Didn’t) About Deleter