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‘The Road’ to Hollywood: History in the making for Philippine movies

Described by international film critics as “creepy to the extreme” (KillerFilm.com) and a “beautifully shot supernatural tale with incredible effects and great scares” (Bloody Disgusting), The Road is a story about a twelve-year-old cold case, which was recently reopened when three teenagers went missing while traversing an infamous and abandoned road.

AFTER FREAKING the hell out of moviegoers in the Philippines with its unique but effectively haunting storyline and superb cinematography, GMA Films’ 2011 thriller movie The Road will pave the way to Hollywood fame as it becomes the first all-Filipino film to be commercially released in North America and Canada this May.In a well-attended news conference held at Barrio Fiesta Restaurant in Glendale, the ghost story movie will the Philippines’ first-ever film to break into the Hollywood with 50 theaters playing in the U.S. beginning May 11.

Through an international distribution agreement with Philippine film production company GMA Films, Hollywood-based international film distribution outfit Freestyle Releasing will commercially release The Road in the mainstream American and Canadian markets.

The movie, a brainchild of internationally-acclaimed film director Yam Laranas, held a glitzy red carpet premiere in Los Angeles, last Wednesday that included Manny Pacquiao gracing the occasion.

“I think this is the first time that a locally-produced Filipino film will be distributed commercially by an international releasing outfit in the U.S. and Canada, and treated like a Hollywood-produced movie.  This is not simply a special off-shore screening of a locally-produced film; this is in fact a full-fledged commercial distribution deal, and there’s a big difference between the two,” said GMA Films President Annette Gozon-Abrogar.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to exhibit the ingenuity and creativity of our artists and directors in the international market.  It’s about time that we show the world that we, Filipinos, are not only good in boxing or singing, we can also excel in the field of movie-making.  The release of The Road in the U.S. and Canada is good news not just for GMA Films but also for the Philippine film industry because this would inspire especially our new generation of directors, writers, cinematographers and artists to perfect their skills and aspire for greater heights,” said GMA Chairman and CEO Felipe L. Gozon.

Laranas also expressed his happiness on the outcome of his film. He said the movie cost at least $450,000. He told Weekend Balita that he’s hoping the movie would make at least $5,000 from each of the 50 theaters playing all over the U.S., including AMC Theaters.

“I am very excited for GMA in this history-making and pioneering development for The Road.  This opens a ton of possibilities in the international arena not just for GMA Films or GMA Network but also for GMA Pinoy TV.  This only proves that quality entertainment of international standard is of high importance to the network,” he said.

The Road’s U.S. release is co-presented by GMA’s international channels GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV.

The Story

Described by international film critics as “creepy to the extreme” (KillerFilm.com) and a “beautifully shot supernatural tale with incredible effects and great scares” (Bloody Disgusting), The Road is a story about a twelve-year-old cold case, which was recently reopened when three teenagers went missing while traversing an infamous and abandoned road.  As investigators try to find leads to the whereabouts of the missing teens, they also unearth the road’s gruesome past that spans two decades – a history of abduction, crimes and murders.  Although the road is isolated, anyone who tries to pass through it can be sure that he is not alone.  Lingering in the dark and desolate pathway is a vengeful ghost who makes sure no one leaves the road – alive!

The movie stars Rhian Ramos, Carmina Villarroel, Marvin Agustin, TJ Trinidad, tween stars Alden Richards, Barbie Forteza, Louise delos Reyes, Derrick Monasterio, Lexi Fernandez, Ynna Asistio and Renz Valerio. Also starring in the film are John Regala, Lloyd Samartino, Gerald Madrid, Allan Paule and Ms. Jacklyn Jose.

The Road will also be simultaneously released in digital home video format (DVD) and will be made available globally via subscription-based and online distribution platforms including Video-on-Demand (VoD), Amazon Prime, Netflix, and iTunes.

The Philippine’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines and The Belo Medical Group are partners of GMA Films in bringing The Road to the U.S..

GMA Films is the movie production arm of Philippine media giant GMA Network, Inc.

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