Comic book fans of Pinoy horror and folklore, rejoice! An animated feature film of Philippine horror-fantasy graphic novel Ella Arcangel is in the works.
Mervin Malonzo, the author and artist of National Book Award-winning comic TABI PO has announced that a film based on Ella Arcangel: Awit ng Pangil at Kuko is in development.
Magandang gabi! Ikinagagalak kong sabihin na magkakaroon ng pelikula na base sa ELLA ARCANGEL: AWIT NG PANGIL AT KUKO sa tulong ng grant na ibinigay ng Film Development Council of the Philippines!— Mervin Malonzo (@mervinmalonzo) September 22, 2021
Abangan si Ella, si Mimiw, at si Pangil! @zekemachine pic.twitter.com/zKgQqFh4zQ
The animated film is among the selected films and projects which will receive a grant from the FilmPhilippines Incentives Program of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
Ella Arcangel is based on a 2017 comic book series by Julius Villanueva about a young girl who is the city slum’s resident mambabarang (“sorcerer”). Set in a strange community called Barangay Masikap, the series involves Ella battling both men and mythical monsters—or aswangs—in a small portion of the big city.
Ella Arcangel: Awit ng Pangil at Kuko is the second volume in the comic book series.
Malonzo previously directed and animated a series of Ella Arcangel shorts, including Oyayi sa Dilim, which he released independently last year.
On his site, Malonzo revealed that the previous animated project took two to three years to complete as he was juggling comic-making, selling books at conventions and freelance work.
"I just want this animation to exist because I am a fan of Ella Arcangel and her stories. The author, Julius Villanueva is one of the most prolific comic creators I know. We’ve become friends because we have similarities in the underlying themes and messages in our stories and those similarities are my driving force to create this animation. I wanted to amplify the message of Ella's story through a different medium," the artist wrote.
You can watch the full 19-minute animation for free below.
According to Malonzo, the upcoming Ella Arcangel: Awit ng Pangil at Kuko animated film will be done in collaboration with original comic book author and writer Julius Villanueva, and produced by Manny Angeles and Avid Liongoren (Saving Sally).
Watch out for Ella, Mimiw, and Pangil in the new film and stay tuned for more updates.
Fans interested in reading the digital comic book ahead of the film can purchase it directly from the artist's website. The 100-page digital comic by Julius Villanueva and Mervin Malonzo costs P300.
(Images via Mervin Malonzo)