Nilalang or Sonzai-sha (存在者, lit. Entity) is a 2015 Filipino-Japanese action horror film directed by Pedring Lopez starring Cesar Montano and Maria Ozawa.[1] It is an official entry to the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival and it was released on December 25, 2015.[2] Nilalang is about a local forensic expert who teams up with an heiress to a transnational organized crime syndicate originating from Japan.

One of the theatrical film poster of Nilalang
Directed byPedring Lopez
Produced byRoy Lopez
Rex Lopez
Maia Yambao-Lopez
Written byPedring Lopez
Dennis Empalmado
StarringCesar Montano
Maria Ozawa
Meg Imperial
Yam Concepcion
Music byJessie Lasaten
CinematographyPao Orendain
Edited byJason Cahapay
Haunted Tower Pictures
Parallax Studios
Viva Films
Distributed byViva Films
Release date
  • December 25, 2015 (2015-12-25)
Running time
90 minutes

Robin Padilla was supposed to be Ozawa's leading man in this film but due to his wife Mariel Rodriguez's delicate pregnancy, he decided to back out to take care of his wife.[3] Nilalang released its official trailer on October 12, 2015.[4]


NBI special crimes division agent Tony (Cesar Montano) encounters an evil entity which is bent on killing and torturing beautiful women, one of which was his girlfriend, years after he have thought to have killed the malevolent spirit. People close to Tony is in danger including his partner Jane (Meg Imperial), who has romantic interest towards him with everyone in the agency aware of this fact except for Tony.[5]

The spirit, who has killed many people in Japan, is thought to be targeting women from a certain clan of samurai. In Manila, Miyuki (Maria Ozawa) takes care of the family business while her younger sister is taking care of their aging father. Miyuki is later forced to help in the investigation regarding the murders after Akane went missing and their father was found dead to put of stop to the evil entity's killing spree.[5]


Main cast

Supporting cast


The film was released in the Philippines on December 25, 2015, Christmas Day, as part of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival.


The film won 5 awards during the 41st Metro Manila Film Festival including Best Cinematography , Best Visual Effects , Best Editing , Best Musical Score and Best Sound Engineering.

41st Metro Manila Film Festival[6]Best Supporting ActorDido de la PazNominated
Best CinematographyPao OrendainWon
Best EditingJason CahapayWon
Best Visual EffectsPedro Chuidian & Rommel PambidWon
Best Production DesignMimi Sanson ViolaNominated
Best Make-up ArtistRichard Carvajal & Alice Soro CollaraNominated
Best Original Theme Song"Greyhoundz Lions"Nominated
Best Musical ScoreJessie LasatenWon
Best Sound EngineeringDitoy AguilaWon


Pullout from cinemas

After a day of screening, some cinemas started pulling out the film in favor of the two other blockbuster hit entries of the festival, My Bebe Love and Beauty and the Bestie. From a total of 40 theatres, the number of cinemas showing Nilalang went down to five. Because of this, the producers appealed to moviegoers and theatre owners to support the independent film the same way that they support the mainstream films of the festival. After this, the hashtag #DemandForNilalang became a trending topic on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, as interested movie goers urged cinema owners to screen the said film. After a few days, many theatre owners started including the film in their cinema line-up to give way to the public's request.


  1. "Maria Ozawa to star in MMFF entry 'Nilalang' with Robin Padilla". Philippines: GMA News. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  2. "MMDA announces revised list of MMFF 2015 movies". GMA News. 13 September 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  3. "Cesar Montano replaces Robin Padilla in 'Nilalang' with Maria Ozawa". Rappler. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  4. "Nilalang Trailer - Metro Manila Film Festival 2015 Official Entry". YouTube. October 12, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  5. "Nilalang: Supernatural, dark and creepy". Adobo Magazine. Sanserif, Inc. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  6. Smith, Chuck. "Winners: 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival awards night". Philippine Star. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
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