World Premiere: MON, 7 August – 17:30, LaSala

Screenings here 

Teaser  here

Director Richard V. Somes and main actors Arjo Atayde and Enchong Dee are available for interviews in Locarno.

TOPAKK (Triggered) by Richard V. Somes (We Will Not Die Tonight) is celebrating its World Premiere at the Locarno International Film Festival 2023. The action- drama-thriller, screening in the Fuori Concorso section, is starring Arjo Atayde (Cattleya Killer), Julia Montes (Brothers), Sid Lucero (The End of History), with Enchong Dee (Alter Me) and Kokoy De Santos (Game Boy).

TOPAKK is a hardboiled action in the mold of contemporary Hong Kong action cinema with the vision to trail-blaze a new trend in the action genre. Showcasing dramatic fight scenes with a hint of classic 80’s action hits aesthetics, it tells the story of a weakened hero, underlining the realistic drama of mental health.


Sgt. Miguel, a platoon leader, guides his men into a hostile territory in the south of the Philippines where extremist groups thrive. In the thick forest, the confrontation turned tragic when all of his men were killed in the battle. Witnessing his men murdered in front of him pushes Miguel to the edge. He goes amok, fighting the enemy with blood and vengeance until everyone is dead. A year later, after getting discharged from the military, Miguel is still haunted by the carnage that wiped out his entire platoon. An ex-military officer turned security guard in a remote warehouse, he finds himself in the middle of a different kind of war between drug syndicates, corrupt police death squads, and an innocent woman caught in the Manila underworld.

Richard V. Somes born in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental with a degree and training as a Seaman, Richard V. Somes moved to Manila to pursue his other passion, film. With natural skills using paint and tools, he started out as a production designer for both film and television. Somes, under the wing of internationally known and respected Filipino director Erik Matti (On The Job, Buy Bust), his works got noticed and awarded including his production design work in the classic action-fantasy movie Ang Panday (2009). With experience on the set, he ventured into directing both television and film. His work for ABS-CBN, Bridges Of Love (2015), The Story Of Us (2016), A Soldier’s Heart (2020), to name a few made him a household name. In line with that, his films Yanggaw (2008), Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang (2012) and El Peste (2018) became classics on its own right for its unique voice and attack on genre films. We Will Not Die Tonight (2018), a break-out success in the independent community took his career into the next level with international festivals recognizing his hard-edged aesthetics. In 2022, he completed Kid Alpha One and Sentensyador.

TOPAKK is produced by Wilfredo C. Manalang of Fusee (Cannes Camera d’Or Special Distinction Prize, Plan 75), Richard V. Somes of Strawdog Studio Production, Ria Atayde and Sylvia Sanchez of Nathan Studios. The Philippine group worked closely in association with Toronto-based companies, producer Michaelangelo Masangkay of Sine Media Inc. and executive producers Michael Paszt, James Fler, Michael Da Silva of Raven Banner Entertain- ment. The film received initial grant through the Film Development Council of the Philippines, CreatePH film financing program.

World-wide sales are handled by Raven Banner Entertainment.

International Sales:
Raven Banner Entertainment /

113 min. / Philippines, USA / 2023 / Color / Feature



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