Riding on the theme “One City for the World,” the 2016 QCinema International Film Festival (QCinema) continues its thrust as a world-class event through an interesting mix of new homegrown films and award-winning international movies.
QCinema runs from October 13 to 22 at four mall venues namely, Ayala Trinoma, Gateway Cinemas, Robinson’s Galleria, and UP Town Center. A special film forum series at the QCX, the new museum complex of the Quezon Memorial Circle, is also held.
Since its foundation in 2012, the Quezon City Film Development Commission (QCFDC) has been providing grants to help filmmakers produce their own works. QCinema is its annual platform where the new cinematic gems are given the chance to be appreciated by the public.
New seven features and eight short films funded by QCFDC make up Circle Competition and #QCShorts, whereby filmmakers own the rights to their features and the only local funding platform for short films respectively.
Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23 directed by Prime Cruz, Baboy Halas directed by Bagane Fiola, Best. Partee. Ever. directed by Howard “HF” Yambao, Hinulid by Kristian Sendon Cordero, Patay Na Si Hesus directed by Victor Kaiba Villanueva, Purgatoryo directed by Roderick Cabrido and Women Of The Weeping River by Sheron Dayoc make up the list of the new feature films in the Circle Competition.
The finalists in the #QCShorts category are Hondo by Aedrian Araojo, If You Leave by Eduardo “Dodo” Dayao, Kung Saan May Naiwan by Joshua Joven and Kaj Palanca, Nang Lumipad Ang Batang Agila by Mihk Vergara, Padating by Gabrielle Tayag, Papa’s Shadow by Inshallah Montero, Sayaw Sa Butal by Victor Nierva and Viva Viva Escolta by Janus Victoria.
Asian Next Wave is the most recent addition to the QCinema competitions. This category showcases the works of Asian filmmakers with less than two directorial features.
The movies in this international section include By The Time It Gets Dark directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong of Thailand; Old Stone, a Chinese-Canadian collaboration film directed by Johnny Ma; Singing In Graveyards, a Filipino-Malaysian movie directed by Bradley Liew; Solo, Solitude directed by Yosep Anggi Noen of Indonesia; Apprentice, a Singaporean film by Boo Junfeng; and Woven Wings Of Our Children, a Filipino piece by Anton Juan.
Gathering movies from across the globe
The festival’s opening film is Park Chan-wook’s recent Cannes winner, The Handmaiden starring Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo and Tae Ri Kim.
For its Screen International section, QCinema bestows Philippine premieres to some of the films recently lauded in the international festival circuit.
The roster includes One Week And A Day, an Israeli film by Asaph Polonsky; The Teacher from the Czech Republic and directed by Jan Hřebejk; I, Daniel Blake, a film from the United Kingdom made by Ken Loach; Godless, a Bulgarian movie created by Ralitza Petrova; Under The Shadow, an Iranian film directed by Babak Anvari; Headshot, an Indonesian movie from Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel; and The Ornithologist, a Portuguese film directed by João Pedro Rodrigues.
In keeping with the festival’s tradition of featuring a film trilogy every year, QCinema presents a special section, “Tribute To Kieślowski.” To commemorate the 20th death anniversary of the celebrated Polish auteur, Krzysztof Kieślowski, the acclaimed triptych about European reunification includes Blue (1993), White (1994) and Red (1994).
Vibrant and diverse narratives unravel in “RainbowQC,” a category of features about the LGBTQ experience that include Spa Night from Andrew Ahn of USA; #BKKY by Nontawat Numbenchapol from Thailand; Kiki, a collaboration between USA and Sweden directed by Sara Jordenö; and Jonathan by Piotr J. Lewandowski of Germany.
Old and new Filipino films
Two digitally-restored screen gems from ABS-CBN get their due revival in the section, “Back ThrowBack.”
It features Kasal (1980) directed by Laurice Guillen and Haplos (1982) filmed by Butch Perez. The former marks Guillen’s debut feature and the latter topbills the exciting team-up of Vilma Santos, Christopher de Leon and Rio Locsin.
QCinema celebrates the thriving film communities outside of the National Capital Region (NCR), through its “Cinema Rehiyon” section, featuring the compilation of regional titles from Mindanao Rising, Across Luzon and Visayas, and Ilonggo Tales of Horror and Imagination. Also included is the Manila premiere of the new Cebuano indie by Christian Linaban, Superpsychocebu.
Filipino film master, Mike De Leon, gets his QCinema homage for his three popular restored titles, Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising (1977), Hindi Nahahati Ang Langit (1985) and Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (1980).
Under the “Pinoy Spotlight” section, two new social-realists get their QCinema premieres – Blank” of Kohki Hasei from Japan and Area by Filipino Louie Ignacio.
The awarding ceremony for the QCinema filmmaking competitions will be on October 19. For more information, visit www.qcinema.ph.