What differs QCinema from other indie filmfests

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GEORGE VAIL KABRISTANTE

QCinema started merely as a city-oriented cultural project in the realm of encouraging and funding indie filmmakers to show their best works under the auspices of Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte.

In just five years, however, the Vice Mayor has repeatedly emphasized that said festival has reached to the present time the status of a major international film festival.

This she pointed out during the press launch where all the full-length and short filmmakers were presented to the media then at Vertis North cinema where the opening film “Loving Vincent” about the painter Vincent Van Gogh was shown to a select audience including Caveat.

Judging from the fresh harvest and acclaimed titles of entries from around the world, it’s one good reason to be proud perhaps for the endeavor that consistently showcased films for a lesser admission fee or even free for the moviegoing public.

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Organizers headed by Ed Lejano claimed they have served as the most ideal launching pad for a new kind of Filipino cinema and as gateway to international recognition for indie filmmakers as well, justifiably summed up in their battlecry “One City To The World!”

Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte with QCinema Best Director Khavn dela Cruz for ‘Balangiga: Howling Wilderness’
PHOTO BY ROGER RAÑADA

QCinema provides the necessary funding to qualified applicants without infringing whatsoever on the rights of the filmmakers to own the film all the way. This is in contrast to the onerous and penny-pinching practices of all local indie filmfests first put into practice by Cinemalaya and followed by the others.

On the pretext of supporting indie filmmakers, these indie filmfests dangle the seed money to wannabe filmmakers wanting to get the big break even if they are made to put up with the stringent requirements of counterpart funding.

In the end, as stipulated in the contract the unsuspecting poor indie filmmakers are trapped into the folly of realizing their dreams. They can only own and do business with their personal films after the sponsoring indie filmfests have appropriated these films for themselves after at least a year or two. The filmmakers end up nibbling on the bone of their own films so to speak. Where else then can they their films? Oh, the price one has to pay for a burning ambition.

In contrast, the QCinema has skewed from the aforesaid malpractice. Belmonte was short of saying, if one wants to really help indie filmmakers realize their dreams to the hilt do not proffer terms and conditions that are meant to shortchange them. This alone makes the QCinema far different from the rest of the local indie filmfests.

As a footnote to the successful and recently-concluded QCinema, other foreign titles that fall under “Rainbow QC” showcased a broad spectrum of LGBT narratives from across the world, namely “Beach Rats,” “Close-Knit,” “Fathers,” “Those Long Haired Nights,” “Signature Move” and “Tom of Finland.”

Makes Caveat think the “Rainbow QC” section of QCinema has eventually placed in the backburners the international “Pink Festival” which used to showcase an array of fresh LGBT-themed films from around the world as programmed by Nick Deocampo under the auspices of the Office of Mayor Herbert Bautista.

“Pink Festival” was in itself a unique annual international event highly anticipated by the LGBT community. As the touted city of stars, isn’t it merrier to have at least two international filmfests in QC?

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