Quezon City will roll out the red carpet anew as the fifth QCinema International Film Festival unfolds on October 19 at Vertis North. Spearheaded by Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and QC Film Commission head and QCinema Festival Director Ed Lejano, this year’s edition looks very promising and is certainly moving in the right direction.
From its opening movie, “Loving Vincent,” the festival makes a statement that it is a showcase to be reckoned with. Not only is this title an animated drama, but it the world’s first fully painted film on the life of famed 19th Century post-Impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh. Directed by Dorita Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, the animated film was created by a team of 115 painters, lending their artistic expertise in rendering the 65,000 frames of oil paintings beautifully photographed by Tristan Oliver.
A unique filmic experience, “Loving Vincent” premiered at the 2017 Annecy International Film Festival.
The Main Competition Section promises to deliver a formidable bunch of movies from progressive filmmakers, including Mikhail Red’s take on the social reality of extrajudicial killings with “Neomanila.” The young and perceptive director of “Birdshot” expands his film reportage on the state of Fascism in the Philippines today.
Other very interesting plots will be tackled by Khavn de la Cruz with “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness,” Christopher Gozum with “The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931,” Jobin Ballesteros with “Kulay Lila ang Gabi na Binurdahan pa ng mga Bituin,” Emerson Reyes with “Dormitoryo,” Dominic Lim with “The Write Moment,” Robin Maya with “The Chanters,” and Pam Miras with “Medusae.”
The QC Section for shorts will unravel new ideas with Kiri Dalena’s “From the Dark Depths,” Ice Ibanan’s “What Is Your Name?,” Kieth Deligero’s “Babylon,” Phyllis Grae Grande’s “If Not,” Mike Esteves’s “Link,” Carl Joseph Papa’s “Love Bites,” Epoy Daytos’s “Pixel Paranoia,” and Joseph Suareez’s “Astri and Tambullah.”
For those looking for different fare, they will relish Rainbow QC selection of LGBT movies from the rest of the world, and the Asian Next Wave.
Rainbow QC will screen “Beach Rats,” “Close Knit,” “Signature Move,” “Tom of Finland,” and “Those Long Haired Nights.” Meanwhile, The Asian Next Wave will be highlighted by “Dragonfly Eyes,” “KFC,” “In Between Seasons,” “Pop Eye,” “Snow Woman,” and “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts”.
Around the world
For cineastes, the most laudable aspect of QCinema is its line up of international films, and this year is just as exciting as the previous one.
The festival’s Before Midnight section features controversial titles for hardcore cinephiles including “Bang Gang, a Modern Love Story,” “Revenge,” “68 Kill” and “A Prayer Before Dawn.”
Straight out of Cannes Film Festival 2017 are “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” by Yorgos Lanthimos, which Best Screenplay; “120” Beats Per Minute” by Robin Campillo, France’s entry to the Oscar Best Foreign Film category; “Loveless” by Andrei Zvyagentsev, Russia’s entry to the Oscars; and Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The Square” by Ruben Ostlund, which is also Sweden’s entry to the Oscars.
Both local and international titles are featured in the restored film section of the festival, and the list includes “Karma” by Danny Zialcita, “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” by Mario O’Hara and “High School Scandal” by Gil Portes.
The international list boasts of “All About My Mother” by Pedro Almodovar, winner of Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film, “Blow Up” by Michelangelo Antonioni and “The Graduate” by Mike Nichols.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines, chaired by Liza Dino will support the festival by hosting a film industry conference on October 22 at Novotel Manila Araneta Center to tackle currents and issues in world cinema. Moreover, FDCP will also hosting an LGBT Night and a Media Night.
Finally, the closing film of QCinema 2017 slated on October 28 is Mike de Leon’s Alpha Kamma Omega Batch ’81, a film on the practice of humiliation and torture by campus fraternities. Here, seven neophytes seek to join the fraternity AKO and find out that instead of the group’s promise of brotherhood, they are confronted by harsh initiation and prospects of death. Batch ’81 was considered by many to represent the harshness of the political regime of Ferdinand Marcos. It attained international recognition at the Director’s Fortnight of Cannes Film Festival 1982.
The QCinema International Film Festival runs from October 19 to 28 in cinemas across Quezon City.