Quezon City, dubbed the City of the Stars, because of the presence of major TV networks and production companies, now seeks to be the haven for independent filmmakers as well with the unreeling of the QCinema Festival from October 3 to 5 at the Trinoma Mall.
“This flagship project of the Quezon City Film Development Commission [QCFDC] is consistent with the local government’s goal to turn the ‘City of Stars’ into a center of arts and culture as well,” Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte told media at a press conference. The vice mayor said it also aims to “give ‘emerging’ filmmakers the chance to create their dream movies.”
This year’s festival will serve as a lead-in to an even bigger event to commemorate the 75th anniversary celebration of Quezon City in 2014.
According to Mayor Herbert Bautista, he hopes the festival will “reinvent QC and make it a movie capital—not just for the local but for the international market as well much like Bangkok and Hong Kong.”
The QCFDC was established in 2006 when Bautista was still vice mayor. The QCFDC is considered as “the governing body for all film-related projects and activities in the city.”
After a rigorous screening of over 70 entries submitted last year the organizers of only chose three winners of production grants worth P800,000.
The three films include Gaydar by Alvin Yapan; Hello World by Joel Ferrer, and Lukas Nino by John Torres.
Gaydar tells the story of Tina, who thinks she is cursed because she always ends up falling in love with gays. After her latest embarrassment with Ricky, whom she thought would propose to her on their date but ends up introducing her to his boyfriend, she vows never to fall in love again with men. Men always end up gay whenever she falls in love with them.
The movie stars Tom Rodriguez, Rafael Rosell and Pauleen Luna.
Hello World is about Jeff and Johan who have been longtime friends since grade 5. Fresh from high school, they start to try taking control of their lives. Jeff, as youthful as he is, decided to not go to the US with his mom and leave his comfort zone. He stays for a chance at love with his secret childhood crush, Annie, who is incidentally, Johann’s twin sister.
Lukas Nino or Lukas the Strange is a story of an awkward teenager coming to grips with his own initiation into manhood just when there is a movie shoot in his neighborhood. The story opens several nights before, when Lukas is told that he has a tikbalang (half-horse, half man) for a father. His father, Mang Basilio, disappears from his life the next day. Soon enough, Lukas’ body reddens, and he wonders if he really is half-man half-beast.
Although the three films will not be competing for any awards, the organizers said Qcinema may turn into a competition next year.
Besides the screenings, the festival will also be holding roundtable discussions with some of the country’s top scriptwriters and filmmakers on October 4 at the Trinoma Activity Center. The panel will include Ricky Lee, Bing Lao, Henry Burgos, Zig Dulay, Michiko Yamamoto and Roy Iglesias. The forum will be moderated by Director Joey Javier Reyes.
Forum 2 will feature Filmmakers Alvin Yapan and Alemberg Ang, John Torres, Joel Ferrer and Miko Livelo, with Ed Cabagnot as moderator.