Quezon City is dubbed as the City of Stars for very apparent reasons: it is the home of two leading network giants in the Philippines, and as such, the second home of the brightest actors and actresses in the entertainment industry.
Naturally a hub for film development, it was in 2006 that the Quezon City Film Development Commission (QCFDC) was established through the directives of then Mayor and Vice Mayor tandem of Sonny Belmonte and Herbert Bautista, respectively.
Throughout the years, the commission has assisted “filmmakers, artists and the likes . . . to be able to practice their craft and deliver to the people world-class masterpieces.”
As part of this vision, QCFDC initiated the successful Quezon City International Film Festival, or simply QCinema, in 2013 presenting films that portray the Filipinos’ way of life, aspirations, history and culture.
This year, the fourth QCinema is all set. After months of deliberation, the jury now has the list of eight new movies that will be featured in the Circle Competition, one of the categories of the international film festival.
The eight new films that will be on display in the film festival include, Ang Lubong ni Hesus written by Fatrick Tabada and directed by Victor Villanueva; Ang Manananggal sa Unit 22B written by Jen Chuaunsu and directed by Prime Cruz; Baboy Halas directed by Bagane Fiola; Best. Partee. Ever. directed by HF Yambao; Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus by Dwein Baltazar; Hinulid by Kristian Cordero; Purgatoryo directed by Roderick Cabrido; and Women of the Weeping River by Sheron Dayoc.
The homegrown filmmaking talents will be given a grant amounting to a total of P1 million. What differentiates the QCinema grant from other funds provided for filmmakers is that it will allow them to own the rights to their movies.
Ang Lubong ni Hesus is a Cebuano comedy-drama road film by award-winning Filipino film director Victor Louie Villanueva. The movie shows how the status quo of a dysfunctional and emotionally bankrupted family headed by Isay, a single mother, takes a wild turn upon receiving word that her ex-husband, Hesus, has already passed away.
In Ang Manananggal sa Unit 22B, powerhouse couple writer Jen Chuaunsu and director Prime Cruz show the struggles of Jewel, a manananggal (creature who separates from its lower body and becomes a winged monster at night) who falls in love with a broken-hearted man. Can Jewel find true love or is she destined to live alone forever?
Baboy Halas, a piece directed by Bagane Fiola, melds reality and fantasy together. Set in a mountain in Bukidnon, the movie follows the life of a hunter who transforms into a boar after plunging into the Enchanted River to pursue an Enchanted Nymph, masquerading as a white pig.
In the Best. Partee. Ever., first-time indie filmmaker HF Yambao narrates city jail goings-on through the eyes of Mikey, a young, discreet gay man from the affluent class who spends five years in a city jail while hearing his case for drug pushing. Mikey eventually finds himself as the ringleader of a group of gay inmates called “Gang-da” and together they survive the dangers lurking behind prison bars.
Gusto Kita With All my Hypothalamus by Dwein Baltazar takes the narrative to Avenida Rizal the once “downtown” of Manila, where the fates of four men intertwine: A pickpocket, a widowed old man, a university student, and a thrift shop employee, all connected by a mysterious beauty named Aileen.
In Hinulid, director Kristian Cordero trails behind a woman who travels to Cagbunga, Camarines Sur while carrying the ashes of her only son. She rides an old train that circles her universe like the tandayag, the primordial serpent known in the Tagalog and Bicol region.
Purgatoryo directed by Roderick Cabrido, tells the story of Ilyong, a man recently killed by the police after he was caught stealing. His death signaled the start of a story that showed the complex relationship of a gambling lord, a policeman, a funeral parlor owner, and her two helpers.
Internationally renowned filmmaker Sheron Dayoc showed his prowess in Women of the Weeping River, a film project that has received international development grants and a production grant. Satra, a widow living in the southern Mindanao, forms a relationship with an aging village woman named Farida to help her in holding peace talks with a rival family.
Visit www.qcinema.ph to get more information about the film festival and its lineup.