For the first time, the famous Venice Film Festival of La Biennale di Venezia is coming to the Philippines, a premiere for the whole Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
The event—organized in the framework of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Italy and the Philippines—will take place on July 26 to 31 and will be appropriately hosted in the Venice Grand Canal Mall at McKinley Hill.
This project, a true milestone in the cultural exchange between Italy and the Philippines, is made possible under the coordination of the Embassy of Italy, thanks to the efforts of the Societa’ Dante Alighieri Comitato di Manila, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines and the Film Development Council of the Philippines. The concerted commitment in working together—with the support of Societa’ Dante Alighieri in Rome, Italy—to stage this unique celebration of Italian and Filipino cinema cultures, favorably resulted to secure the approval of La Biennale di Venezia.
“The Venice Film Festival in Manila is the favorable result of hard work, strong cooperation and reliable partnerships, aimed to bring together Italian and Filipino cinemas which participated in the Venice Biennale Film Festival 2016,” Massimo Roscigno, Ambassador of Italy to the Philippines said.
“Our sincere appreciation to the La Biennale di Venezia for believing in the project, approving it, working with us for over a year in the preparation, and for authorizing the screening in the Philippines for some of its most representative movies to the benefit of the Filipino public,” he added.
Meanwhile, Film Development Council of the Philippines Chairperson and CEO Liza Dino said the upcoming event is an incredible opportunity for the Filipino audience to be exposed to world cinema—it’s wide, colorful, and diverse options—and also to gain new appreciation of the Filipino films which are at par with its global counterparts.
“As the oldest and one of the most prestigious film festival in the world, the Venice Film Festival has always been held in high regard by Filipino filmmaking culture, with our most renowned films and filmmakers featured in the festival. With the recent win of Lav Diaz’ “Ang Babaeng Humayo” in 2016 with the Golden Lion Award, Filipino films are more relevant than ever in the global cinema landscape. It is high time to bring the prestige and glamour of the Venice Film Festival literally within the arm’s reach of the Filipino audience,” Dino shared.
“We hope that with the first year of bring the festival to Manila, we will be able to make this a continuing program for cultural exchange and audience development,” she furthered.
This special edition of the Venice Film Festival will feature carefully selected multi-awarded films: eight Italian and three Filipino. The films selection is a combination of classic and recent releases, which have been imprinted in the history of filmmaking.
The Italian movies which will be shown are” “Orecchie”, “Tommaso”, “Liberami”, “Questi giorni”, “Piuma”, “L’estate addosso” and two classic masterpieces “Processo alla citta” and “Profumo di donna”.
The Filipino movies which will be shown are: “Jay” directed by Carlo Mendoza, “Thy Womb” directed by Brillante Mendoza and “Ang Babaeng Humayo” directed by Lav Diaz.
Four screenings everyday will be offered to the public: the first two screenings (one in late morning, one in early afternoon) will be available free of charge, while the other two screenings (late afternoon and evening) will be for a limited price of P50 per person.
This is a festival that is uniquely attractive for all cinema lovers and for those who appreciate the talent and passion that both Filipinos and Italians have shown in the powerful medium of cinema. Moviegoers should not miss the chance to experience and enjoy a world renowned film festival in a captivating Venetian setting, right in Manila.