FEATURE FILMS SELECTED FOR COMPETITION:
Directed by Mikhail Red | 116 minutes | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | (Philippines)
BIRDSHOT MOVIE TRAILER: https://youtu.be/7k8h_X3GjgM
Diego Mariano (Ku Aquino) is the caretaker of the land surrounding a sanctuary; he is the father of 14-year-old Maya (Mary Joy Apostol), whose mother died from childbirth. Maya wants to explore the land beyond the family’s isolated shack. Diego wants her daughter to be self-sufficient, thus teaches her to fire a gun. After failing her first shooting lessons, Maya wanders of to the forest sanctuary with her father’s rifle and accidentally kills a Philippine eagle, an endangered animal.
Meanwhile, newly-recruited police officer Domingo goes to the area to investigate the mysterious disappearance of farmers en route to Manila on a bus, but was ordered to stop what he was doing. Domingo’s partner Mendoza (John Arcilla) and their commander Dela Paz (Dido dela Paz) believes that Domingo should focus on finding the killer of the Philippine eagle instead.
24 year old Red and his cousin began writing the script in 2014. Producer Pamela L. Reyes submitted it to the Doha Film Institute which in early 2015 granted production funding for the film. After winning the CJ Entertainment Award at Busan Film Festival’s Asian Project Market, other investors granted funding including TBA Studios. The film project was selected at the Festival des 3 Continents’ Produire au Sud workshop to improve Birdshot and its screenplay. Birdshot’s PelikulaRED studio (owner by Pamela L. Reyes and Mikhail Red) managed to co-produce the film with Tuko Film Productions and Buchi Boy Productions.
The total budget of the film was ₱14 million. Red was inspired by a shooting incident in 2008, where a three-year-old Philippine eagle was shot by a Bukidnon farmer in Mount Kitanglad who cooked the killed bird afterwards. Principal photography lasted for 23 days. Scenes were shot in the provinces of Isabella and Rizal as well as the Philippine Eagle Sanctuary in Davao City.
The color red is a prominent element in the film which signifies an important scene or pertinent detail that the audience is required to pay closer attention to.
Birdshot was first screened at film festivals outside the Philippines before it was screened in the country. The film made its debut at the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival and was screened in 14 other film festivals before it made its local debut at the 13th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival August of the following year.
The film was also screened as one of the twelve official entries at the 2017 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.
Film critic Richard Kuipers praised Birdshot in a review published in Variety describing the film as a “gripping combination of police procedural and coming-of-age drama“. He paralleled the film’s commentary to the 2009 Maguindanao massacre and remarked on Apostol’s performance in particular as “impressive”. Additional praise was also given by Kuiper to Teresa Barrozo’s “haunting soundscapes”.
The film won Best Picture in the Asian Future category at the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival and was selected for the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award at the Goteborg Film Festival.
Birdshot is a 2016 Philippine thriller film directed by Mikhail Red, Produced by Pamela L. Reyes, and was co-produced by PelikulaRED, Tuko Film Productions, and Buchi Boy Productions.
Music composed by: Teresa Barrozo
Producer: Pamela L. Reyes
Cinematography: Mycko David
Screenplay: Mikhail Red, Rae Rae
Directed by Louie Ignacio|1 hr 50 min |Drama| (Philippines)
AREA MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSyxMe4M2EY
Stars: Ai-Ai de las Alas, Allen Dizon, Sue Prado
A story of prostitution set in a regular community in Angeles City.
A short distance from the city’s red-light district is Area, a neighborhood of brothels where over-the-hill sex workers can be had for a can of sardines or even on credit. During its heyday, Area had up to 700 brothels servicing thousands of low-income men, hormonally active boys and society misfits–all taking advantage of the bargain price of sex available only at Area. One of the last remaining brothels is operated by Ben, whose family of former pimps and subversives depends on the brothel for survival.
Hillary, one of the sex workers, keeps her life-savings to fulfill a dream to travel to the United States to find a son she said she lost during the panic caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Her skeptical co-workers bully her by dumping on her all the clients they reject, including a freak and a penniless old man who pays with stolen appliances.
Hillary’s world collapses when her money is stolen and Ben refuses to file charges, because the suspect is a village watchman whom Ben cannot afford to displease.
The story happens during the Holy Week, when the residents of Area perform rituals of penitence to wash away their sins and be ready for another year of business as usual.
Directed by Lawerence Fajardo | 2hr 12min | Drama | (Philippines)
IMBISIBOL MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMzlSLYMHBA
Stars: Allen Dizon, Ces Quesada, Bernardo Bernardo
Imbisibol tells the tale of illegal Filipino immigrants in Japan and their plight to evade authorities.
Sakaling Hindi Makarating
Directed by Ice Idanan| 1h 30min | Adventure, Drama, Romance (Philippines)
SAKALING HINDI MAKARATING MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTOom8G8zDo
Stars: Alessandra de Rossi, Therese Malvar, Pepe Herrera
A series of mysterious hand-illustrated postcards take a young woman on a journey throughout the Philippines in search of its anonymous writer.
Directed by Erik Matti | 1 hr 26 min | Horror, Thriller (Philippines)
SEKLUSYON MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw5kUvIDePc
Stars: Rhed Bustamante, Neil Ryan Sese, Ronnie Alonte
In 1947 those aspiring to be priest, are sent to a remote convent to live in seclusion (Seklusyon) on the last day of their training. The purpose is to shield them from evil of the world. The plot thickens when a mysterious young girl comes to the convent but the question is whether she is really sent by God or by the Evil. This is the challenge awaits the candidates.
Seven days before ordination, four deacons enter a ritual house of seclusion to escape worldly desires but things go awry when evil seeps in through the cracks disguised as an innocent child.
It is said that the last seven days before ordination is the most dangerous for deacons. The devil will haunt and tempt them out of priesthood so the church sends them into a strict house of seclusion where they will be kept safe and far from worldly desires. But when a little girl reputed to be a ‘messenger of God’ and a nun, serving as her guardian enters, rules of the house are broken one by one as each deacon faces their demons in a battle to guard their faith
It stars Rhed Bustamante, Neil Ryan Sese, Ronnie Alonte, Lou Veloso, Phoebe Walker, Dominic Roque, Elora Españo, John Vic De Guzman, JR Versales, Jerry O’Hara, Sherry Lara and Teroy Guzman. It is an official entry to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival, where it won 9 categories, including “Best Director” award for Erik Matti.
The film is Erik Matti’s third MMFF entry in recent years after his 2014 film Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2, and 2015 film Honor Thy Father which was the subject of controversy that year when it was disqualified from the “Best Picture” category of the festival’s award.
Directed by Louie Ignacio | 1hr 23min | Drama (Philippines)
LAUT MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD73NZ15WV8
Starring Barbie Forteza, Ronwaldo Martin, Felixia Crysten Dizon, Gabbi Garcia, Jak Roberto,
A sea gypsies from Zamboanga who are now living in Mabalacat, Pampanga, Nadia of the group called Sama d’Laut. She hopes to marry the man she loves but was forced to leave when things got really difficult for her home province.She ends up in Mabalacat where she is forced to live a new life.
Of Sinners and Saints
Directed by Ruben Maria Soriquez | 1h 43min | Drama, Thriller | (Philippines)
OF SINNERS AND SAINTS MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUojy-co4pM
Of Sinners and Saints is a Philippine thriller film co-written and directed by Filipino Italian filmmaker Ruben Maria Soriquez on his directorial debut. The film stars: Raymond Bagatsing, Lanie Martin Gumarang, Chantel Latorre, Sue Prado, Althea Vega, Geraldine Tan, Ruben Maria Soriquez, Richard Quan, Polo Ravales
Leonardo Rossellini is an Italian priest from Rome, assigned to a parish in Payatas, a poor area of Metromanila, Philippines. Leonardo’s mission is to counsel battered women and teach poor children. But soon his peace of mind is distraught by the encounter of a woman he used to love when he was still a seminarian. This young woman, Merlinda, is now married to a violent man. She also has a 6 years old child who is missing. Leonardo decides to help her find her son
The film (which is technically an Italy-Philippine co-production) was the Italian entry to the 19th Cine Europa, the biggest European Film Festival outside Europe
The film was originally released on June 27, 2015 as an entry at the 2015 World Premieres Film Festival. It has been released commercially from April 28 to May 4, 2017 under Cine Lokal, a joint project of SM Cinemas and Cine Lokal of FDCP, meant to give more exposure to independent Philippine films that won awards abroad
Directed by Atom Magadia | 1h 59min | Drama | (Philippines)
DAGSIN MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE-kHyWwsR4
“DAGSIN” (GRAVITY) is an indie film by Filipino Writer/Director Atom Magadia, Starring Tommy Abuel, Lotlot De Leon, Benjamin Alves, Janine Gutierrez, Marita Zobel, Sue Prado and Alex Diaz. An Atom & Anne Mediaworks production.
DAGSIN (Gravity) illustrates the endless cycle of war and tyranny, violence and greed, we all continue to struggle against from one generation to the next. It weaves through important chapters of Philippine History– World War II (the American and Japanese Occupation), and the Marcos’ Martial Law years; but more than that, it is the story of one man who tried to make a difference and the love that saved him but threatens to destroy him in the end.
After surviving the Death March, Martial Law and the loss of his legs, Justino became an atheist. But when his wife dies, a part of him is yearning to believe in life beyond death; just for a chance to be with her again. Searching for parts of her he can still hold on to, he devours her diaries for information into their past –opening a Pandora’s Box of secrets.
EJK (Extra Judicial Killing)
Directed by Rolando Sanchez | 1h 39min | Drama | (Philippines)
EJK MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN88UQGAbYo
Starring Mon Confiado who has appeared in over 300 local films and more than 700 TV appearances and guestings since 1993. He won the Best Supporting Actor Award in the prestigious FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences) in 2008, equally regarded as the Academy Award of America in the film of National Artist for Film.
EJK is about the extra judicial killing that is happening in the Philippines. It is a film that shows the disturbing details about drug abuse and drug trafficking that contribute mainly to many unexplained and unabated killings in the Philippines.
“EJK” is not just about the dead bodies piling up on the street in the Philippines but rather its a film that forces us to literally experience the evil of drug addiction and drug trafficking, a society’s menace which resulted in many unexplained and unabated killings. The killings, the violence, the exploitative means by which people are used and abused are brutally captured on this film in a manner that spares nothing to unveil the atrocities created by soul-less people who authored it.
The story revolves around siblings BRYAN and JOSEPH RAMIREZ. After the violent death of their parents, the two struggled to live on the street, amidst the dangerous, exploitative and almost inhuman condition. They eventually were separated by the dictate and force of painful circumstances. Later on, Bryan became a police officer who would not hesitate to kill persons of interest who try to resist arrest . Joseph, on the other hand, became a society’s menace who who was exploited by a corrupt police officer named Rex Motabato.
The film will enable us to have a peek inside the world of drug trafficking . The sordid and fetid environment of drug victims and dealers. The drug that numb the pain of emotional, physical, mental and sexual trauma. The scenes of physical abuses and killings is discomforting and shown in flat details that do not manipulate emotion.
I’m sure that every one of us recognize the drug problem as a complex and deeply emotional issue that needs to be addressed holistically, with great understanding and compassion for both victim and perpetrator because the culture of death dehumanizes us all. Im sure that all of us would agree to help to care for the violated, the orphaned and the widowed in every possible way we can.
“EJK” is not a political nor a propagandist movie. It is just a simple sibling’s story evolved into one compelling film.
The Sun Behind You
Directed by Dominic Carlo P. Nuessa | 1 hr 30 min | Drama, War, Action | (Philippines)
THE SUN BEHIND YOU MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4bxEu444Ts
Starring Ping Medina, Bong Cabrera, Mike Liwag. An elite team of Scout Rangers track down lawless Islamist elements in the Southern tip of the Philippines. In the middle of this conflict, two Muslim brothers are caught up in their own Holy Wars. A young Muslim scholar, Omar, has followed his brother Jamiluddin’s footsteps into radical Islam. Unbeknownst to him, Jamiluddin has turned Government informant.
“Ang Araw sa Likod Mo (The Sun Behind You)” is a story about the heroism, redemption, and sacrifice of all sides of the conflict. From Military to refugee camp, a 4-decade old war is brought to light and casts a shadow to the question of what exactly we are fighting for, and who.
SHORT FILMS SELECTED FOR COMPETITION:
DIRECTED BY Phil Giordano | 13 min | (Philippines)
Stars John Arcilla, Mercedes Cabral, Andrei Fajarito
SUPOT TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VisF1df51QQ
After refusing a ritual circumcision intended to usher him into manhood, Rene-boy (10), tries alternate methods to remove this mark of cowardice.
Director’s statement: Supot is a film about a young boy trying to impress his father. He doesn’t fare too well in the beginning- he brings shame, but this is more than a story about circumcision. It’s about rite of passage, redemption, and courageousness; courageousness to overcome fear of pain and to feel worthy of acceptance.
Many of us have had issues with our fathers growing up. It makes us who we are. Whether we seek their acceptance and are found wanting or if we always feel inferior. Supot is a story of redemption, where a boy finds his inner strength through spider fighting and standing up to his bully brother. By going through this conflict he’s able to gain the courage he lacked in the beginning. He’s able to become a man in his father’s eyes.
In provinces in the Philippines, to this day, boys around the age of 10 are circumcised. But they aren’t cut in hospitals, like in Manila, they are cut in a stream. The boys strip, jump into the water, line up, chew guava leaves, and then face the moment of truth: Will they be brave and become men or run away and be seen as cowards?
SUPOT follows Rene-boy, an introverted 10 year old who is the son of Itoy, the Mang Tutuli (performer of circumcisions). Everyone loves Itoy and he is the ultimate man’s man. Rene-boy’s brother is Kinopi, a ferocious bully, who following in his father’s footsteps as being tough and charismatic.
After Rene-boy runs away from his circumcision (he’s scared of the pain), a shadow of shame is cast on him. Which doesn’t seem like it will go away.
Rene-boy’s young mother, is tough yet tender to him. She doesn’t let him off the hook. She warns him that inevitably he will have to be cut and that he has to find courage. Based on his mothers words, and his extreme feelings of shame, Rene-boy embarks on the ultimate challenge: to prove to his father that he’s a man.
SUPOT had its World Premiere at the 21st Busan International Film Festival and will have its North American Premiere at the 2017 Florida Film Festival as well as screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE http://www.supotfilm.com
SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITES https://www.facebook.com/SUPOTbyPhilGiordano/
DIRECTED BY Dale Fabrigar | 14 min 45 sec | Comedy, Musical |(USA)
SEQUINS TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi6-wg84gQs
Starring Jess Amelia, Sheila Tejada, Joyce Fidler, Mariko Van Kampen, Michael Yama.
The comedy web series Sequins explores the female Filipino American experience. Whimsical, funny, cinematic and bold, Lucy’s story touches on subjects ranging from elderly lovemaking, the Filipino immigrant experience, overcoming loss, the undeniable animal magnetism of Mr. Liam Neeson, and the eternal quest for love, and that’s just the pilot episode. Lucy’s journey is sometimes humorous, often uncomfortable, and unapologetically authentic. The series explores Lucy’s inner world through original musical sequences.
DIRECTED BY TJ Collanto | 13 min 50 sec • Drama |
Stars: Maria Elena Liwag, Sofronia Gallanongo, Andrea Colquhoun, Ramin Farahani
A Filipino family is caught in a long-winded catering delivery for their niece’s wedding in London that seems to pull them further and further from the reception itself.
Sins of Wasteland
DIRECTED BY Paul Halili | 21 minutes | Short Drama Thriller | (USA)
Sins of Wasteland TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wntPksoXnQ
Starring Mandy Gabucan, Jerald Napoles, Richard Manabat.
The last remnants of humanity scavenge an apocalyptic world in search for subsistence, security and salvation.
Sins of the Wasteland is a psychological thriller about a young girl’s journey through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Guided by her father’s dream to restore humanity, she sets out to find the balance between good and evil in order to survive.
DIRECTED BY Tim Cruz | 15 minutes | Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure | (USA)
Stars: Kennedy Lea Slocum, Emily Bader, Tess Aubert
A teenage girl enters the social media world of instaland and embarks on a journey to recover a lost picture posted by her now deceased brother. Instaland is a world where all the tropes of online / social media culture exist in real life. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation exploring gratitude in a social media landscape.
|WRITER:||Kara Lee Burk, Steph Cheng, Lauren Snowden|
|DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY:||Beth Napoli|
|PRODUCTION DESIGNER:||Stephanie Wagner|
|PRODUCTION MANAGER:||Tori Kyes|
|MUSICAL DIRECTOR:||Luke Wieting|
DIRECTED BY Jomz Ramirez | 8 min | Drama, Romance, Action, History | (Philippines)
Stars: Nicole Blackman, Mac Mendoza
Set during the Martial Law Era in the Philippines, a young couple must choose between the love that they have for each other or the country they have pledged their lives to.
LAST FAREWELL MOVIE TRAILER:
DIRECTED BY Desirée V. Castro | 15 min | Short Drama (USA)
Stars: Sean Cork, Szacha Dean, Mieko Hillman
RELEVE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OTbPxjCB08
A ballet dancer struggles to overcome an abusive relationship. To rise above it, she discovers she must follow her passion and believe in herself.
DIRECTED BY Arthur Rodger “Harley” Maranan | 23 minutes | Drama, Science Fiction | (Philippines)
Stars: Atul Khanna, Annika Velez, Allene De Castro
The line between dream and reality is blurred when a sentiment-filled teenager invents a device (N.O.VI.S.) that reunites him with the long lost love of his past.
N.O.VI.S. TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3g3rRnqrFM
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.facebook/novisfilm
Back to One
DIRECTED BY Rommel Andaya | 6 minutes | Comedy| (USA)
Stars: Tony Garbanzos, Michael Kuya, Mari Lauren
A man attempts to use his many chances to talk to the lovely, Alice Downing.
DIRECTED BY Jomz Ramirez | 10 minutes | Drama | (Philippines)
Stars: Tads Obach, Natileigh Sitoy
A young revolutionary writer escapes from the harsh realities of the real world only to be confronted with guilt by the most unexpected person in the most unexpected place.
DOCUMENTARY FILMS SELECTED FOR COMPETITION:
Directed by Tiffany Hsuing | 1h 44min | Documentary | (Canada)
The Apology explores the lives of former “comfort women”, the more than 200,000 girls forced into sexual slavery during World War II. Today, they fight for reconciliation and justice as they struggle to make peace with the past.
Do you remember the Philippines?
|1 hr 22 min | Documentary | (Spain)
Ta acorda ba tu el Filipinas? Explores the traces of overlapping waves of globalization from the past and the present. In a multi-layered dialogue between Spain and its former Asian colony, the Philippines, shadows of former world empires and current post-colonial cross-hatchings emerge through the pluralism of language itself.
We will never play in Manila again.
Directed by Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez | 47 minutes | Documentary (Philippines)
This CINEFILIPINO 2016 FINALIST for the DOCUMENTARY SECTION tackles about the 50th Anniversary of the infamous Beatles’ concert in the Philippines in 1966.
We Will Never Play in Manila Again centers on the very same sentence uttered by a member of the rock band, The Beatles, after having a rough encounter in the country in 1966.
Back then, the legendary British group was reported to have allegedly snubbed former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos’ Malacañang invitation.
The makers of the documentary interviewed different people with different perspectives on the event such as concert-goers, music icons Jim Paredes, Pepe Smith, RJ Jacinto, and writer Pete Lacaba.
Another one of their interviewees is the Henyo Master himself, Joey de Leon!
Watch the trailer for We Will Never Play in Manila Again below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SBkbmWaraA
SPECIAL FEATURE SCREENING:
Patintero: Ang alamat ni Meng Patalo
1h 40min | Drama Comedy | Philippines
Directed by Mihk Vergara
Produced by Dan Villegas and Bernard Dacanay
Executive Produced by: Fernando Ortigas, E.A. Rocha, Jalz Zarate, Yano Escueta, John Sy, and Mihk Vergara Screenplay: Zig Marasigan
Director of Photography: Myco David
Starring Nafa Hilario-Cruz, Isabel Frial, William Buenavente, Claude Adrales, Vincent Magbanua, Suzette Ranillo, and Katya Santos
Patintero Movie Trailer: https://youtu.be/yz0qqvuJVrs
A young neighborhood ‘patalo’ assembles an unlikely team of losers to join her in the ultimate battle for the streets: “patintero”.
Winner of the Audience Choice Award and Gender Sensitivity Award at the 2016 QC International Film Festival, Patintero: Ang Alamat Ni Meng Patalo is the latest film from the producers of Heneral Luna.
Patintero is a Filipino street game that is a modified version of tag. Played on a rectangular grid made up of 5 rectangles, the object of the game is to cross the grid and get back to the starting line without being tagged out by a defending team. It is usually played with four man teams. Who gets to be a runner and a defender is decided by a coin toss. The players then take their position like this (Where 0 are the attackers and X the defenders).
The film centers on Meng Francisco (Nafa-Hilario Cruz), a 10-year old who loves one thing: Patintero. The only hitch is that she’s terrible at it and her reputation has earned her the title of the neighborhood “patalo” (loser). But in the continuing struggle against the high school team that has one-sidedly claimed the territory of the local sari-sari store, Meng forms aunlikely team of fellow losers to finally challenge these high schoolers in the game of their lives.In this heroic effort to win back what was unfairly taken from her and her friends, Meng will train, bleed, and do almost anything to fight for what she wants: a good game of Patintero on the streets. And what she does for it will be the stuff of legend.
On the streets of Barangay San Jose, one game rules the streets – Patintero. Meng Francisco is the neighborhood ‘patalo’, a loser who hasn’t won a single game. With the Linggo ng Wika Sportsfest playing host to the biggest Patintero stage there is, Meng assembles an unlikely team of fellow losers to try and turn things around: Nicay, her over studious best friend, Shifty, the weird but well-meaning new kid, and the enigmatic urban vigilante Z-boy. As the team trains, battles and claws its way to the top, they discover there may be more at stake for them than just winning or losing.