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Festival Reports

4th QCinema International Film Festival, Quezon City

System Administrator Monday December 12, 2016

Philippines  is one of the fastest-growing economies  in developing Asia and a visit to Quezon city in the Manila Metropolitan Area in Philippines evidences in multiple ways its growth story. This city of new horizons   known for its shopping malls and skyscrapers is also the Entertainment capital of the country. It is no surprise that the annual Qcinema International Film Festival which was started  just  4 years back has  grown into a major cultural event.    Its mother organization Quezon City Film Development Corporation (QCFDC) and the festival has a clear focus on the development of Philippines movie industry  and more particularly the nurturing of the new indie talents. The presence of films from Philippines in global forums like International film festivals have grown in quantity and stature and the credit goes to Qcinema festival and the  QCFDC.  It seems that the cultural vision of Mayor Hon. Herbert  M. Bautista,  Vice Mayor Hon. Ma. Josefina G. Belmonte and the Festival Director Mr. Eduardo J. Lejano, Jr  converge into a single purpose of promoting the young film makers and cinema of the Philippines.

This year’s festival was held during October 13 to 22, 2016. Its declared theme  “One City to the World” had extended the frontiers of the festival to new International Section, the Asian Next Wave. This would encourage the new talent beyond Philippines as well,  as it has happened with the QCFDC funded Circle  Competition films of the Filipino auteurs  and the short film projects.

There is a discernible pattern in the post colonial societies across the world. Modernity encountering the tradition and the pangs of change manifesting into socio cultural conflicts characterize the artistic expressions in these societies. The heterogeneous life styles representing different time frames in the evolution of the civilization coexist in the cauldron of modernity. It is gratifying to note the response of young Filipino auteurs to such spectrum of lived experiences. Say from the tribal lifestyles and traditional practices as picturised in the young film maker Bagane Fiola’s “Baboy Halas”  to the rural  agrarian conflicts of feudal gangs insensitive to the feminine instincts in Sheron Dayoc’s  “Women of the Weeping River”, trials  and tribulations of the economically and socially marginalized  characters stuck in a  time warp as in Derick Cabrido’s “Purgatoriyo” or Kristian Cordero’s  “Hinulid” or Anton Juan’s  “Woven wings our Children” or Victor Villanueva’s “Patay Na Si Hesus” were all evidences of a vibrant and concerned minds articulating their genuine feelings towards the unrepresented segments in the mainstream of the modern societies. Yambao’s  “Best. Partee. Ever” was however a challenging film on the nuances of the modern urban spaces and their impact on the young minds. It is also a bold attempt at presenting an ambience and prejudices on the reality discourses on sexual orientations. The emotionally charged film,  Prime Cruz’s film Ang Mananggal Sa Unit 23B extended the range of expression by presenting the blood sucking vampire as an anti thesis to blood letting social disorders. The film in the  biopic form Bradley Liew’s  “Singing in the Graveyard” was an informative compilation.

The films in the Asian New wave showed  wider cultural spectrum and  more informed cinematic forms. Two films stood apart and won the praise and awards from the Jury. Thai film “By the Time it gets dark” by Anocha Suwichakornpong is  a multi story narrative with a non formal  cinematic technique dealing with politics, relationships and spiritual introspections. On the other hand the Singapore film  “Apprentice” by Boo Junfeng told in a traditional narrative form is an equally significant film with a simple discourse on crime and punishment. The other films from Indonesia and China “Solo,  Solitude” and “Old Stone” were interesting takes on a Political reality and the individual’s ethical crisis.

All in all the 4th edition of the QCinema International Film Festival at Quezon city was a rich and satisfying experience for the  NETPAC Jury members (Myself, Rolando Tolentino and Nick De Ocampo) and also Asian New Wave Jury members (Myself, Jun Lana and Sherad Sanchez).

The hospitality and screening arrangements were wonderful. Special thanks to Mr Ed Lejano and his hospitality team lead by Ms Pee Wee Baisa.

******

NETPAC  Jury  award winner in Circle Competition for Filipino films

 “Baboy Halas” (Philippines/105 mns/Color) Directed by Bagane Fiola

 Citation:

An aesthetically challenging cinematic exploration of the tribulations of the not so familiar indigenous people whose lives are in tune with Nature in a mythical way and are attempting a new familial and social order.

Citations for Award winners in “Asian New Wave” Sectio

Best Film

The Apprentice (Singapore/115mns/color)  Directed by  Junfeng Boo

Citation:

For giving a relevant, poignant and sensitive discourse on socio-psychological consequences of crime and punishment in a well-developed human drama.

Special Jury Citation:

By The Time It Goes Dark (Thailand/105mns/color) Directed by  Anocha Suwichakornpong

Citation:

For taking us into an uneven yet mesmerising journey of history and memory in its many reincarnations to collective, social, personal and cinematic adaptations.

Obituary

Kim Ji-Seok

(1960 - 25th May 2017)


Kim Ji-seok, the Deputy Director and the Executive Programmer of Busan International Film Festival, died at age 57 on Thursday evening, May 18th (French local time), following a heart attack during his attendance at Cannes Film Festival, France. Born in 1960, Kim was a founding member of Busan International Film Festival from 1996 and was currently the Deputy Director and the Executive Programmer of the Festival. In undying efforts, contribution and devotion in discovery of Asian films, Kim led Busan International Film Festival to be the center of Asian cinema and one of world-class film festivals. Read More...

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