September 23, 2013

18th Busan International Film Festival - Philippine presence

We take a look at the Philippine films presented for the 18th Busan International Film Festival.

This year the presence of the Philippines in the festival is strong. The showcase consists of five full length films Sapi (Brillante Mendoza); If only (Jerrold Tarog); Norte: the End of History (Lav Diaz); Death March (Adolfo Alix Jr.) and Transit (Hannah Espia), two short films Prologue to the Great Desaparecido (Lav Diaz) and Johnny Loves Dolores (Clarissa De los Reyes); and one documentary called Jazz in Love (Baby Ruth Villarama).


Director: Brillante Mendoza
Screenwriter: Henry Burgos
Cast: Trillo Dennis, Soriano Meryll, Geisler Baron
Cinematography: Henry Burgos
Editor: Kats Serraon
Production: Philippines | 2013
Duration: 102 minutes
Section: A Window on Asian Cinema

The filmmaker behind the searing Thy Womb turns a critical eye toward the news media and its moral failings in Sapi. Rival broadcasters chasing the same demonic possession story lead one ambitious producer to make a deal with fallout more horrifying than the story.

About the director:
Director and producer Brillante Mendoza was born in San Fernando, Philippines, and is a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas where he studied advertising. Like his compatriot Lav Diaz, he is renowned for his realist films about average people. His filmography includes the Golden Leopard-winning Masahista (2005), Kaleldo (2006), Kinatay (2009), Captive (2012) and Thy Womb (2012).

If Only

Director: Jerrold Tarog
Screenwriter: Ramon Ukit
Cast: Poe Lovi, Avelino Paulo, Trinidad TJ
Production: Philippines | 2013
Duration: 100 minutes
Section: A Window on Asian Cinema
International Premiere

On the verge of entering into a loveless marriage, Andrea meets a mystery man at her wedding-a man who recalls her one true love. The last in Tarog’s Camera Trilogy, If Only once again explores truths and lies as filtered through the lens.

About the director:
Filipino writer, sound designer, editor and composer Jerrold Tarog graduated with a degree in music composition from the University of the Philippines Diliman’s College of Music before turning his attention to filmmaking full time. His films include Confessional (2007), Mangatyanan (2009), Senior Year (2010), the documentary Agusan Marsh Diaries (2011) and Aswang (2011).

Norte, the End of History

Director: Lav Diaz
Screenwriter: Rody Vera, Lav Diaz
Cast: Lucero Sid, Bayani Angeli, Alemania Archie
Cinematography: Larry Manda
Editor: Lav Díaz
Production: Philippines | 2013
Duration: 250 minutes
Section: A Window on Asian Cinema

A man is wrongly jailed for murder while the real killer roams free. The murderer is an intellectual frustrated with his country’s never-ending cycle of apathy. In contrast, the wrongly convicted man finds life in prison more tolerable when something mysterious starts happening to him.

About the director:
Award-winning cinematographer, editor, writer, producer and director Lav Diaz was born in Mindanao, Philippines, and is renowned for his epic films that unflinchingly detail current social issues affecting the Philippines. His filmography includes Batang West Side (2001), Evolution of a Filipino Family (2005), Heremias Book I (2006), Melancholia (2009) and Century of Birthing (2011).

Death March

Director: Adolfo Alix Jr.
Cast: Lucero Sid, Marudo Zanjoe, Milby Sam, Woo Jacky
Editor: Benjamin Tolentino
Production: Philippines | 2013
Duration: 110 minutes
Section: A Window on Asian Cinema

After the 1942 Battle of Bataan, thousands of Filipino and American soldiers are forced to march 128 kilometers in blistering heat by the Imperial Japanese Army. In this theatrical treatment of the real-life tragedy, dead soldiers begin to talk while the survivors trudge ever onwards.

About the director:
A native of Makati City, Philippines, writer, director, and producer Adolfo Alix Jr. graduated from the mass communications department at University of the City of Manila and immediately went to work in television. His feature filmography includes the acclaimed Donsol (2006), Amoral (2008), Adela (2008), Aurora (2009), Chassis (2010), The Affair (2011), Liberation (2011) and Kalayaan (2012).


Director: Hannah Espia
Screenwriter: Giancarlo Abrahan
Cast: Adlawan Irma, Medina Ping, Cabral Mercedes,
Curtis-Smith Jasmine, Alvarez Marc Justine
Cinematography: Lyle Sacris, Berhil Cruz
Editor: Benjamin Tolentino
Production: Philippines | 2013
Duration: 92 minutes
Section: New Currents
International Premiere

The intersecting stories of several Filipinos living precariously in Tel Aviv where a law threatens to deport the children of migrant workers. Paradoxically for these loving mothers - domestic workers and caregivers - family relationships generate complications

About the director:
A graduate of the University of the Philippines Film Institute, Hannah ESPIA started as an editor. As a director, she participated in the Tokyo Talent Campus in 2012 and the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2013. Espia’s debut short film Ruweda [Wheel] won the Audience Award at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Her filmography includes Wheel (2012), Transit (2013)

Prologue to the Great Desaparecido

Director: Lav Diaz
Screenwriter: Lav Diaz
Cast: Orencio Hazel, Alemania Archie, Sto Domingo Noel
Cinematography: Lav Diaz, Bradley Liew
Editor: Lav Diaz
Production: Philippines, France | 2013
Duration: 31 minutes
Section: Short Film Showcase (Wide Angle)

Those who fought for independence in the Philippines die off, and the leader of the political movement disappears. Those left behind fall in despair, and the lost souls of the dead roam the earth. The voice of the vanished leaves a small line of hope in this futile world. This is the beginning of Lav Diaz’s epic poem depicting despair and hope.

About the director:
Lavrente Diaz is a Filipino filmmaker who was born in 1958. Working on every facet of his films, his work is marked by their length, some of which run for up to eleven hours. Governed not by time but by space and nature, his films are about the social and political struggles of his homeland. His films include The Side Kid  (2001) and Melancholia (2008).

Johnny Loves Dolores

Director: Clarissa Delos Reyes
Cast: Arellano Raul, Punzalan Princess, Magtoto Agnes "Bing",
Arcilla Marie France, Eisenman Andrew
Cinematography: Michael Rosetti
Editor: Zac Nicholson
Production: Phillipines | 2012
Duration: 27 minutes
Section: Short Film Showcase (Wide Angle)

Johnny really likes one of his regular customers, Dolores, but has not worked up the courage to talk to her yet. One day he finds out that Dolores lost her job and is looking for new employment. He asks her to clean his apartment. Unfortunately, he also loses his job and loses his excuse to keep seeing her. Coated with a sweet romance the film comforts the sad realities of poor immigrants.

About the director:
Clarissa de Los Reyes was born and raised in Manila. She moved to New York City in 2000 and immersed herself for several years in all aspects of independent filmmaking. Celebrated for her cinematography, Clarissa’s directing projects focus on Filipino immigrants in New York. Her films include Nanay (short, 2005), Giving Care (short, 2008), Missy (short, 2009) and Johnny Loves Delores (2012).

Jazz in Love

Director: Baby Ruth Villarama
Cast: Tigaldao Jr. Ernesto, Rutkowski Theodore
Cinematography: Dexter De la Pena
Editor: Chuck Gutierrez
Production: Philippines, Germany, France | 2013
Duration: 75 minutes
Section: Documentary Competition (Wide Angle)
International Premiere

This sensitive but unflinching document of a cross-cultural romance is a timely portrait of modern love. Jazz, a young Filipino man, awaits the arrival of his pragmatic, middle-aged German fiancé. Jazz in Love asks whether love can conquer all—including time, space, language and tradition.

About the director:
Documentarian and writer Baby Ruth Villarama began her career producing and researching for international organizations and has worked with the British Council, CNN and National Geographic among others. She founded Voyage Studios and is an active advocate for socially minded films and filmmaking in Southeast Asia. Her filmography includes Burden of Gold (2007) and A Letter from Ifugao (2011).

No comments:

Post a Comment