` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

Brunei’s and Thailand’s Special Offerings for ASEAN Film Awareness Month

Brunei and Thailand have each contributed one powerful film entry for ASEAN Film Awareness Month this March at the Cinematheque Centre Manila.

Brunei’s What’s So Special About Rina? (original title: Ada Apa Dengan Rina?) is culturally significant, being only the second feature film made as a fully Bruneian production, almost fifty years after the country’s first feature in 1968. It is also the very first film to use the everyday Brunei Malay dialect as the characters’ language. The story, made by directors Harlif Mohamad and Farid Alzan Ghani, is a comedy about Hakim, a thirty-year old man looking for his true love. According to his housemate, Hakim is destined to end up with a girl that goes by the name Rina. Oddly enough, Hakim then meets Rina, a new marketing manager in his job, and the love story continues as Hakim attempts to pursue her. The film was a labor of love for local Bruneian company, Regalblue Production, which raised the entire budget for the film and employed only Bruneian talent to staff the film’s crew and cast. Released in 2013, What’s So Special About Rina? garnered so much public support as to maintain its stay at fully packed theaters days after it first screened.



Hand in the Glove further stands out amongst the pictures as a collaboration of Thai and Japanese cast and crew, including Japanese actress Emiko Izawa, Thai actor Chanon Rikulsurakan, and Thai cinematographer Pairach Khumwan, all led by Japanese independent director Yosuke Inaba. The whimsical film portrays how a prince escapes duties and responsibilities by going on a three-day vacation in beautiful Japan with a local down-to-earth tour guide. Inaba trains his lens on the prince, who takes a break from his everyday royal routine to discover what it’s like to be among the middle everyday working class and to understand how to run his own country. On the Hand in the Glove website, the director said: “I felt that I wanted to look into this man’s way of life. I am not interested in whether his attitude is right or wrong (however, I believe that for films, to “look” means the same as to acknowledge that person). I simply wanted to make a film that was based on the realizations and feelings of the generation that I myself currently live in.”


The films will be shown free of charge along with other Southeast Asian film selections from March 1 to April 3, 2016, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, and screen with English subtitles. Certain films will be shown at an outdoor screenings, and some will be graced by the presence of their filmmakers for a Q&A session. Film schedules and details are available on our social media channels and on the FDCP website, http://www.fdcp.ph/contents/view?id=cinemathequemanila.


Film Development Council of the Philippines