` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

Cinematheque commemorates National Arts Month with Filipino and Argentinian Films

This February is the month of Philippine National Arts. To celebrate, the Cinematheque Centre Manila has programmed a slew of exciting independent Filipino films.

Films will be screened under the initiative of The National Film Archive of the Philippines, in partnership with various institutions and film labs that have restored a selection of Filipino classic films.

Gerardo de Leon’s 48 Oras is a noir thriller revolving around a man wrongly accused of the murder of his wife and mother. The title of the film refers to the protagonist’s race against time to catch the real perpetrators. Lino Brocka’s Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag is another restoration by FDCP. The cult classic follows a provincial boy in search of his provincial sweetheart. Brocka explores the themes of poverty and crime in the seedy underbelly of Manila. Lamberto Avellana’s A Portrait of an Artist as Filipino is a film based on the highly acclaimed play written by Nick Joaquin. Set in the months before World War II, the film highlights the relationship between a reclusive painter and his grown children as they feel the onset of war.

Another set of films come from the Sineng Pambansa Film Festival All Masters Edition 2013. Ano Ang Kulay ng Nakalimutang Pangarap, by Jose Javier Reyes, follows a loyal household helper whose employment hangs in the balance after the death of the family matriarch. Bamboo Flowers by Maryo J. de los Reyes weaves a fictional tale about the citizens of Bohol and their reactions when their cultural beliefs are threatened. Lihis, directed by Joel Lamangan, is set during the martial law era where two male NPA soldiers find themselves entangled in the battle for democracy and their own romantic relationship. Elwood Perez’s Otso is about a filmmaker returning to his roots in the Philippines and deciding to make an independent film about his neighbors. He soon discovers the perils of mixing artistic license with life experiences.

The other Filipino films are from the Sineng Pambansa  National Unang Yugto, Ikalawang Yugto, and Horror Plus Film Festival. Levi Pepper Marcelo’s Illustrated By is a full length documentary tracing the involvement of Filipino artists into the US mainstream comic industry. The movie honors local talents who had a hand in some of the most famous comic book characters in the world. Qiyamah by director Teng Mangansakan tells the story of a small village threatened by the superstition of a coming apocalypse. Martin Masadao’s Anac Ti Pating is a coming of age tale about a young boy making friends, finding first love and coming to terms with his family heritage. Lauren Sevilla Faustino’s documentary Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok paints a portrait of the Last Traditional Tattoo Artist of Kalinga and her journey as a cultural bearer of the Philippines. Ed Lejano’s Qwerty is a fictionalized account of a cop who was implicated for a torture video that went viral. The life changing event hits just as he is about to leave the country for better job prospects abroad. Boy Vinarao’s thriller Bacao is about a young woman’s desperate desire to conceive and the superstitious occurrences surrounding the time of harvest season. Rounding out the group is a trio of films by master filmmakers: Chito Rono’s Badil about the corruption in small town elections; Mel Chionglo’s Lauriana, a 50s period thriller centered around obsession, abuse and the twisted relationship between a soldier and his wife; and lastly, Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes’ Sonata, a charming tale of an unlikely relationship between an aging opera singer and a curious young boy.

Given the success of the first Argentine Film Festival in 2015, a select number of international films will again be shared with Filipino audiences, in partnership with the Embassy of Argentina. Gabriel Nesci’s Dia de Venilo is a coming of age film about a group of 30 year old men united by their love of women and vinyl records. Ana Katz’s Los Marziano takes a close look at strained relations between siblings as a family reunion draws near. The short documentary by Manuel Abramovich entitled La Reina carefully captures the journey of an 11-year-old girl as the adults in her family prepare her to win a local beauty pageant. Fabian Forte’s La Corporacion is a dark satire about corporate culture. The Gold Bug, a collaborative effort between Argentinian filmmaker Alex Moguillansky and Swedish auteur Fia-Stina Sandlund, revolves around a crazy road trip and treasure hunt based loosely on Edgar Allan Poe’s story of the same name. Each film gives viewers a slice of colorful Argentinian culture.

After a successful set of inaugural screenings the Cinematheque Centre Manila is excited to open its doors to the movie going public for its February schedule.

 

 

Film Development Council of the Philippines