` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

The Cinematheque Celebrates the World in June 2016

This month marks an illustrious time for the Cinematheque Centre Manila as it gears up for the 2016 World Premieres Film Festival, the third of its annual celebration of films and film culture from our own country and those across continents. June’s lineup harks back to entries from the previous Festivals, as well as showcasing world cinema with films brought by the Israeli Film Festival, the French Film Festival, and the Instituto Cervantes. And what would June be without an Araw ng Kalayaan celebration? We can expect a number of groundbreaking historical and nationalist works to grace the Cinematheque screen.

 

Israeli Film Festival

 

 

Now in its fourteenth year, the Israeli Film Festival, brought to us by the Embassy of Israel, puts the theme of “Romance in the Holy Land” front and center. Eran Kolirin’s The Band’s Visit is about a band of Egyptian musicians finding themselves in a tiny desert town in Israel, while Jellyfish by Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen is a portrait of three women searching for meaning in their small lives in Tel Aviv. Self-funded indie 2 Night by Roi Werner takes a one night stand and turns it into a road trip of human connection, whereas Yossi Madmoni’s Restoration goes into deeper territory with a father-son drama on the power of family. Five Hours from Paris by Leonid Prudovsky caps it all off with a dead-on romance of strangers needing to fly for their dreams.

 

French Film Festival

The 21st French Film Festival makes its rounds at the Cinematheque this month, soon to be turning ordinary Manileños into Francophiles and offering different genres, such as Cédric Jimenez’s 70’s thriller La French about a cop taking down a powerful drug smuggling syndicate.

 

Les Souvenirs by Jean-Paul Rouve goes into more familial terrain with a young man coping with his family’s crises after the death of his grandfather, and similarly family-focused is Jean Denizot’s La Belle Vie about a father who hides his two sons away in the mountains after losing custody to their mother. Romance won’t be missing from this French festival: Rebecca Zlotowski’s Grand Central follows the explosive love triangle of workers at a nuclear reactor, and Party Girl by Marie Amachoukeli-Barsacq, Claire Burger, and Samuel Theis looks into the life of an aging bar hostess unsure to settle down with a marriage.

 

Instituto Cervantes - Spanish Thrillers

Taking us into the dark side of the screen are Spanish thrillers, care of the Instituto Cervantes. Experience a new kind of fear with Jaume Balagueró’s Mientras Duermes, about an apartment concierge out to destroy the life of a tenant, and Alejandro Amenábar’s Tesis, about a collegiate investigating the source of a snuff film made at her university. La Caja 507 by Enrique Urbizu focuses on a bank manager’s search for his daughter’s murderers, while No Habrá Paz Para Los Malvados by the same director looks at the other side of the coin, with a dirty policeman tracking down the witness to the murders he committed.

 

World Premieres Film Festival 2016

All these festivals lead us into our own, as we eagerly anticipate the third World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF) this June to July 2016. Throwback films from previous WPFFs bring us back, putting us into the right mood to #EnjoyTheScene at this #WPFF2016.

 

Christopher Presswell’s Candlestick from the UK is a riotous dinner party thriller and homage to Hitchcock. Pedro Del Santo’s Chicas Paranoicas gives us a picture of the dark side of fashion in Spain. A graver film comes from Argentina and Ecuador with Alfredo León León’s Open Wound, about a young soldier taken prisoner at a border war, while more upbeat fare can be found with Indonesia’s Filosofi Kopi by Angga Dwimas Sasongko, giving coffee a new life with its drama of self-discovery. Filipino works are not to be outdone, with Lav Diaz’s historical yarn about Martial Law, Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon, taking to the Cinematheque screen, along with beautiful short films from the 2015 WPFF: Agos: The Manila Dream by Lyka Gonzales; Pasan by Jorel Lising; Pusong Bato by Martika Ramirez Escobar; and Pwede ba Kitang Lapitan by Dominic Bekaert and Tristan Tregant.

 

Araw ng Kalayaan

 

June marks the independence of the Philippines, and a slew of historical works make the lineup in celebration of our Araw ng Kalayaan. Critical to see is one of the most important works in Philippine cinema, Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? by Eddie Romero, which follows a country simpleton on his journey to nationalism. Another historical fiction is Mark Meily’s Baler, placing a secret love affair at the center of the Siege of Baler. Biopics of Philippine heroes and figures abound, such as Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo by Enzo Williams, a historical drama on the life of the father of the Revolution, Andres Bonifacio; Heneral Luna by Jerrold Tarog, the highly successful biography of the volatile and sharp-witted “Fiery General” Antonio Luna; Dahling Nick by Sari Dalena, an experimental documentary of the great writer and National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin; and Jose Rizal by Marilou Diaz-Abaya, an epic on the life and legacy of the great thinker, artist, patriot, and national hero, Jose Rizal.

 

The screenings run at the Cinematheque Centre Manila from May 31 to June 26. Admission is free, except for “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon,” which has a P100 admission, and “Dahling Nick,” which has a P50 admission. Film schedules and details are available on the Cinematheque Manila social media channels and on the FDCP website, fdcp.ph.

 

Film Development Council of the Philippines