Celebrating the cinema and culture of the Southeast Asian nations, films from the Philippines will screen for free this March alongside ASEAN films at the Cinematheque Centre Manila! Select pictures from the World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF) 2015 will delve into worlds only Filipino filmmakers can create, with filmmakers Alvin Yapan, Nestor Abrogena, and Ralston Jover sharing their visions of the country on screen.
An Kubo sa Kawayanan
One of these visions, Alvin Yapan’s An Kubo sa Kawayanan, is a meditation on our human place in the world and environment. The film won Best Picture at last year’s World Premieres Film Festival’s Filipino New Cinema section awards. Set in the Bicol countryside, the film focuses on Michelle, a calado embroiderer who finds comfort in her plain hut, vowing never to leave. Even when her boyfriend and others around her convince her to leave and find greener pastures elsewhere, Michelle is convinced that all that she needs is in her kubo and the simple things around it, which communicate happiness and security to her in a language only she can understand. The poetic An Kubo also won Best Cinematography, Editing, and Performance by an Actress at the WPFF, as well as a nomination for Best Asian Feature Film in the 2015 Singapore International Film Festival.
Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa
Similarly meditative is Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa by Nestor Abrogena. Whereas Yapan focuses on ecology, Abrogena fixes an eye on a relationship between filmmaker and teacher, Sam, and aspiring writer and student, Isa. Abrogena adopts a quiet and thoughtful view into the pair’s love story as they navigate through their feelings and lives. Trouble hangs in the air as they decide what to do with each other, as Isa is set to fly to the US upon graduating, and Sam has received an offer to be a fellow in a prestigious film school abroad. Loosely based on the director’s own experience as well as featuring original music, Ang Kwento was nominated for Best Picture in the WPFF, and won the Filipino New Cinema Best Sound Award.
Da Dog Show
Rounding out the selections is Ralston Jover’s Da Dog Show, a true-to-life story about a dog trainer. A grittier picture than its counterparts, the WPFF ASEAN Skies entry follows Mang Sergio, who trains his beloved pet dogs to perform trick shows on the street to sustain his family. Together with his two children, they try to get by living in a public cemetery mausoleum, while Sergio tries to raise enough money to track down his youngest son, who was taken by his wife. Da Dog Show became the only Filipino entry in 2012 at the Cannes L’Atelier, which was created to bridge promising filmmakers with partners and funders to create their work, and the film has since made rounds in the festival circuit.
These beautiful Filipino works of art will be joined by numerous other films from Southeast Asia spanning different genres and cultures. They will run from March 1 to April 3, 2016, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, and screen with English subtitles. ALL films are free of charge. 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, www.fdcp.ph.