‘Ringgo: The Dog-Shooter’ bags four awards at World Premieres fest

“Ringgo: The Dog-Shooter” has won a total of four awards at the 3rd World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF) 2016: Second Best Picture (Olive Oteyza, producer), Best Actor (Sandino Martin), Best Actress (Janice De Belen), Best Screenplay (Ricky Lee). It is one of the six finalists in the Filipino New Cinema section.

Organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in cooperation with the Cinematheque Centre Manila, “Ringgo: The Dog-Shooter” has three remaining screenings to date:

  1. July 6, Wed, 7pm – SM Megamall Cinema 6
  2. July 8, Fri, 7pm – SM Megamall Cinema 6
  3. July 9, Sat, 9pm – SM Megamall Cinema 6

The film is produced by Olivia Films Production and direction by Rahyan Carlos.

ringgo the dog-shooter movie 2

The story was conceptualized by Carlos four years ago, who thought about making a film about dog-shooters – a person who assists dogs during mating. Carlos himself is a dog-lover and breeds Alaskan Malamutes, Saint Bernards, Dobermans and Golden Retrievers.

This film also tackles issues of lesbian couples, children who feel unloved by their parents, and the relationship between a dog and his owner. This is their story. “Ringgo: The Dog-Shooter” shows that people need not be related by blood to genuinely care for each other and that man’s best friend should be loved and never be physically abused by humans. Genre is dark drama and rated R-13 by the MTRCB.

Also in the cast are Liza Diño-Seguerra, Bembol Roco, Bodjie Pascua, Manuel Chua Jr., Rubi Rubi, and I’nca (the doberman). Introducing in this film is Micha Oteyza.

SYNOPSIS: This is a story of the journey of 3 souls heading towards healing and redemption. Ringgo is a 16-year old boy who works as a dog-shooter (the one who assists in mating dogs with breed — he will see to it that the private parts of the stud and the bitch will be locked during the mating and no sperm will be put to waste in the process).

Ringgo works for Bong, a 40-year old lesbian who is a breeder of dogs. One of Bong’s dogs is Inca, who is a traumatized Doberman. Things will get complicated when Ringgo, Inca and Bong develop a relationship as if they were really mother and child, and get entangled in each other’s personal issues and becomes each other’s protector and defender.

The one that ties the three of them is that invisible umbilical cord… the cord of love and sacrifice.

MOVIE REVIEW: Ku’te (2016)

To be honest, I genuinely don’t like saying bad things about any topic even if I find it absolutely undesirable. Of course, there are some exceptions when it is for the common good that you would say something distasteful, but it’s just that I believe that the world is already full of negativity and I wouldn’t want to be one to articulate another pandora’s box into existence. Thus, I always make it a point that if ever I do have to say something bad, and it is needed for say, a movie review, then I would have to balance it with all the positivity I could grasp. But of course, I don’t want to force it; I don’t want to say something nice just for the sake of saying something nice. So what if there’s no choice but to write negatively about a movie for online publishing? Then I decided that I would have to make it short if I can’t avoid it being bitter.

Ku’te, a film directed by Ronaldo Bertubin, is today’s pandora’s box. If I really have to say anything good, perhaps it would be that it’s a movie done with beautiful intentions, and it’s primarily an advocacy against ableism and discrimination towards people with Down’s Syndrome. That’s as far as I can appreciate when we talk about this film, and really, I believe that subject matter deserves more coverage to provoke dialogue. But with regards to the technical aspects of Ku’te, which any comprehensive review would have to cover, eerrr… everything is just, wrong.

ku'te 3

The writing is dragging, often resorting to lazy flashbacks (and a dream sequence!) in order to relay key points in the narrative. Character development is also problematic, and you can’t exactly connect with the characters onscreen. The lack of engagement to the audience makes the drama of Lenlen, the girl with Down’s Syndrome, and her homosexual brother whom she calls Ku’te somewhat hard to stomach. It’s all just crying and breaking down, and you just sit there wondering when it’s going to stop.

The cinematography and the editing are equally terrible, something I would brand as student film quality. The camera movement is rough, aimless, and lacking artistic purpose. The cinematographer can’t make up his mind if he’s going for a solid, stationary shot, or a handheld one. And he doesn’t seem to be aware that he must have his reasons for picking either. Not to mention, there’s an obvious use of AUTO mode wherein the camera’s exposure and focus settings shift automatically during shooting. It’s horribly distracting. It’s like a group project put together by a bunch of undergraduates.

Production design is also unimpressive. There’s not much attempt to creatively organize the visual aspects of the film. If there was ever an attempt to establish a color palette, it was never apparent. There was nothing eye-catching, nothing iconic, nothing worth remembering.

The acting of the major characters are generally satisfactory, but it’s the minor characters that ruin everything. You know those times when an extra delivers a line or an action that’s just so bad that it takes away everything good in a particular sequence? In Ku’te it happens quite a lot.

Again, I don’t take pleasure in saying these things, and I’m really sorry for having to be frank. But Ku’te is really a film I would not recommend. The intentions are nice, but artistically, it’s raw in a very bad way. Had they put more attention to the technical aspects of filmmaking, the film’s themes could have been expressed much better. For me, this movie is a case of sayang–when the subject matter could have been promising, but the delivery is just, off.

In all honesty, Ku’te is a film I would rather not have watched, and I am saddened by its lack of excellence. But if you ever get a chance to watch this film, then see for yourself if I’m correct about not being happy with it.

Ku’te premiered July 1, 2016 as part of the World Premieres Film Festival which will run until July 10 at SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, Uptown Mall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, and Cinematheque Centre Manila.

ku'te

MOVIE REVIEW: EDSA (2016)

(Disclaimer: This is not a political article, this is a film review!)

In recent times there has been a false dichotomy setup by the lesser informed that if you say you are anti-Martial Law then logically you would fall into the category of someone supporting the yellow family–this, in truth, is quite a terrible analysis. It’s as if you can’t choose to abhor the atrocities of both sides, and that you are merely a mindless, floating piece of debris caught in the waves of an ocean that could only bring you to either one of the two shores. Let me get this out of the way: this is not a Jollibee vs. Mcdo, or GMA vs. ABS-CBN type of question. And you are not merely a citizen controlled by the magnetism of monolothic oligarchs, unable to make up your own mind. This is a question that is of greater significance, a question that requires much more thought and study that Facebook memes will simply not suffice. This is a question that has haunted our history as a people since that most infamous felon was ousted in 1986. This is the question: “Was it worth it?” And if so, “What now?”

The reason I am in praise of the film EDSA directed by Alvin Yapan is precisely because it presents this question without the baggage of having to mention the names of a few powerful elite. As Yapan stressed during the Q and A portion of the gala screening of his piece at the World Premieres Film Festival 2016, this is a film that is essentially about us, the Filipino people, and not about the achievements of a certain political party. And this attempt to remove the subject matter from the claws of oligarchy is, in my opinion, noteworthy.

EDSA 3On the surface level, EDSA is a frame-story of a handful of people living and working in proximity to the leviathan highway of the same name. EDSA, that is, the great highway, is iconic because of its role as the battleground of the People Power I revolution which ousted the dictatorship in ‘86–the event which is central to the development of the themes in the narrative. It is also unforgettable, and the mere mention of its name produces shivers down the spine (at least, for me) because of its association to the words trapik, badtrip, and pu%$#@&&*!!!! But the film does not take place in the 1980s, it takes place in the now when EDSA’s traffic jams have reached crisis levels, snatching 2.4 billion pesos from the national treasury every single day.

Indeed, the film possesses thematic depth, with its use of the great highway as a grand metaphor for national progress, and its commentary on institutions such as religion, education, and authority. But the actual writing and the way this theme is expressed is what astounds me.

EDSA 4For me, it’s not really an incredible plot; it’s great but not extremely impressive. However, its simplicity is made up for by how well the writer establishes the characters and shapes them to life. Plus, these characters are not merely additions to the narrative, they all function to represent the different social classes that make up the modern-day Filipino social stratification. Hence, they not only turn into engaging entities that one could easily connect with, but more so they function as symbols that enhance the depth of the story. And frankly speaking, a narrative becomes much more difficult the more characters are added; thus, although the storyline is simple, the writing is complex because of how well the characters are treated, and this naturally results in a sound narrative.

With regards to the technicalities such as cinematography, editing, and production design, the film is solid. For instance, that opening sequence of a montage of EDSA (the highway) in which the colors yellow, red, and blue are isolated, is in all honesty beautiful–which is ironic, because Metro Manila itself is yet far from being easy on the eyes. Editing and production design are likewise impressive, and nothing lacks attention to detail. If I have but one complaint, that would be the sound design which at some scenes sounded rough. But I do understand that they had to shoot this in the bowels of the great city, and thus it would be difficult to have clean and natural sounding diegetics. To be fair, it’s only distracting at some parts, but I still I hope they would do something to improve the problematic scenes in order for the film to be holistically good.

EDSA 1Finally, there is the educational value of the film, of which the director admitted to making his work accessible for the purposes of distributing the product to schools. It’s a wonderful endeavor to create films designed to educate young people especially now when misinformation and historical revisionism is rampant in our society. That would perhaps explain why the film does not resort to exceedingly dark themes, and instead speaks of EDSA’s significance through light-hearted material.

Alvin Yapan also mentioned the film’s attempt to draw references from Lino Brocka’s 1975 masterpiece Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag as a means to juxtapose pre- and post- EDSA revolution Philippines, and if we are watchful enough, we’d notice these tributes brilliantly ingrained in the film. But in my opinion, there is also one more film of significance that we could compare to Yapan’s EDSA, and that is none other than the 1980 Gawad Urian award-winning film by Ishmael Bernal, Manila by Night, which like Yapan’s is a frame-story that uses the whole of Manila as a grand metaphor to comment on the political milieu of the times. But with its mission to be accessible to all audiences, EDSA is less daunting, and much easier for the average moviegoer to digest. Frankly, it’s a difficult compromise: to honestly teach a subject that is controversial by nature, and also to teach it in a way that accommodates all types of viewers. But in this case, EDSA succeeds in being both artful and educational.

Thus I would highly recommend Alvin Yapan’s masterpiece EDSA. It is both entertaining and enlightening, a trait that any piece of art should aspire to. Being well-crafted and meaningful, it is highly worth a watch.

EDSA premiered June 30, 2016 as part of the World Premieres Film Festival which will run until July 10 at SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, Uptown Mall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, and Cinematheque Centre Manila. The film won awards for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Sound.

EDSA poster1

MOVIE REVIEW: Memory Channel (2016)

Existentialism is perhaps the most appealing subject to young artists. It’s quite a tempting habit to get into, and it may lead to abuse when you realize how easily you could make yourself appear intelligent with very little effort simply by asking “Why do I exist?”

In saying this I think I speak from experience, being that I have a background in film school where everyone seems to be making a film about the same substance. Admittedly, I’m also guilty as charged. But I’m not saying that existentialism is bad for your artistic health. I mean, hey, we’re all fans of Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard aren’t we? All I’m saying is engaging in the subject matter exposes you to the risk of sounding trite and perhaps even lazy. Because like a History Channel documentary investigating the possible existence of extraterrestrial beings, in my observation existentialist literature has the same tendency to come up empty handed. What I’m saying is you can do absolutely anything you want and think you can get away with it simply because no one really knows the answer to the question “why.” Being fully aware that everything is permissible–because “why not?”–it’s easy to become tempted to make lazy artistic decisions. I’m not saying you will, but you might.

Having said this, the subject matter of existence is both easy–in the sense that it’s effortlessly intellectual–and difficult–precisely because it takes a ton of effort to answer an essentially challenging question. And being an artist and not only a philosopher, one has an obligation to answer the question creatively. Which makes it harder to achieve genius-status and not merely be a pseudo-intellectual.

With that lengthy introduction out of the way, let me talk about the film Memory Channel by Raynier Brizuela which I had the privilege of watching at the World Premieres Film Festival 2016. It’s got a catchy name that sounds as if it could easily be a classic (or, I don’t know, I like how it rings), and looking at the SNES-themed publicity materials published on social media, the film does look quite appealing.

memory channel poster

Now, I don’t like reading the synopsis for any sort of literature, whether it be a book or a movie, fearing that it might take away the element of surprise. So when I sat down to watch the film, and was immediately greeted by the narration which inquired “What is my purpose in this world?” I thought, Oh, here we go again.

Basically, the film is about an ex-celebrity-singer Leo La Torre (Gerald Santos) who suffers from amnesia and is unable to recall much of his past life, as such he is afflicted with anxiety disorder. He lives alone, receiving monetary support from his mother abroad (whom, we never hear about, except that she’s living with a different man). In the film, Leo meets a sketchy character who appears out of nowhere and claims to be a retired psychiatrist (Epy Quizon) able to heal Leo if only the boy would just give him his trust. It’s an okay plot, not a very grand one, but it’s okay. I mean, it’s not about the volume of the plot which determines a film, but how well that plot line is actually expressed. And in this film, it’s done rather experimentally.

I admit this makes it hard for me to determine which questionable aspects of the movie are merely ‘mistakes’ and which are ‘intentional.’ To illustrate my confusion, let me begin by dissecting the movie.

At some parts it is obvious that the rough camera work is intentionally designed to confuse the audience (i.e: when Leo goes crazy with a panic attack). However I find that in other sequences (i.e: when Leo doesn’t go crazy with a panic attack) the rough camera movement feels a bit accidental. It’s not easy to recall at which points exactly, but I also felt that some shots weren’t properly woven, and given that the film is not trying to be conventional, it’s hard to say whether or not these were just mistakes.

The color grading is also uneven, and some sequences look as if they come from an entirely different film. One could observe, however, that at times there are attempts to establish a uniform color palette, such as in the character of Oella (Michelle Vito) who either wears bright green or teal. But the attempts are quite lacking, and when you hear the title Memory Channel, it doesn’t bring to mind a set of colors the same way mentioning Moonrise Kingdom would. I’m not saying it should try to imitate Wes Anderson’s iconic production design, all I’m saying is, I wish it could have been better.

I also have a bit of an issue with regards to the writing. I understand that the heavy use of narration is intentional, which kind of reminds me of Stranger than Fiction. But at times I also felt tired hearing that all-knowing voice, and I wonder if it’s really necessary that they abuse it to that degree. I also can’t quite grasp why the video-game character who poses as the narrator for the story deserves to even be the narrator. Just because Leo plays his video-game in the opening sequence does not mean that character is relevant to the whole narrative. But I get the underlying metaphor, that life’s like a game and it has a script and so and so, but if they really wanted to push through with it as a grand theme, they should have focused more on developing this character. For me, the way it was lacked any meaning.

That being said, I felt that the character development was unmotivated, and it was hard to connect with Leo’s struggles and the psychiatrist’s inner suffering, not because the actors weren’t good enough, but because not much attention was paid to holistically make their characters come alive. As an example, I can’t forget that sequence when Leo hands out flyers trying to find his muse Oella, an action which seemed to me as illogical. The psychiatrist mentioned the internet, so wouldn’t that have been the first logical step to finding the missing person? And how exactly are you supposed to find a person just by specifying on a flyer that that certain Oella has red hair? Not to mention, Oella and Leo’s little love story lacked the required motivation to push it forward; how did they even manage to get from a carinderia to a beach-outing when Leo doesn’t even want to talk? There are many more examples of this, but I don’t want to be the one to spoil them.

memory channel oella

To be fair the animated sequences in the film were excellent, and the SNES-inspired sequences looked well on screen. I just wonder why the filmmaker chose that look instead of using modern video-game graphics when the film obviously isn’t set in the 90s–or if it is, I’m not aware. With every artistic decision, there must be an underlying reason, and I am yet to grasp any meaning with using outdated graphics for a visual-style. If it has something to do with ‘uncovering the past’ (after all, it’s a film about amnesia), then I wish the film could have pursued that theme more and made it more apparent. If it were trying to accomplish that sort of meaning, then to me the attempt felt a bit raw.

I also find the film’s ending to be a bit shaky. There’s quite a number of turns in the plot, and I guess it’s okay. What I don’t like however is that by the time the film ends, there’s still a few loose threads that don’t get tied up. For instance, what of Leo’s singing career? Was that merely an accessory to his character background or was it important? If not, can we do away with it? Why does it have to be in the film? How is it relevant to the whole narrative? And how exactly did Leo get amnesia? I can’t say I’m satisfied.

Whether or not this piece of existentialist literature is genius or not, I can’t say for certain. The film is trying to be new, and it’s obviously trying to get rid of established rules and norms for telling a story… Honestly, I’m just not sure if it works. I mean, It’s a formidable attempt to be different from mainstream cinema, but I guess there’s a very thin line between trying to be French New Wave obnoxious and just being downright obnoxious.

Although I can’t say that I fully liked the film, I would still watch out for the filmmaker Raynier Brizuela’s future projects. For me, creating a film that aims to experiment takes a lot of courage and guts, and if you know anything about filmmaking (or in the arts for that matter) then you’d know that ‘learning’ how to break the rules takes an immense amount of time and dedication–and one should respect that. I am hopeful that in time Brizuela’s work will be more refined and creative. Or rather, if not meant to be polished like a piece of work obedient to the rules of cinema, at least edgier, but in a good way.

Memory Channel premiered June 30, 2016 as part of the World Premieres Film Festival which will run from June 29 to July 10 at SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, Uptown Mall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, and Cinematheque Centre Manila.

Shang Cineplex participates at World Premieres Film Festival 2016

Shang screens best new films of the World Premieres Film Festival. Leading lifestyle destination Shangri-La Plaza is set to host one of the anticipated runs of the World Premieres Film Festival, the cinematic showcase of critically-acclaimed works and upcoming film directors from across the globe. All the entries in the festival will either make a worldwide or an international premiere, with the Main Competition, Intercontinental and “ASEAN Skies” categories screening at the Shang Cineplex from June 30 to July 5.

The lineup includes a special premiere of Filipino entry Dalisay (June 30 at 9:00PM), and two other international section entries 3 Beauties and Damn, New York. The main competition section counts Redha and Daughters of the Three Tailed Banner with gala premieres at the Shang on July 1 at 7:00PM and 9:00PM respectively. The last three films include ASEAN Skies section entries 7 Letters, a collaboration between Singapore’s seven most illustrious directors, and another Filipino entry Laut, plus the lauded Galloping Mind.

Ticket price for the film festival is P100. Check out the complete World Premieres Film Festival screening schedule at the Shang Cineplex or at www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficialfanpage.

For inquiries, call 370-2597 or follow the Shang on Instagram: @shangrilaplazaofficial.

World Premieres Film Festival 2016 to debut Vietnam’s ‘Yen’s Life’ at Uptown Cinemas

Uptown Cinemas kicks off the 3rd annual World Premieres Film Festival at Uptown Mall with an exclusive Gala Premiere of the Main Competition entry, Yen’s Life at Uptown Cinema 1, on June 30, 7:30 PM.

READ MORE: GUIDE: World Premieres Film Festival 2016

The event will be attended by acclaimed foreign directors including the international jury which will be judging for the WPFF’s prestigious awards such as the Grand Festival Prize and Grand Jury Prize. The exclusive gala will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s award-winning Vietnamese director Dinh Tuan Vu.

The World Premieres Film Festival is an international celebration of film in cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the Cinematheque Centre Manila and the Embassies of participating countries where over 60 international films will be showcased at the country’s top cinema venues including Uptown Mall from June 30 to July 10. The festival will be open to the public for a ticket price of P100 at Uptown Cinema 4.

Only 5 films including Yen’s Life are selected to compete in the festival’s Main Competition section. Yen’s Life is a Vietnamese entry, and tells the story of a young Vietnamese woman who, because of a family arrangement, was married off at the tender age of 10.

wpff 2016 at uptown cinemas

The World Premieres Film Festival is a grand international affair that celebrates the wonder of film and the human experience as seen by diverse cultures of the world. The event is also a platform for international and local filmmaking talent to elevate their craft and to reach a wider global audience.

Participating countries will each premiere a new film that has yet to be screened elsewhere highlighted in the festival’s many categories. Audiences will be treated to film entries from all around the world in the Main Competition.

Featured films from ASEAN member states will be screened at the ASEAN Skies section, and narratives of non-ASEAN member states in the Intercontinental section. The WPFF will also present works that take a look in into contemporary cinemas of featured countries, Vietnam, Russia and China.

Experience the World Premieres Film Festival at Uptown Cinemas, one of the country newest and premiere theatres featuring groundbreaking technology and top quality facilities such as the 84-seater VIP Cinema with luxurious reclining seats and free popcorn with drinks.

Uptown Cinemas also goes above and beyond in giving cinema goers their movies on demand with 24-hour screenings every Fridays and Saturdays. Uptown Cinemas also has a dedicated online ticketing service, at http://www.blockbusterseats.com where audiences can see live updates on the WPFF schedule as well as regular screening times.

Enjoy a world class cinematic experience at the country’s premiere cinemas located at Uptown Mall, 36th St. cor. 9th Ave. Uptown Bonifacio in Fort Bonifacio. For more information, please call the Uptown Cinemas hotline at 869-9029. For other inquiries on Uptown Mall please contact the Megaworld Lifestyle Malls Concierge at 709-9888, 709-0888, 0917-8380111 or visit http://www.megaworldlifestylemalls.com.

World Premieres Film Festival 2016 presents six Filipino New Cinema finalists

The Film Development Council Philippines in cooperation with the Cinematheque Centre Manila proudly present the third World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF) slated from June 29 to July 10, 2016.

GUIDE: World Premieres Film Festival 2016

The FILIPINO NEW CINEMA section of the Festival is focused on celebrating Filipino filmmaking talent in the country. The Filipino New Cinema section will bring contemporary Filipino films to cinema screens in Manila and the rest of the country, including the Cinematheque Centre Manila, Uptown Cinema, SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, Greenbelt 3, and Shang Cineplex.

The six featured contemporary Filipino films will all compete for the festival awards, including Best Director, Best Picture (1st and 2nd place), Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Musical Score, Best Sound Engineering, Best Production Design, Best Performances, and Best Supporting Roles.

These distinctly Filipino stories, as well as receiving financial grants from the festival organizers, will soon be presented for the jury’s and audience’s appreciation.

“Curiosity, Adventure, Love”, co-directed by Sunshine Lichauco De Leon and Suzanne Richardone, is a heartwarming documentary that weaves together the life of 104-year-old American Jessie Lichauco, who first arrived in the Philippines alone in 1933 and was granted an honorary Philippine citizenship in 2012, with the history of the country. Bridging together past, present, and future, the film takes us on a journey of a century of humanity, love, home, war, faith, and rebuilding a nation.

In Alvin Yapan’s “EDSA”, a popular highway in Manila becomes symbolic of the country’s cultural and national condition – with traffic being an apt metaphor for stagnant progress. Three stories collide as they navigate the city from different perspectives, pondering the same question: what matters most, the individual or the whole?

“Ringgo the Dogshooter”, by first-time director Rahyan Carlos, is an unconventional tale that follows the journey of 16-year-old Ringgo (Sandino Martin), a boy who falls into working as a dog-shooter – one who assists in mating dogs for breeding purposes. Ringgo works for Bong (Janice de Belen), a dog breeder that owns a troubled Doberman named Inca. Things get complicated when their personal relationships go awry.

Raynier Brizuela’s “Memory Channel” stars Gerald Santos as Leo La Torre, a local singer who suffers from retrograde amnesia, which results in depression and anxiety. When retired psychiatrist Martin (Epy Quizon) helps him recover his past through a method named the “memory chanel”, Leo goes through a turbulent journey that ends in a true understanding the concepts of trust and patience.

Ronaldo Bertubin’s “KU’TE” captures the story of Emong (Johan Santos), who raised his sister, LenLen (Marielle Therese), with Down Syndrome, by himself. As the film maps LenLen’s own physical and emotional struggles in a society that sees more the incapacity and less the capability of disabled people, Emong’s own harrowing moral journey, made more confusing by on-off romance with Roldan (Nico Gomez), is kickstarted when a shock discovery is made about his sister.

Mel Chionglo’s “Iadya Mo Kami” follows Father Greg (Allen Dizon), a wayward diocesan priest who is reassigned to a parish up in the mountains. His relationship with a young woman, Carla (Diana Zubiri), results in pregnancy. One night, the priest discovers the dead body of the town’s richest man in the church. He embarks on a mission to solve the crime, leading to his own personal salvation.

From June 30 to July 2, the FNC Gala Premieres (by invitation only) will take place at SM Megamall and SM North Edsa, followed by a Q&A with the Director and Cast.

The Festival’s 12-day duration kicks off on June 29 – 3pm at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, with the Opening Film premiere of the newly restored classic, “Pagdating sa Dulo” by Ishmael Bernal. The Opening Night will take place later that evening at 7pm, with a variety of local and international performances. This intimate opening show is set to give audiences a sneak peek into the films lined up for the WPFF’s newest edition.

The WPFF celebrates the power and magic of film by showcasing the works of film directors from across the globe. Featuring a dazzling array of human narratives and cultural diversities, the festival provides a unique opportunity for talented filmmakers to reach new audiences in the Philippines, and across Asia’s rapidly growing film climate.
Sections in the festival include the Main Competition and Filipino New Cinema, as well as the Intercontinental, Vietnam – Country of Honor, ASEAN Skies, and many more.

From June 29 to July 10, the WPFF 2016 will be showing over 60 international films at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, as well as partner venues: SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, the Shang Cineplex, and Uptown Cinemas.

Films will be shown at a festival price of P100 at all venues, unless indicated otherwise.

Film tech expo IFX all set at the World Premieres Film Festival 2016

In need of new, smarter ways to make your films?

A celebration of the future of cinema comes your way via the Mini International Film Expo (IFX), a cool and compact fair of the film industry’s newest technology, at the 3rd World Premieres Film Festival 2016 starting July 1 at the Cinematheque Centre Manila!

GUIDE: World Premieres Film Festival 2016

Spinning off of the previous Festival’s IFX and accompanying the International Film Conference (IFC), a forum of today’s film leaders and their perspectives on the industry, the Mini IFX will present everything from drones to 8k for dedicated filmmakers (and even casual audiences and hardcore tech geeks) to marvel at and crave for their next film. The select handful of exhibitors, RSVP Film Studios, CMB Film Services, Arrays Technology, and Black Magic, are ready to dazzle us with their shows of digital gadgetry and innovations.

With the Mini IFX, we’ll have more ways to #EnjoyTheScene this #WPFF2016.

The Mini International Film Expo will be open to the public from July 1, 11 am to 6pm, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, as one of the many events of the 3rd World Premieres Film Festival 2016.

The World Premieres Film Festival is a showcase of the works of film directors from across the globe, happening from June 29 to July 10 , 2016, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila as well as at partner venues SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, the Shang Cineplex, and Uptown Cinemas.

GUIDE: World Premieres Film Festival 2016

The Film Development Council Philippines in cooperation with the Cinematheque Centre Manila proudly presents the third World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF) slated from June 29 up to July 10, 2016.

About the Film Festival

The WPFF celebrates the power and magic of film by showcasing the works of film directors from across the globe. Featuring a dazzling array of human narratives, cultural diversities, and social issues, the festival provides a unique opportunity for filmmakers to reach new audiences in the Philippines, and launch their international premieres in Asia’s rapidly growing film climate.

Screening Venues

This year, over 60 international films will be shown at the following venues:

  • Cinematheque Centre Manila,
  • SM Megamall,
  • SM North EDSA,
  • Greenbelt 3,
  • Shangri-La Plaza Mall, and
  • Uptown Mall.

Ticket Price:

Films will be shown at a festival price of PHP 100 at all venues, unless indicated otherwise. Meanwhile, gala screenings of Main Competition films are FREE of charge.

Opening Film

The  12-day duration kicks off on June 29 at 3:oo PM at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, with the Opening Film premiere of the newly restored classic, “Pagdating sa Dulo” by Ishmael Bernal. The film features the legendary actress Rita Gomez and Vic Vargas.

At 7:00 PM, a variety of local and international performances will take place to give audiences a sneak peek into the films lined up for the WPFF’s newest edition.

Screening Schedules

Here are the schedules of the gala premieres of the Main Competition and Filipino New Cinema entries:


World Premieres Film Festival 2016 Screening Schedules at SM North EDSA and SM Megamall:


World Premieres Film Festival 2016 Screening Schedules at Uptown Mall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, and Greenbelt 3:


World Premieres Film Festival 2016 Screening Schedules at Cinematheque Centre Manila:

Main Competition

A dazzling array of international premieres featuring human narratives, cultural diversities, and social issues from around the globe. With the acclaimed foreign directors in attendance. Awards to be given by an international jury shall include the Grand Festival Prize and Grand Jury Prize, Best Performance by an Actor, Best Performance by an Actress, Best Artistic Contribution, Technical Grand Prize, and Best Ensemble Performance.

The Main Competition Gala Premieres will take place at Shang Cineplex, Uptown Cinema and Greenbelt 3, followed by a Q&A with the Director (free admission).

Filipino New Cinema

Come and #SupportLocal at the Philippine premieres of six films that helps Filipino filmmakers screen to local and international audiences. A special jury of Philippine cinema experts will award these six contemporary Filipino films with prizes including Best Picture (1st and 2nd place), Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Musical Score, Best Sound Engineering, Best Production Design, Best Performances, and Best Supporting Roles.

The Filipino New Cinema Gala Premieres will take place at SM Megamall and SM North Edsa, followed by a Q&A with the Director and Cast (by invitation only).

CURIOSITY, ADVENTURE & LOVE:

“Curiosity, Adventure, Love”, co-directed by Sunshine Lichauco De Leon and Suzanne Richardone, is a heartwarming documentary that weaves together the life of 104-year-old American Jessie Lichauco, who first arrived in the Philippines alone in 1933 and was granted an honorary Philippine citizenship in 2012, with the history of the country. Bridging together past, present, and future, the film takes us on a journey of a century of humanity, love, home, war, faith, and rebuilding a nation.


EDSA:

Starring Kris Bernal, Aljur Abrenica, Joem Bascon, Allen Dizon, Sue Prado, Mara Isabella Lopez Yokohama, Hayden Kho Jr, John Manalo, Simon Ibarra, Lance Raymundo, Upeng Galang Fernandez.

In Alvin Yapan’s “EDSA”, a popular highway in Manila becomes symbolic of the country’s cultural and national condition – with traffic being an apt metaphor for stagnant progress. Three stories collide as they navigate the city from different perspectives, pondering the same question: what matters most, the individual or the whole?


IADYA MO KAMI:

Starring Eddie Garcia, Aiko Melendez, Ricky Davao, Diana Zubiri and Allen Dizon.

Mel Chionglo’s “Iadya Mo Kami” follows Father Greg (Allen Dizon), a wayward diocesan priest who is reassigned to a parish up in the mountains. His relationship with a young woman, Carla (Diana Zubiri), results in pregnancy. One night, the priest discovers the dead body of the town’s richest man in the church. He embarks on a mission to solve the crime, leading to his own personal salvation.


KU’TE:

Starring Johan Santos, Marielle Therese, Nico Gomez.

Ronaldo Bertubin’s “KU’TE” captures the story of Emong (Johan Santos), who raised his sister, LenLen (Marielle Therese), with Down Syndrome, by himself. As the film maps LenLen’s own physical and emotional struggles in a society that sees more the incapacity and less the capability of disabled people, Emong’s own harrowing moral journey, made more confusing by on-off romance with Roldan (Nico Gomez), is kickstarted when a shock discovery is made about his sister.


MEMORY CHANNEL:

Starring Epy Quizon, Bodjie Pascua, Patrick Patawaran, Michelle Vito, and Gerald Santos in his first starring role. Directed by Raynier Brizuela.

“MEMORY CHANNEL is an edgy film that tackles anxiety/ panic attacks triggered by retrograde amnesia in a person desperately seeking and rebuilding a distorted past. He realizes in the end that his future cannot and must not be defined solely by his past. His present is as relevant as his past to his future.”


RINGGO: THE DOG-SHOOTER:

Starring Sandino Martin, Janice De Belen, and introducing Inca the doberman. With Liza Diño, Bembol Roco, Manuel Chua, Rubi Rubi, Micha Oteyza, and Bodjie Pascua.

“Ringgo: The Dog-Shooter”, by first-time director Rahyan Carlos, is an unconventional tale that follows the journey of 16-year-old Ringgo (Sandino Martin), a boy who falls into working as a dog-shooter – one who assists in mating dogs for breeding purposes. Ringgo works for Bong (Janice de Belen), a dog breeder that owns a troubled Doberman named Inca. Things get complicated when their personal relationships go awry.


Intercontinental

Highlighting the wealth of cultural diversity across different continents, and narrating the human condition through the medium of cinema, all countries outside of the Southeast Asian region are in the running for the “Intercontinental Prize for Best Film.”

ASEAN Skies

With films hailing from the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, this exhibit aims to create a regional community of active cultural exchange. Their close proximities and shared history gives each member state much common ground. Films will compete for the “ASEAN Skies Prize for Best Film.”

Country of Honor: Vietnam

A WPFF first! The Country of Honor highlights the cinema of particular countries around the world to honor their filmmaking talent here in the Philippines. Our inaugural Country of Honor is Vietnam: eight contemporary Vietnamese films will screen throughout the Festival, with each Vietnamese director taking part in the Festival, roundtable discussions, attending media functions during their stay, and representing Vietnam at each gala event.

Spotlight: China

From beyond The Great Wall and beyond! Join us as we screen new and critically acclaimed Chinese films: blockbusters, love stories, action… and an au pair. Prosperity to all who watch!

Filipino Classics

Timeless Philippine films, digitally scanned and restored, provide a wonderful look into our cinema’s past, meanwhile carrying a torchlight into our future. Catch a sneak peek into the budding collection of the National Film Archives of the Philippines (NFAP).

Out of Competition

An illuminating exhibition of foreign films which have garnered success and critical acclaim at other international film festivals around the world.

Cine Verde

Cine Verde raises awareness of environmental issues and aims to incite societal change societal through the power of cinema. Presented in partnership with Connect4Climate (C4C), a global partnership program based at the World Bank, and global campaign, Film4Climate, committed to spreading climate change knowledge through cinema and related creative industries, and to finding ways to mitigate the environmental impact of film production.

French Silent Short Films

Featuring a special selection of rare short silent films, these timelessly whimsical clips from France’s past will lend the Festival a little extra European je ne sais quoi.

Parallel Events

JULY 1 • 11 a.m.
International Film Conference (IFC)
Venue: Casino Español de Manila

Free and open to the public, the IFC aims to impart global film industry perspectives to everyone from those in the Filipino film industry, to students alike.  Focused on the topic “Behind the Scenes: a 360 degree view of the film industry”, speakers includes top-tier film industry leaders from around the globe such as Katharina Böttinger (Sales and Technical Department of the European Film Market), Edgar Tejerero (President of SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc.), Attorney Ted Roper (partner lawyer of Freeman Freeman & Smiley, LLP, based in Los Angeles), and Hyong-Joon Kim (Korean film producer).

JULY 1 • 11 a.m.
Mini International Film Expo (IFX)
Venue: Cinematheque Centre Manila

A spin-off to 2015’s International Film Expo (IFX), this year a Mini IFX will accompany the IFC. Featuring a short and sweet selection of the industry’s latest and greatest technologies, a select handful of exhibitors included RSVP, CMB, Arrays Technology, and Black Magic will digitally dazzle.

JULY 2 • 2 PM
Director Roundtables and Q & A Panels
Venue: Cinematheque Centre Manila ( ASEAN Library )
Host: Mike Sano

A Vietnamese filmmaker will have panel discussion at 2 p.m.
A Main Competition filmmaker will have director round table discussion at 3 p.m.

Film ASEAN Library Inauguration

Calling all interested in ASEAN cinema! The FILM ASEAN Library – or “Knowledge Management Centre” – is Asia’s newest hub for ASEAN cinema culture, creating access to books, magazines, and a rich variety of resource materials graciously contributed by the ten member states of the FILM ASEAN—Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Outdoor Screenings

Outdoor screenings will bring a new cinematic experience to the festival! The outdoor courtyard within the Cinematheque complex is the perfect spot for cinema lovers to sit down and catch a flick, sipping refreshments in a more casual atmosphere than inside the darkness of the theatre.

Films to be shown include: French Silent films, environmental films in the parallel Cine Verde film section, and Filipino Classics.


For more information, visit www.wpff.ph, email info@wpff.ph, call (02) 256 9908, or check out our official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/worldpremieresfilmfestival.

To join in the social media conversation, use our official hashtags: #enjoythescene #wpff

3 Filipino films from 2015 World Premieres screens for free at Cinematheque Centre Manila

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.

cinematheque centre manila march 2016 philippines

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.

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