The 7th Cinemanila International Film Festival, where 11 foreign films will compete with a lone Philippine entry for the Lino Brocka award while one of eight local video films will become the initial winner in the new Local Digital Film category, was opened last Wedneday, October 12 by Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and Festival director Tikoy Aguiluz at the historic Manila Hotel.
The opening ceremonies included the awarding of the Cinemanila Special Awards to three Filipino filmmakers who have recently won in international film festivals. They are Auraeus Solito, director of Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros which won the Golden Zenith Award First Films World Competition at the Montreal World Film Festival; Brilliante Mendoza, director of Masahista which won the Golden Leopard Award at the Locarno International Film Festival; and Ditsi Carolino, Best Director winner for her documentary BUNSO at the One World 2005 International Documentary Festival.
The occasion was graced with the presence of members of the diplomatic corps, boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, newly-crowned Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman, as well as prominent personalities in the entertainment industry.
After the Manila Hotel rites, a film by award winning Japanese filmmaker Yoji Yamada, Hidden Blade, was screened at SM City Manila.
Mayor Atienza explained that this year’s Cinemanila Festival is withouit doubt bigger as 12 international films compete for the coveted Lino Brocka Award (Best Picture) while eight local films will also be competing in the new Local Digital Film category.
The festival will run from October 12 to 25 at SM City Manila, SM San Lazaro, Robinson’s Place Ermita and Isetann Cineworld Cinemas and later on in selected Metro Manila theaters.
“We are proud of this year’s line up of films, whether international or local digital entries,” Mayor Atienza said, “as they all reflect the different aspects of life as seen by the different talented film directors, actors and actresses.”
With the theme Buhayin ang Pelikulang Pilipino , the festival aims to promote Filipino films to world cinema audiences and world cinema to Filipino audiences and also to help develop new and independent filmmakers, the mayor added.
The eight local digital films vying for three prizes are:
– Alaverde Ala Pobre of Muchos Bravos Filmmakers starring Ana Capri, Ebong Joson and directed by Briccio Santos
– Ang Daan Patungong Kalimugtong of Sampay Bakod Productions starring Analyn Bangsi-il, Nemee Tocdangan, Rhenuel Ordono and directed by Mes de Guzman
– Cut of Pelipula Productions starring Joel Torre, Jao Mapa, Shereen Ladera and directed by Jon Red
– DILIM of Creative Program Inc. starring Rica Peralejo, Mario Magalona, Emilio Garcia and directed by Topel Lee
– Ilusyon of Viva Productions starring Yul Servo and JC Parker directed by Paulo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos
– Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of Teamwork Productions starring Richard Quan, Neil Ryan Sese, Paulo Serrano, Justin De Leon, Maria Isabel Lopez, Liza Dino and directed by Gil Portes
– Trabaho of Dirty Kitchen Productions starring Ping Medina, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo directed by Ned Trespeces
– Tuli of Viva Productions starring Desiree Del Valle, Carlo Aquino, Vanna Garcia, Bembol Roco, Luis Alandy, Eugene Domingo directed by Auraeus Solito.
The international films in competition are the following:
– Argentina, Palermo Hollywood by Eduardo Pinto
– Belgium, The Child by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
– Belgium. The Kiss by Hilde Van Meighem
– Finland, Frozen Land by Aku Louhimies
– France, Clean by Olivier Assayas
– Indonesia, Rainmaker by Ravi Bharwani
– Korea, The President’s Last Bang by Sang-soo Im of Korea
– Morocco, In Casablanca, Angels Don’t Fly by Mohamed Asli
– Norway, Beautiful Country by Hans Peter Moland
– Philippines, Panaghoy sa Suba by Cesar Montano
– Poland, My Nikifor by Krzystof Krauze
– Senegal, Moolaade by Ousmane Sembene.
The festival will end with a star-studded and colorful awards night next Wednesday, October 19 at the Aliw Theater which will be staged by the prestigious Solar Entertainment group headed by Mr. Wilson Tieng.
Among this year’s festival participants are film industry leader Kim Dong Ho and producer Roger Corman. Kim Dong Ho is the founding director of the Pusan International Film Festival, the largest film festival in Asia . Roger Corman is credited for the discovery of the top directors in Hollywood today, including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Ron Howard, Jonathan Demme, and many others.
For inquiries regarding the screening schedules please call SM City Manila at 523-9240; SM San Lazaro at 786-2488; Robinson’s Place Movieworld at 536-7811; and Isetann Cineworld at 733-4228. The Cinemanila International Film Festival Official Website is: www.cinemanila.com.ph