Road movie ‘Pauwi Na’ to compete in Shanghai international film festival

June 11, 2017 - 1:49 PM
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A scene from 'Pauwi Na,' known internationally as 'Pedicab.'

A road movie starring Bembol Roco, Cherry Pie Picache and Meryll Soriano, is the lone Philippine entry for this year’s edition of the Shanghai International Film Festival.

This was reported by film industry bible Variety.com along with the line-up for the documentaries and animation categories.

Directed by Paolo Villaluna, the comedy-drama will compete in the festival as “Pedicab” (international title) with 13 other feature films from the U.S., China, Romania, Poland, Italy, Russia/Lithuania/Macedonia, the U.K., Germany, Bangladesh/India, Hong Kong, Japan and Iran.

The American entry “Brigsby Bear” is a Hollywood-produced comedy from Sony Pictures Classics that stars Kyle Mooney, Claire Danes, Mark Hamill, Greg Kinnear, and Andy Samberg while British entry “Mad To Be Normal” is a drama starring David Tennant, Elizabeth Moss, Gabriel Byrne and Michael Gambon.

“Pauwi Na” was originally an entry in the agriculture-oriented ToFarm Film Festival last year where it won six awards, including a special jury prize for outstanding film and lead acting honors for Bembol Roco and Cherry Pie Picache.

It tells the story of a hard-luck and dysfunctional family from Quezon City who decide to travel to their home province in Bicol riding (and taking turns driving) pedicabs with the hopes of reversing their fortunes.

Written by Villaluna and frequent collaborator Ellen Ramos, “Pauwi Na” has drawn comparisons to Victor Villanueva’s “Patay na si Hesus,” another acclaimed and independently-produced road movie, which coincidentally also includes Chai Fonacier in its cast.

Also in the cast of “Pauwi Na” are Jerald Napoles, and Jess Mendoza.

Villaluna is a Gawad Urian awardee for his 2001 short film, “Palugid.” His previous films, “Selda” (2007) and “Walang Hanggang Paalam” (2009), also competed in international film festivals with the latter winning the Best World Showcase award in the 2010 SoHo Internatinal Film Festival in New York City.

Along with the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Shanghai International Film Festival is regarded as one of the biggest film festivals in Asia. Last year, Ralston Jover’s “Hamog” (Haze) was the lone Philippine entry in competition, winning a citation for Artistic Contribution.