A Filipino road movie about a hard-luck and dysfunctional family won the grand prize in the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival in China Sunday, June 25.
Paolo Villaluna’s “Pauwi Na” (international title: “Pedicab”) bested 13 other entries from all over the world in the main competition of the festival and was honored with the prestigious Golden Goblet award.
“Proud to be a Filipino filmmaker, being able to tell our national story of struggle and hope to an international audience. And really happy that it resonated with the jury,” Villaluna told InterAksyon following his film’s triumph.
The film 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.
“Pauwi Na” follows the story of a family who has been experienced difficulty living in the big city and decides to return to their hometown via pedicabs they take turns in driving. The film was a hit with audiences in the Shanghai festival.
“When your audience approaches you after a screening and tearfully says you’ve changed their lives, you know you told your truth well,” Villaluna posted right after its gala screening.
Written by Villaluna and frequent collaborator Ellen Ramos, “Pauwi Na” features an ensemble cast that includes Bembol Roco and Cherry Pie Picache, who both accompanied Villaluna in Shanghai.
Also in the cast are Meryll Soriano, Chai Fonacier, Jerald Napoles and Jess Mendoza.
The Shanghai International Film Festival is regarded as one of the biggest film festivals in Asia.
UPDATE: “Pauwi Na” is one of the 12 entries in this year’s first ever Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino film festival that opens this Wednesday, August 16.