Award-winning indies lead Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino entries

July 1, 2017 - 9:13 AM
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Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Liza Diño-Seguerra speaks during a press conference for Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino at the Seqouia Hotel on Friday. (Photo from her Facebook page)

The Film Development Council of the Philippines announced on Friday the 12 entries that will comprise the first ever Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino film festival.

They are “100 Tula Para Kay Stella” by Jason Paul Laxamana, “Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B” by Prime Crisologo Cruz, “AWOL” by Enzo Williams, “Bar Boys” by Kip Oebanda, “Birdshot” by Mikhail Red, “Hamog” by Ralston Jover, “Paglipay” by Zig Dulay, “Patay Na si Hesus” by Victor Kaiba Villanueva, “Pauwi Na” by Paolo Villaluna, “Salvage” by Sherad Anthony Sanchez, “Star Na si Van Damme Stallone” by Randolph Longjas, and “Triptiko” by Miguel Franco Michelena.

Selected from 45 submitted entries, the 12 films will be shown in 700 theaters nationwide from August 16 to 22 as part of the country’s annual Buwan ng Wika celebration.

“I cannot tell you how ecstatic and proud I am to finally announce the 12 finalists of the PPP. This is truly a historic moment and one that I will be cherishing because this signifies the triumph of Philippine cinema and promises more to come,” FDCP chair Liza Diño-Seguerra said at a news conference at the Sequioa Hotel in Quezon City.

Members of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino selection committee and representatives of selected films sit down during a press conference at the Seqouia Hotel in Quezon City on Friday. (Photo from Liza Diño-Seguerra’s Facebook page)

The films were chosen by a selection committee chaired by Diño-Seguerra herself and composed of screenwriter Ricky Lee, filmmakers Jose Javier Reyes and Erik Matti, film editors Manet Dayrit and Lee Meily, film critic Oggs Cruz and actress Iza Calzado.

Of the 12 films, six films already premiered in local film festivals and have won numerous awards here and, in some cases, abroad. These are “Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B” (QCinema), “Hamog” (Cinema One Originals), “Paglipay” (ToFarm), “Patay na si Hesus” (QCinema), “Pauwi Na” (ToFarm) and “Star Na si Van Damme Stallone” (Cine Filipino).

“Birdshot” has been making the rounds of international film festivals and won the Asian Future Best Film at the Tokyo International Film Festival, while “Salvage” which premiered at the Cinema One Originals film festival in 2015 as an exhibition film, was honored last year by the Young Critics Circle for Best Film Editing.

Only four films, “100 Tula Para Kay Stella,” “AWOL,” “Bar Boys” and “Triptiko” have yet to be shown in cinemas although promotional efforts for “Bar Boys” already started last year.

During the festival proper, audience members can vote for their favorite films, the top three of which will be honored with Audience Choice Awards on August 19, the fourth day of screening. Diño-Seguerra also told InterAksyon that one film will be honored with a Critics Choice award.

“To all the Filipino audience, believe me when I tell you that the 12 films that were painstakingly selected are all quality and amazing films that we are sure you would love. The PPP films’ diversity in terms of treatment, theme, and genre is what makes it all the more exceptional as they are familiar. We are so excited for you to see them on the big screen,” Diño-Seguerra concluded in her speech.