Arts & Leisure

1 million expected at QC film fest

Posted on October 06, 2015

QUEZON CITY is out to claim that the city is the “film festival capital of the country” by running the third iteration of the QCinema International Film Festival from Oct. 22-31. Organizers expect it to draw 1 million people.

THE Francis Ford Coppola classic Apocalypse Now is one of the films which will be screened out of competition.
“Quezon City is one of the only cities in the country that believes in investing in arts and culture as a strategy towards national development,” said Ma. Josefina G. Belmonte, vice-mayor and co-chairperson of the film festival, during her keynote speech at a press conference held on Oct. 1 at the Gateway Mall, Quezon City.

The city government, according to Ms. Belmonte, has a budget of P22 million for the film festival. Those who qualified for the category Circle Competition for New Filmmakers each received P1 million while P200,000 grants were given to the five full-length documentary films in the DoQC International Documentary category.

She added that they are aiming for the city to be recognized much like Toronto and Cannes as a film festival city.

The festival will be opened with a screening of The Last Pinoy Action King, a documentary about the life and death of Rudy “Daboy” Fernandez, co-directed by Andrew Leavold and Daniel Palisa.

One of the eight finalists in the main competition is Water Lemon by Lemuel Lorca which he described during the press conference as a “story of a small town” shot in Mauban, Quezon. Kapatiran by Jose Lorenzo “Pepe” Diokno is about social ills, mostly on corruption and of “the law of fraternity” and is more of an essay as it is without a plot, according to Diane Valbuena, the film’s producer. Iisa by Chuck Gutierrez, going by the teaser he showed during the press conference, is about a nun who is trying to get people to work together through a deluge that hits their town, which is also suffering through never-ending war.

Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo by Mihk Vergara is about the local children’s game and how neighborhood losers fight for supremacy on the streets. Matangtubig by Jet Leyco is about how a murder exposes a town’s secrets, while Gayuma by Cesar Hernando is much like the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea as an art student falls in love with a figure drawing model. Apocalypse Child by Monster Jimenez and Mario Cornejo about a boy named after American director Francis Ford Coppola who directed the film Apocalypse Now (1979) in what is now a surfing town in Baler, Aurora.

The finalists in the documentary category are Of Cats, Dogs, Farm Animals and Sashimi by Perry Dizon; The Crescent Rising by Sheron Dayoc; Audio Perpetua by Universe Baldoza; Traslacion: Ang Paglakad sa Altar ng Alanganin by Will Fredo; and Bingat by Choy Pangilinan, Qubry Quesada, Joolia Demigillo and Abet Umil.

The awards night will be held at the QC Interactive Museum on Oct. 28.

The films, along with those in 11 non-competition categories, will be shown in TriNoma, Gateway Mall and Robinson’s Galleria cinemas -- sites chosen because of the ease with which these malls can be reached, the festival’s executive director Ed Lejano, Jr. told BusinessWorld shortly after the conference.

He added that they are expecting about one million people to watch the festival films, again, due to the proximity of the malls and because of the low ticket prices (regular tickets for the festival films cost P150, while some screenings are free).

Unlike other local festivals in which the rights to the films are held by the festival organization rather than the creators, for the QCinema International Film Festival the rights are given to the creator, “which is unique,” said Mr. Lejano. After the festival, it is the filmmakers’ call if they want to do the festival route, though the festival officials are willing to give them advice.

Aside from the competition films, there are a number of mini-festivals showing films out of competition.

“Screen International” will feature four award-wining international films: Tale of Tales (Italy) by Matteo Garrone, Court (India) by Chaitanya Tamhane, Cemetery of Splendour (Thailand) by Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, and Victoria (Germany) by Sebastian Schipper.

“Rainbow QC” will screen films focusing on different facets of sexuality including Eisestein in Guanajato (The Netherlands) by Peter Greenway, Summer of Sangaile (Lithuania) by Alante Kavaite, and Tangerine (US) by Sean Baker.

“Throwback Ticket” focuses on digitally restored Filipino films such as Peque Gallaga’s Oro Plata Mata, Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Bagong Buwan, and Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?.

A “Special Screening” section will be showing two Francis Ford Coppola films -- Apocalypse Now and Hearts of Darkness -- accompanied by Human by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

The film festival will also hold several film discourses. “Reality Bites DoQC Filmmakers” will be followed by “Indie Circle Competition Filmmakers” on Oct. 26, and there will be a forum on the rudiments of Animation by First Academy on the 27th.

On Oct. 28, there will be talks by Pinoy B-movie expert Andrew Leovold; film archiving and restoration authority Leo Katigbak; Vincent Nebrida and Ed Rocha, producer and executive consultant respectively, of Jerrold Tarog’s Heneral Luna.

The fifth forum, “From Concept Development to Final Draft,” will be headed by Lualhati Bautista, along with Circle competition screenwriters Monster Jimenez, Lilit Reyes and Jen Chuaunsu.

All seminars are to be held in TriNoma.

For more information on the schedules and the films to be screened, visit the or e-mail -- Zsarlene B. Chua