Verdict is going to Venice

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THE 2019 International Venice Film Festival has chosen Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s Verdict as an official entry, making it the only Southeast Asian film to be chosen for the Horizons (Orizzonti) section.

The festival runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7 at Venice Lido, Italy.

Verdict joins 18 other entries in the Horizons competition section. The films chosen for the section are those which “represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema,” according to the festival website.

“Venice Film Festival is one of the most prominent film festivals in the world, and having Verdict compete there along with the world’s top-tier films is a fitting celebration for the One Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema,” said Film Development Council of the Philippines Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño-Seguerra in a statement.

“We are very proud of Raymund and his mentor Brillante Mendoza for continuously making a mark in world cinema and showcasing Filipino talent on a global level,” she added.


The film, which stars Max Eigenmann and Kristoffer Martin, is produced by director Brillante Ma. Mendoza.

The film follows the steps of Lav Diaz’s Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) which won the festival’s Golden Lion Award in 2016.

Mr. Gutierrez, whose film credits include the short films Judgment in 2018 and Imago in 2016 was nominated for the Palme d’Or Best Short Film in Cannes for both shorts. Imago additionally won Best Short Cuts at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Best Short Film Award at the Stockholm International Film Festival, and Best Short Film at the London Short Film Festival. — Zsarlene B. Chua