International and local films that are must-sees, that thrill, raise awareness or spur the imagination are to be screened in the 2019 version of the QCinema International Film Festival (QCinema).
Considered as a flag-carrying international film festival in the country, QCinema will feature cinematic treasures from October 13 to 22, 2019 at the Gateway Mall, Ayala Trinoma, Robinsons Galleria, UPFI Cine Adarna, Cinema 76 Anonas, and Cinema Centenario.
Opening and Closing Film
Leading the roster are two much-awaited Asian titles. Sigrid Bernardo’s Untrue is QCinema’s opening film while Wet Season, by Singaporean director Anthony Chen, will officially close the festival.
Christine Reyes and Xian Lim topbills the festival opener by Bernardo who is the director of the indie hit, Kita Kita. The Hooq-produced Wet Season is Chen’s follow-up to his critically-acclaimed film, Iloilo.
A Rising Wave
QCinema 2019 focuses on the strides Asian filmmakers have been making in world cinema, with Asian filmmakers bagging the Palm d’ Or award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival for two consecutive years.
Furthermore, the theme recognizes the growing number of women filmmakers participating in competitions for documentaries and short films. To add, this year’s QCinema sections have female-centric themes.
As one of the leading festivals in Southeast Asia, QCinema is the launching pad for the world premieres, not only for the three Filipino features in the Asian Next Wave competition but also for new local shorts & documentaries, who all received grants from QCinema, where filmmakers own the rights to their films.
Local Film Grantees
QCinema recently relaunched its main competition, AsianNext Wave, to include three Filipino titles which each received a P1,500,000 seed grant: Arnel Barbarona’s Kaaway sa Sulod, Babae at Baril by Rae Red, and The Cleaners by Glenn Barit, which is his debut feature.
The QCShorts lineup features Judy Free by Jean Cheryl Tagyamon; Tokwifi by Carla Pulido Ocampo; Here, Here by Joanne Cesario; SPID by Alejo Barbaza and Mervine Aquino; Excuse Me, Miss, Miss, Miss by Sonny Calvento; and Isang Daa’t Isang Mariposa by Norvin De los Santos. The six filmmakers each received P200,000 production grants in the shorts competition.
Three new Filipino documentary features, recipients of post-production grants of P500,000 each, will premiere in the section, DocQC. They are For My Alien Friend (by Jet Leyco), A is for Agustin (Grace Pimentel Simbulan) and Spring by the Sea (Aleia Garcia).
Five other films will showcase Asian talents at the Asian Next Wave. These are Nakorn-Sawan (by Puangsoi Aksornsawang, Thailand); Ave Maryam (Robby Ertanto, Indonesia); Fly By Night (Zahir Omar, Malaysia), The Long Walk (Mattie Do, Laos) and Suburban Birds (Sheng Qiu, China).
Most of the directors are slated to attend their gala screenings.
Three critically-acclaimed Asian docs round up the non-competitive documentary section with The Future Cries Beneath Our Soil (Pham Thu Hang, Vietnam); Talking About Trees (Suhaib Gasmelbari, Sudan) and Kabul, City in the Wind (Aboozar Amini, Afghanistan).
In Screen International, awarded titles from Cannes and Berlin will receive their Philippine premieres. They are Beanpole (Kantemir Balagov); By The Grace of God (François Ozon); Nina Wu (Midi Z) ; Bacurau, (Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles); Frankie (Ira Sachs), Synonyms (Nadav Lapid), The Whistlers (Corneliu Porumboiu), God Exists Her Name is Petrunya (Teona Mitevska), On A Magical Night (Christophe Honore) and High Life (Claire Denis).
The Special Screenings section will showcase Lingua Franca (Isabel Sandoval); Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (J.-P. Valkeapää); Top End Wedding (Wayne Blair); No Data Plan (Miko Revereza); The Cave (Tom Waller); Krabi, 2562 (Ben Rivers and Anocha Suwichakornpong); A Girl Missing, which is presented by Japan Foundation (Koji Fukada); and recent Locarno winner, Vitalina Varela (Pedro Costa).
A special program of Australian short films, Flickerfest, rounds up this section with two filmmakers visiting from Down Under.
This year, QCinema introduces a new section. New Horizons is a platform for debut films or second features from around the world. It explores a range of genres such as The Bare Necessity(Erwan De Luc); Buoyancy (Rodd Rathjen); Homeward (Nariman Aliev); The Red Phallus (Tashi Gyeltshen); Chola (Sanal Kumar Sasidharan; and System Crasher (Nora Fingscheidt).
Top End Wedding, Flickerfest Shortfilms, and Buoyancy are sponsored by the Australian Embassy.
Continuing its partnership with FDCP in promoting equality and representation, QCinema will screen six films representing the LGBTQ spectrum in the section, RainbowQC. These are Venice Queer Lion winner Jose (Li Cheng); Song Lang (Leon Le); Port Authority (Danielle Lessovitz); Where We Belong (Kongdej Jaturanrasamee); And Then We Danced (Levan Akin); and the Berlinale Teddy awardee, Brief Story from the Green Planet (Santiago Loza).
Part of the centennial celebration of Philippine cinema are two QCinema sections reflecting the rich heritage of classic and mainstream works by major directors, including the country’s national artists for film.
Centennial Classics will feature digitally restored films by ABS-CBN Film Restoration Project and FDCP. Part of the list are Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos); Malvarosa (Gregorio Fernandez); Insiang and Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka); Noli Me Tangere (Gerardo de Leon); and Tisoy (Ishmael Bernal).
A Special Life Achievement Award will be presented to Vicente del Rosario Jr., who established Viva Entertainment as one of the main, enduring pillars in the entertainment industry for more than fifty years.
QCinema is presenting the section, Viva Classics, in recognition of his outstanding contributions of “Boss Vic”, as he is fondly called, to the industry. Three of the previous decades’ well-loved hits will be shown here: Bituing Walang Ningning (Emmanuel H. Borlaza); Scorpio Nights 2 (Erik Matti); and Working Girls (Ishmael Bernal).
For more information and updates, visit qcinema.ph.