The fifth edition of the film festival for indies starts Saturday and will run until July 26. And for the second consecutive year I will be in attendance at the CCP.
Last year I was able to watch 5 films. Three were outstanding (Jay, 100, Boses), one was so-so (Imoral), and one was downright disappointing (My Fake American Accent).
Word is this year’s batch is the best and based from the trailers the press release may turn out to be correct. There’s even a decent review of one entry here.
Here are five of the 10 films in competition that is worth watching.
Dinig Sana Kita
The film is a love story between a Deaf boy who loves to dance and a troubled rocker girl who abuses her hearing. One lives in the world of solitude and silence, the other in noise and fear. Crossing paths in a Baguio camp that mixes Deaf and hearing kids, both find that they have more in common with each other including a love for music.
DINIG SANA KITA is the first Filipino film to have a Deaf Actor in a Lead role. Romalito Mallari is a Deaf performer that has played several stage productions as actor and/or dancer. It also features several Deaf actors in the cast and ensemble.
ASTIG (Mga Batang Kalye), written by multi-awarded writer Jerry B. Gracio, produced by Noel Ferrer and directed by GB Sampedro is an episodic tale of four young men whose stories parallel and contrast with the landmarks and various images of Manila. It tells the story of Ariel, a conman who has to leave his girlfriend upon learning that she is in love with him; Boy, an expectant young father who has to sell his body to pay his wife’s hospital bill; Ronald, a Chinese mestizo who is coming to grips with his identity; and Baste, an overly protective son of an OFW who has to avenge his sister. The film tells the stories of the tough guys of Manila and their resolve to survive the dirt and filth of the “Distinguished and Ever Loyal City.”
Last Supper No. 3
Based on a true story, Last Supper No. 3 is a humorous look at the circuitous path our legal system takes to justice. Assistant Production Designer Wilson Nañawa is tasked to look for a Last Supper to use as a prop for a TV commercial. He finds three, but loses the one owned by Gareth Pugeda. What happens next changes Wilson forever as he spends the next two years entangled in bureaucracy and red tape facing estafa and serious physical injury charges. How will this ordinary man fare against a system he knows nothing about? Will justice prevail for Wilson? Or will he be imprisoned for the loss of Last Supper No. 3?
Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe
Each morning, baskets of black fruits mysteriously appear by the front yard of Fe. Thinking that it was a reconciliatory gesture from her abusive husband, Dante, Fe tells him about it. This only confirms Dante’s suspicions that she might be entertaining a lover. Fearing her husband’s jealousy, Fe grows even more scared as the fruits kept coming, a step closer to her front door. She keeps everything to herself until she turns to a former suitor, Arturo. When Fe urges Arturo to elope, she finds out that the young man has far more binding commitments with his family. Caught between an abusive husband and an impotent lover, Fe has to decide. Will she escape with her elusive suitor who could very well be just a figment of her imagination or stay trapped with the men in her real life who could never protect her nor make her happy? Caught in a society where violence still remains unimaginably real and covertly present, could the imagined be real enough for a woman to assure her survival?
HIMALAYA “Laya” MARQUEZ has never had a complete dream since she was 12. Something always wakes her up at night. That something used to be her father, the famous photographer DANILO MARQUEZ, whose constant sexual abuse of Laya tore her family apart. Now, at 27, Laya possesses a cold exterior that hides torrents of pain. Working as a travel photographer, Laya is sent to Isabela to capture a rare harvest ritual called Mangatyanan by the Labwanan tribe. What Laya finds there, however, is a severely dwindled group held together by their desperate leader MANG RENATO. Soon Laya senses a strong connection between the tribe’s predicament and her own troubled life. Events spiral out of control as the Mangatyanan crumbles under Mang Renato’s desperate grip and Laya is forced to flee. But something happens that brings her face-to-face with her own demons. Will she finally confront her past or will she keep running?
You can find the full schedule here.