The NCCA’s Committee on Cinema and the National Cinema Program with support from the MOWELFUND Film Institute used to mount Pelikula at Lipunan, a film festival that showcases Filipino motion picture classics and Pinoy films having their world premiere,
The late, great National Artist for Film Eddie Romero (some of his greatest films are Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon, Kamakalawa and Aguila) headed the Cinema Committee and Cinema Program was the festival director with Nick de Ocampo as film programmer then.
Now the Pelikula and Lipunan of yore is just a memory and the festival replacing it is the Singkuwento International Film Festival Manila Philippines (SIFFMP), which transpires from Feb. 15 to 22, during the National Arts Month Celebration at the Tanghalang Leandro Locsin located at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Building, Intramuros, Manila.
What makes SIFFMP distinct, says festival director Perry Escano, “There is obviously a renewed public interest and a spirited revival of Pinoy Cinema. What makes this festival distinct is the reality that we feature independently produced films made by Filipino and foreign filmmakers. Our aim is to make the festival as the leading for Filipinos both here and abroad to share their voice, sentiments and thoughts via the films they have created. We also want to provide a channel for non-Filipinos to share their impressions of the Philippines and its people.”
The SIFFMP is presented by MPJ Entertainment Productions, in cooperation with Asian Television Content Corporation (headed by Engr. Rey Sanchez), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and Film Development Council of the Philippines (headed by Chair Liza Diño).
The five films that are part of the fourth incarnation of the festival are:
Nestor Malgapo, Jr.’s Kapayapaan sa Gitna ng Digmaan, a historical drama based on the real life story of Yoshiaki Moto and wife Felicidad during and after World War II. Richard Quan plays Moto with new comer Celina Talavera as Felicidad.
Charlotte Dianco’s Promdi is a drama aboit a young man from the province who went to Manila to secure his future. Think Maynila Sa Kuko ng Liwanag minus Ligaya Paraiso, this tale as old as time with a very me also bullying ingredient, Kiko Estrada headlines. This is his first independent film starrer.
Marvin Gabas’s Rendezvous, a fantasy drama romance with actress Gina Pareno who knows the tales and the secret of a twisted kind of love between a merman and maiden from up above.
Buboy Villar shares his world class acting talent in Dave Cecilio’s Playground. With support of Lance Raymundo, some of the Walang Tulugan talents and Rosanna Roces, the ups and downs of being DOTA players are the highlights of this film for the millennial who need compassion and love.
The most interesting film entry for this columnist is Alexander Cruz’s Pur Laine. Cruz is a Filipino-Canadian director based in Quebec that is why majority of the lines in this comedy and drama mix are in French with an international cast of actors namely Christian Paolo Lat, Celestine Caravaggio and Issabelle Lafond.
Aside from the five main films, there are also five documentaries and 25 short films for exhibition.
Actor Eddie Garcia will be feted with an SIFFMP Lifetime Achievement Award which will be given during the awards night which happens on Feb. 23 at Resorts World Manila.
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