Friday, 14 October 2016

QCinema 2016 Kicks Off

QCinema International Film Festival (QCinema) 2016 raised the curtains at the Gateway Mall with an opening gala graced by city executives, film stalwarts, and movie aficionados.

Held on October 13, the event started with the screening of QCinema’s opening film, “The Handmaiden (Agassi)” by Park Chan-wook at the Gateway Atmos Dolby Theater.

“The Handmaiden (Agassi)” is set in the 1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation. Sookee (played by Kim Tae-ri) is hired by the Count (Ha Jung-woo) to become the maid of Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee), a Japanese heiress who lives in a secluded estate with her uncle (Cho Jin-woong) who is also plotting to marry her to seize her wealth. The Count also wants to wed Hideko for her money but his plans were foiled when Lady Hideko started to fall for Sookee.

After "The Handmaiden (Agassi)" screening, cocktails were held at the Novotel Manila-Araneta Center.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte welcomed the crowd and thanked them for their overwhelming support.

During the poolside reception, the directors competing in the Circle Competition and #QCShorts were introduced.

The seven films under the Circle Competition are, “Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B” by Prime Cruz; “Best. Partee. Ever.” by Howard “HF” Yambao; “Baboy Halas, Wailings in the Forest” by Bagane Fiola; “Hinulid (The Sorrows of Sita)” by Kristian Cordero; “Patay na si Hesus (Jesus Is Dead)” by Victor Villanueva; “Purgatoryo” by Roderick Cabrido; and “Women of the Weeping River” by Sheron Dayoc.

Meanwhile, the entries for #QCShorts are “Contestant #4” by Joshua Joven and Kaj Palanca; “Hondo (Deep)” by Aedrian Araojo; “If You Leave” by Eduardo Dayao; “Padating” by Gabrielle Tayag; “Papa’s Shadow” by Inshallah Montero; “Sayaw Sa Butal (Coin Dance)” by Victor Nierva; and “Viva, Viva Escolta” by Janus Victoria.

In the Circle Competition, each director was given a seed grant of P1 million pesos. This tilt is unique in that directors own the rights to their movies. The #QCShorts filmmakers were individually given P100,000 worth of production grant.

“Asian Next Wave” is the most recent addition to the QCinema competitions. This category showcases the works of Asian filmmakers with less than two directorial features.

The movies in this international section include: “Apprentice,” a Singaporean film by Junfeng Boo; “By the Time It Gets Dark” directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong of Thailand; “Old Stone,” a Chinese-Canadian collaboration film directed by Johnny Ma; “Singing in Graveyards,” a Filipino-Malaysian movie directed by Bradley Liew; “Solo, Solitude” directed by Yosep Anggi Noen of Indonesia; and “Woven Wings of Our Children,” a Filipino piece by Anton Juan.

Movie Sections

For its “Screen International” section, QCinema gives Philippine premieres to some of the films recently recognized in the international festival circles.

Part of the roster are “Godless,” a Bulgarian movie created by Ralitza Petrova; “Headshot” by Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto; “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” by Taika Waititi; “One Week and a Day,” an Israeli film by Asaph Polonsky; “The Handmaiden (Agassi)” by Park Chan-wook; “The Ornithologist,” a Portuguese film directed by João Pedro Rodrigues; “The Teacher” from the Czech Republic and directed by Jan Hrebejk; and “Under the Shadow,” an Iranian film directed by Babak Anvari.

In keeping with the festival’s tradition of featuring a film trilogy every year, QCinema presents a special section, "Tribute to Krzysztof Kieślowski." To commemorate the 20th death anniversary of the celebrated Polish auteur, the acclaimed “Three Colors” trilogy: “Blue” (1993), “White” (1994), and “Red” (1994) will have a special screening.

Vibrant and diverse narratives unravel in "RainbowQC," a category of features about the LGBTQ experience. It includes the movies,“#BKKY” by Nontawat Numbenchapol from Thailand; “Kiki,” a collaboration between USA and Sweden directed by Sara Jordenö;“Jonathan” by Piotr J. Lewandowski of Germany; and “Spa Night” from Andrew Ahn of USA.

Two digitally-restored movies from ABS-CBN get their due revival in the section, "Back ThrowBack." It will feature “Kasal?” (1980) directed by Laurice Guillen and “Haplos” (1982) filmed by Butch Perez. The former marks Guillen’s debut feature and the latter top bills the exciting team-up of Vilma Santos, Christopher de Leon, and Rio Locsin.

Filipino film master, Mike De Leon, gets his QCinema homage in “Focus on Mike De Leon” which will feature his three popular restored titles, “Kung Mangarap Ka't Magising” (1977); “Kakabakaba Ka Ba?” (1980); and “Hindi Nahahati ang Langit” (1985).

QCinema’s past entries will make a comeback in “QCinema Reloaded.” Some of the films that will be screened are, “Apocalypse Child” by Mario Cornejo; “Gayuma” by Cesar Hernando; “Iisa” by Chuck Gutierrez; “Kapatiran” by Pepe Diokno; “Matangtubig” by Jet Leyco;“Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo” by Mihk Vergara; “Sleepless” by Prime Cruz; and “Water Lemon” by Lemuel Lorca.

Included in this lineup are the DoQC International Documentary entries, “Audio Perpetua” by Universe Baldoza; “Bingat” by Choy Pangilinan, Qubry Quesada, Joolia Demigillo and Abet Umil; “Of Cats, Dogs, Farm Animals and Sashimi” by Perry Dizon; “The Crescent Rising” by Sheron Dayoc; and “Traslacion:Ang Paglakad sa Altar ng Alanganin” by Will Fredo.

Other flicks that will be screened again are the past QCinema entries, “Gaydar” by Alvin Yapan; “Hello, World” by John Elbert Ferrer; “Lukas Nino” by John Torres; and the stories from the Quezon City Experience (QCX) short films.

QCinema celebrates the thriving film communities outside of the National Capital Region (NCR), through its "Cinema Rehiyon" section, curated by Teddy Co. It will feature the compilation of regional titles from Across Visayas and Luzon, Mindanao Rising, and Ilonggo Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Also included is the Manila premiere of the new Cebuano indie, “Superpsychocebu” by Christian Linaban.

Under the "Pinoy Spotlight" section, three new social-realists get their QCinema premieres: “Area” by Filipino Luisito Ignacio; “Blanka” of Kohki Hasei from Japan; and “Unconscious Memory” by Allan Balberona.

More Filipino filmmakers will be honored at the “QC Screenings,” which will include the movies, “EDSA” directed by Alvin Yapan; “Ignacio de Loyola” by Paolo Dy; and the short films from “How we Survive(d): Bakwit 2013 Zamboanga Siege” by the out-of-school youth participants of the SUGPAT Arts for Youth Development Project video workshop.

Film Discourses

Carrying the theme, “One City for the World,” QCinema will convene local film industry stalwarts for discussions on the challenging issues that will further fuel industry growth.

QCinema’s film forum series are all free and open to the public. It will be conducted at the Quezon Memorial Circle’s Quezon City Experience (QCX) Mini Theater from October 17 to 21.

The slots in each forum are limited to a maximum of 120 attendees. To get more information about the various topics and speakers, visit

Four Venues

The film festival will run from October 13 to 22 at four malls namely, Ayala TriNoma, Gateway Cinemas, Robinson’s Galleria, and UP Town Center.

The QCinema Awards Night will be held at the QCX Museum on October 19, 2016.

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