Painter's biopic opens 2017 edition
By Earl D. C. Bracamonte

The Quezon City Int'l Film Festival (QCinema) 2017 opens with the Philippine premiere of 'Loving Vincent,' a biographical sketch on the life and times of the "Father of Modern Art," Vincent van Gogh, at the newly-opened Ventris North cinema.

Dubbed as the "world's first oil-painted feature film," directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman sought the help of over a hundred artists, who were well-versed with the van Gogh style, to create the story board. Each frame in the movie is a painting!

Every second was comprised of 12 paintings, creating 720 obras per minute of film. This pioneering effort chronicles the controversial 19th-century post-impressionist artist through letters, paintings, and fictional interviews. This is a historical, and landmark, undertaking!

"Movies is one of the reasons for inviting millennials to make Quezon City their home, aside from making it the haven for local and international filmmakers," enthused festival director Ed Lejano.

Films in competition

The entrants who made it to the Circle Competition are Balangiga: Howling Wilderness (Khavn Dela Cruz), Dapol Tan Payawar Na Tayug 1931 (The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931 - Christopher Gozum), Dormitoryo (Emerson Reyes), Kulay Lila Ang Gabi na Binubudburan Pa ng mga Bituin (Jobin Ballesteros), Medusae (Pam Miras), Neomanila (Mikhail Red), The Write Moment (Dominic Lim), and The Chanters (Robin Mayo).

On the other hand, the films included in the QC Shorts category are Anya Iti Nagan Mo? (What is Your Name? - Ice Idanan), Babylon (Keith Deligero), Gikan sa Ngitngit Nga Kinailadman (From the Dark Depths - Kiri Dalena), Kun' Di Man (If Not - Phylis Grace Grande), Link (Mike Esteves), Love Bites (Carl Joseph Papa), Pixel Paranoia (Epoy Deyto), and Si Astri Maka Si Tambulah (Astri and Tambulah - Xeph Suarez).

"From over 200 entries, eight finalists were chosen for the Feature Film category each receiving P1-million in grant funds, while eight finalists were also chosen for the Film Shorts category with each receiving P100,000 in grant money," informed Manit Dayrit, president of the QCinema Film Foundation.

Rainbow QC is a section that showcases a broad spectrum of LGBT narratives across the world. These are Beach Rats (Eliza Hittman), Close-Knit (Naoko Ogigami), Fathers (Palatpol Mingpornpichit), Those Long Haired Nights (Gerardo Calagui), Signature Move (Jennifer Reeder), and Tom of Finland (Dome Karukoski).

The Asian Next Wave is a competition section for up-and-coming Asian filmmakers with less than three features to their filmography. The roster is comprised of Dragonfly Eyes, the debut of distinguished Chinese artist Bing Xu; In Between Seasons by Dong-Eun Lee; KFC by Le Bing Giang; Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts by Mouly Surya; Snow Woman by Kiki Sugino; and Pop Aye by Kirsten Tan.

Panorama section

In its non-competition sections, the festival also allocates screening time for classic titles under the Digitally Remastered Series; with films such as Gil Portes' 'High School Scandal,' Danny Zialcita's 'Karma,' Mario O'Hara's 'Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos,' Pedro Almodovar's 'All About My Mother,' Michaelangelo Antonioni's 'Blow-Up,' and Mike Nichols' 'The Graduate.'

As with classic titles, new films are among the highlights of QCinema. This year, critically-acclaimed films from across the globe take part in Screen International, with such films as 120 Beats Per Minute (BPM) by Robin Campillo, Loveless by Andrey Zvyagintsev, The Killing of a Sacred Deer by Yorgos Lanthimos, and The Square by Ruben Östlund.

Another interesting section is Before Midnight, an unrated collection composed of controversial titles meant to shock and stir cineastes. This category will screen 68 Kill (Trent Haaga), A Prayer Before Dawn (Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire), Bang Gang: A Modern Love Story (Eva Husson), and Revenge (Coralie Fargeat).

In Special Screenings, QCinema will showcase thrillers like Diamond Island (Davy Chou), Fading Paradise (Aurel Ayson), and Out Run (S. Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons). Moreover, the festival's collection of films created by different regional directors will also be screened under Cinema Rehiyon.

QCinema will close the festival with Mike De Leon's digitally-remastered copy of 'Batch 81,' labeled as one of the best Filipino classics. It tells the story on the vicious cycle of brutality and hazing in a fraternity as seen through the eyes of neophytes.

Since it's inception in 2012, QCinema has contributed to the country's burgeoning film scene with its original feature-length and short films. It is a one-of-a-kind festival that appropriates a modest worth of production grants to selected finalists and allows them to regain ownership of their movie rights.

"We have a halo-halo (mixed) menu in our movie programming. We hope to be the national barometer of Philippine cinema as well as serve as the venue for innovations. The success of a project has millions of fathers and mothers supporting it, otherwise it's an orphan. This festival brings one city closer to the rest of the globe. Today, QCinema, tomorrow ASEAN and the world," remarked QC vice-mayor Joy Belmonte.

The festival runs from Oct. 19 to 28 in cinemas within Quezon City - Trinoma, Gateway, UP Town Center, Ventris North - as well as screenings at the Cinematheque Center Manila. For more information, simply visit the QCinema page via facebook.com/QuezonCityFilmFest.


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