Diverse Filipino stories told at Italian film fest

 Diverse Filipino stories told at Italian film fest

STORIES about a fan meeting her idol, a young man turning to prostitution to make ends meet, and a tribesman who starts school at 40 will be told in Italy’s Far East Film Festival (FEFF) in Udine from June 24 to July 2. The hybrid festival, which will have both in-person and online showings, will also show a selection of Eddie Garcia films.

The FEFF is the largest festival in Europe specializing in Asian Cinema and is a contributor to the commercial distribution of Asian films across European and Italian markets.

For its 23rd edition this year, the Competition section features the award-winning film Fan Girl directed by Antoinette Jadaone, which will have its international festival and online worldwide premiere, while multi-awarded director Joel Lamangan’s Anak Ng Macho Dancer will have its Italian and online worldwide premiere.

Fan Girl follows an obsessed teenage fan of actor Paulo Avelino who unexpectedly gets to spend the night with him.

Anak ng Macho Dancer revolves around Inno who resorts to prostitution during the pandemic and tries to get away from the cruelty of his drug addicted father.

Meanwhile, Grace Simbulan’s documentary, A is for Agustin, will be part of the Out of Competition section and will have its European and online worldwide premiere. The documentary tells the story of 40-year-old tribesman Agustin who never had the opportunity to learn to read or write. Upon learning that his boss has been cheating him out of his wages, Agustin returns to the province and begins his education in Grade 1.

With the inclusion of the documentary in the film festival, Ms. Simbulan hopes that it creates more conversations around the topic of access to education.

“I hope that it lands on our policy-makers… I hope that it could push more policies for better education specially for the indigenous people,” Ms. Simbulan said during an online press conference on June 21 via Zoom.

In honor of the late television and film actor Eddie Garcia, the special tribute “Eddie Garcia: Life as a Film Epic” under the Retrospective section presents four feature films and one short film.

The restored version of Ishmael Bernal’s debut film Pagdating sa Dulo and Jun Robles Lana’s Bwakaw will both have their Italian premieres, online worldwide, and offline screenings. Joel Lamangan’s Rainbow’s Sunset, Raymond Red’s Cannes Palme d’Or for Short Film recipient Anino, and Sinasamba Kita by Eddie Garcia will have their Italian and online only worldwide premiere.

“We decided to go for the movies that could underline [Eddie Garcia]’s big talent,” FEFF festival director Sabrina Baracetti said. “In this way, we wanted to give a clear idea of what he did in his career.”

Ms. Baracetti had met the late actor at a Manila film festival.

The festival has been a platform for more Filipino filmmakers to be exposed on a global platform.

We have a mission to try to promote as much as we could, a lot of movie history in many different countries in Asia,” Ms. Baracetti said.

The 23rd FEFF, organized by Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche, will screen 63 films from South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Macau, Myanmar, and the Philippines.

For more information on the participating films in the FEFF, visit https://www.mymovies.it/ondemand/23feff/. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman