First-time Academy Award nominee and all-around heartthrob Paul Mescal may have not won his first Oscar, but his Filipino fans are still winning because the film that got him the Actor in a Leading Role nomination, “Aftersun”, is coming to local theaters.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) announced that it has acquired the film written and directed by Charlotte Wells along with three other 2022 titles from Belgium, Austria, and Cambodia—all critically received at the last Cannes Film Festival, I might add.
Wells won the Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer at the 2023 British Academy of Film and Television Arts for “Aftersun”, where Mescal plays a loving father on holiday in Turkiye with his 11-year-old daughter. It was distributed by Mubi and A24.
Joining “Aftersun” in Philippine cinemas soon is “Closer” (Dir. Lukas Dhont), a coming-of-age movie about two pubescent boys whose relationship bitters after their schoolmates notice their intimacy. The film’s unique take on the perils of toxic masculinity won it the second most prestigious award at Cannes, the Grand Prix, as well as a nomination for Best International Film at the 95th Academy Awards.
Meanwhile, the Austrian film “Corsage” (Dir. Marie Kreutzer) stars Vicky Krieps as Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The Luxembourgish-German actor took home the Un Certain Regard Best Performance Prize at Cannes.
Completing FDCP’s latest round of international film acquisitions is “Return to Seoul” (Dir. Davy Chou), a film about a woman’s search for her biological parents years after being adopted by a French couple. It was Cambodia’s entry to the Oscars for Best International Film.
“Close,” “Corsage,” and “Return to Seoul” originally had their Philippine debut at last year’s QCinema International Film Festival.
Bringing these acclaimed international titles to the country is part of FDCP’s Audience Development Program, which aims to bring world cinema to Filipino audiences and make critically-acclaimed titles even more accessible to film enthusiasts.
All four films will be shown in select cinemas nationwide and in all the FDCP Cinematheque Centres located in Ermita, Iloilo City, Davao City, Zamboanga City, Compostella Valley, and Bacolod City, Negros.
The national film agency has yet to announce the screening dates.