Jun 23, 2017

It’s unfortunate that most of our local independent films have to wrestle just to get their well-warranted limelight in the country. Last year’s Metro Manila Film Festival was noisy as it got backlash for putting different kinds of movies in the roster—those kinds that don’t have Vic Sotto or Vice Ganda in them.

And it’s not surprising that some of them thrive in other countries’ own film festivals. Here are some films that are crushing it out there this month.

2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten


Petersen Vargas and his feature-length debut film just bagged another award and this time, in Italy last June 20. “2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten” has won the Audience Choice Award at the 32nd Torino LGBTQ International Film Festival.

“I couldn’t help laughing. It was ironic that the festival recognized our film which had earlier received an R-18 rating in our country,” Vargas told Inquirer.

Commercially distributed by Star Cinema last March, it clamored among film circles as it got an R-16 rating from Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. As the producers appealed, the Board batted it with an R-18 for “the film lacks any social redeeming value.”

It is devastating for a filmmaker to produce something for a specific audience but is hindered to literally deliver the film to them, which is in the case, the youth. “How often is it that you’d find an audience far away from home? We found a bit of success… in Torino, and it’s kind of bittersweet,” said Vargas.


People Power Bombshell: The Diary of Vietnam Rose


This John Torres film won Special Mention in the New Views category of the sixth Olhar de Cinema: Curitiba International Film Festival in Brazil last week.

This is a documentary that features recent interviews with cast and crew of Celso Advento Castillo’s 1980s unfinished found movie. It was an entry at the Cinema One Originals Film Festival last year.

“I had always wondered how this would translate to young foreign audiences abroad,” said Torres. To the filmmaker who’s also known for “Todo todo teros” which was awarded in Vancouver Film Festival, the award he recently received opened him into exploring various ways of making films and documentaries “knowing that there is a segment of the population that has this openness to new cinematic languages and ways of looking at the world.”


1st Sem


Okay, this film by Dexter Hemedez and Allan Michael Ibañez won Culture Exchange Award at the 5th Seoul Guro International Kids Film Festival in South Korea on May 30. Technically not this month but almost there.

“Lots of teenagers, parents and kids joined us. South Korean parents approached us to tell us how much they loved the film. A high school student, who dreams of becoming a filmmaker, said he liked our film, which was the first Filipino movie he has ever seen,” said Ibañez.

“1st Sem,” another feature-length debut film, has already won several awards from different international film festivals: 50th Worldfest Houston International Film Festival in USA, Cinema Worldfest Awards in Canada, and All Lights India International Film Festival.


Related stories:

Why do local films flop?
How Brilliante Mendoza is saving Philippine cinema
Why is Nora Aunor not a National Artist?

TAGS: 1st Sem 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten culture indie movies nolisoli People Power Bombshell: The DIary of Vietnam Rose philippine cinema