We present a list of twelve films you shouldn’t miss at the QCinema International Film Festival which will take place from October 13th – 22nd in Gateway, Trinoma, Robinsons Galleria, UPFI Cine Adarna, Cinema 76 (Anonas) and Cinema Centenario.
About the festival:
The QCinema International Film Festival (QCinema) is an annual festival designed to serve as the lens through which the general public will get to appreciate the active role of Quezon City in Philippine filmmaking from its pioneering years in the 50’s down to the present and on to the future. It features a broad spectrum of local and international films of all genres, through its various sections, both competition and non-competition. It is highlighted by films that receive substantial grants from the Quezon City Film Development Foundation (QCFDC).
Diligent home-care nurse Ichiko is a fixture of her client’s family life: nursing the ailing bedridden grandmother while also warmly supporting her two granddaughters. After a seemingly normal day, the family’s youngest granddaughter, Saki, fails to return home and vanishes without a trace. After that, family life is never quite the same.
Struggling with the grief of Saki’s disappearance, Ichiko is further devastated when the media reports the suspect’s identity as her own nephew. Her impulse to honestly admit the connection is quickly hushed by the victim’s older sister, who insists Ichiko’s importance to the family–and her innocence– necessitates and validates the silence. Ichiko attempts to maintain her respectable identity while her world steadily begins to crumble. (Japanese Film Festival in Australia)
Agustin, an illiterate 41-year old man, gets fed up with being exploited by his boss, decides to leave his job, and enroll in grade 1. Over six years, Agustin is increasingly torn between his desire to learn and his duties to his family. (DMZ Docs)
The protagonist is a saleslady in a local department store. Her everyday life is composed of an exhausting commute home. She deals with the manager who always seems to have something to say about her physical state; her co-worker, Ted who is obviously interested in her but can’t take a hint; and from the catcallers near where she lives. When she finally gets home, there’s no one there but her roommate who couldn’t care less about her. All that is about to change when she reaches the gate to her boarding house and finds a peculiar looking gun right on her doorstep. Suddenly, she can do anything she wants, talk back to whoever she wants, and even hurt anyone she wants. (QCinema)
Cleaners is a coming-of-age anthology film about high school classroom cleaners for the school year 2007-2008. Set in the backdrop of a Catholic school in Tuguegarao City, the characters deal with different pressures of being clean, proper and pure while slowly discovering that the world is dirty and superficial to begin with. The different stories range from the taboo of shitting in school to navigating local political dynasties. (QCinema)
The third feature film by Isabel SANDOVAL continues to deliver social messages provocatively. The audience can observe her growth as a director and lead actress. A Filipino immigrant woman is working as a caregiver to a Russian-Jewish old lady. Although she has to keep supporting her family in the Philippines, her existence in the US is being threatened by ever strengthening immigration control. She has tried to get a fake wedding spending thousands of dollars, but it doesn’t seem very promising soon.
One day, the old lady’s prodigal grandson returns home. Thanks to his dark past, even his family doesn’t give him full trust, yet provides a job opportunity. In spite of different races, background and mother tongue, both sexually active woman and man eventually fall in each other. The man wants to know everything about the woman, and the woman wants to pioneer her own life. Their relationship must answer the questions thrown by the great barrier of the truth and reality. (PARK Sungho | BusanIFF)
In Kabul, Abas drives his bus and is always looking for terrorists who target him. Teenage Afshin and his little brother, Benjamin, go with their father to put pictures of bomb victims on a memorial. When their father goes to Iran for his safety, Afshin steps into his shoes as head of the household. (DMZ Docs)
The Chinese Myanmar director Midi Z chellenged reinventing his style with this psychological thriller. Nina Wu, a girl used to live in a small town playing at a local theater, leaves for a big city to fulfill her dream to become a star. After eight years of obscurity, she finally is cast as a protagonist of a film which is a 1960s spy thriller. Although this is kind of once in a lift time opportunity, she is burden from pressure as the press and the industry confidently believe the big success of the film. The director often pushes her to the limit shooting full nudity in bed scenes. At the blink of success, her mentality starts to break down. She rushes back home to deal with her family crisis as her father is bankrupt due to failure of his business and her mother’s heath is weakening since heart attack. She tries to restore her relationship with her childhood friend Kiki. However, she is haunted by paranoid that a mysterious woman is stalking her with evil intentions. A suppressed deadly memory is about to rise to the surface… (PARK Sungho | BusanIFF)
“Mama has two phone numbers.” A journey of film in the space it takes a train to leave Los Angeles and head to New York. The latest work from the director of Droga! and Disintegration 93–96 (YIDFF 2017).
Surrounded by the surreal landscape of Quang Tri province, four men live their lives inseparably from each other. The rhythm of their everyday lives is defined by moments of togetherness in a house with no doors where they all come to drink, smoke, play guitar and sing songs about love and the revolution of the past. (QCinema)
Decades after witnessing a fatal car accident near his isolated home in rural Laos, a middle-aged man is left alone with his regrets and the unsettled spirit who still walks the road where she died, in this hauntingly dramatic third feature from Mattie Do (TorontoIFF).
Sangay isn’t happy with her life. Living in a remote valley in the happy kingdom where phallus worship is an age-old tradition, she feels trapped in constant harassment by men – her sculptor father, her married lover, the school principal – and her own confusion. Full of enchanting images and mysterious symbols, Bhutanese director Gyeltshen’s debut weaves together reality and illusion, as a teenage girl gets lost and struggles to find her identity in a convoluted world of phalluses and masks.
The multi-talented director Kongdej Jaturanrasmee has completed the calm yet powerful coming of age story of the young girls freshly graduated from high school becoming young adults, that cast the most popular idol group in Southeast Asia, BNK48. Sue (Jennis Oprasert) is helping her father running an old pork noodle soup restaurant in a sleepy town. In spite of her inexperience of air travel or abroad, she secretly has been preparing for a scholarship program to study in Finland. Although she doesn’t have a significant life goal, she believes studying abroad might enlighten her to find a dream.
With her friends, she is spending her last week in the hometown filling the checklist in, exchanging money and packing her luggage up. Her father eventually finds out her plan and gets worried about her future. On a journey that she might never return, she reflects her relationship with friends, love, and family, sometimes with arguments or reconciling and embracement to build herself up as the protagonist of her own life. (Park Sungho | BusanIFF)
For more information about the programme please visit the official website of the festival: QCinema International Film Festival
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