Filipino presence at the 45th Hong Kong International Film Festival

Five Filipino films have been selected for the 45th Hong Kong International Film Festival which will go hybrid with both-in-theatre and online screenings from April 1st – 12th, 2021.

— Short Films —

To calm a pig inside by Joanna Vasquez Arong – Philippines | 2020 – 18 minutes
Section: Short Film Competition Programme 1

Visiting a seaside city devastated by a typhoon, a girl divulges her own memory in a contemplation of fellow Filipinos, struggling in the wake of natural and political disaster.


Here, Here by Joanne Marian B. Cesario – Philippines | 2020 – 18 minutes
Section: Short Film Competition Programme 2

A young man reconnects with his hometown in slow decay, fearing the impending loss of both his hearing and his father, whose life may have been claimed by a mining accident

— Feature Films –

The Halt by Lav Diaz – Philippines | 2019 – 282 minutes
Section: Masters & Auteurs

A futuristic dystopia in the year 2034, as darkness reigns across the country in the aftermath of a catastrophe, the paranoid president consolidates his regime with an omnipresent army of drones and the perception of epidemic horror. Under his phantasmagoric shadow, everyone lives in hypnotic existential predicament. Blending science fiction and horror, Diaz, after

Season of the Devil (42nd), continues his exploration into “the cataclysm of the Filipino soul”, a lament over his homeland’s bleak political reality.


Verdict by Raymund RIbay Gutierrez – Philippines, France | 2019 – 126 minutes
Section: Global Vision

Joy, a bloodied and battered mother, seeks justice after her drunken husband assaults her and their young daughter. Expanding on his Cannes-selected short film, Judgement (43rd), Gutierrez crafts a harrowing and immersive procedural, which throws the viewer headfirst into the labyrinthine and often absurd bureaucracy required for Joy to prove her case. In keeping with producer Mendoza’s whirlwind style of cinéma vérité, this legal drama provides a powerful window into the shortcomings of the Filipino judicial system.


Mindanao by Brillante Mendoza – Philippines | 2019 – 124 minutes
Section: Masters & Auteurs

As the civil conflict on the Philippine island of Mindanao rages on, a young Muslim mother accompanies her terminally ill daughter to the House of Hope, all while her husband, an army medic, is fighting hundreds of miles away. Surrounded by imminent death on all sides and struggling to find a glimmer of hope, the plight of one isolated woman mirrors the fate of an entire desperate nation. Her seemingly small and insignificant battle is given equal weight and resonance in Mendoza’s beautifully realised drama.


For more information, please visit the official HKIFF website:

About the festival:
Founded in 1976, the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is Asia’s oldest international film festival and a pioneer in introducing Hong Kong, Chinese language and Asian cinema and filmmakers to the world.

Annually screening over 200 titles from more than 50 countries in approximately 10 major cultural venues across the territory, the Festival is one of Hong Kong’s largest cultural events. The festival features world and international premieres of Hong Kong and Asian films, and Asian premiers of international films. The festival has maintained its founding premise of bringing films to local audiences that they might not be aware of, and of introducing Hong Kong, Chinese language, and Asian films to the world.

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