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PH short film wins in Bangkok

/ 12:20 AM June 22, 2017

“Two Way Jesus”

Jet Leyco’s short film, “Two Way Jesus,” won the Night Award in the documentary section of the 15th International Festival Segni della Notte Awards held in Bangkok, Thailand, last month.

According to the fest’s website, the Night Award for Documentary “honors films which present reality in an ambivalent and enigmatic way—avoiding stereotypes of representation and simple conclusions.”

The website explains that in Leyco’s film, “reality conquers fiction and vice versa.”

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Set during the Maleldo, an annual tradition that commemorates Jesus Christ’s crucifixion in Cutud, Pampanga, the docu takes a “seemingly voyeuristic approach” in telling the story of the rites’ participants, “tackling … religion and culture, and the power of new media in between.”

Leyco told the Inquirer: “In my opinion, [winning] doesn’t mean our film is superior to the others. It just signifies that the winner … [reflects] the jury’s taste or perspective of cinema.”

He regards the award “as a bonus … that somehow proves that the film has affected the audience. That’s what is important to me … the engagement between the filmmaker and the viewer, or between the filmmaker and himself/herself.”

Leyco’s docu was previously shown at the International Festival Signes de Nuit (where it also won) in Italy, the Hors Pistes Tokyo in Japan and the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival in Australia.

Meanwhile, Leyco’s full-length drama, “Town in a Lake (Matangtubig),” will be screened in four festivals abroad in the next two months.

“Town in a Lake”

Apart from the New York Asian Film Festival (July 6), Leyco’s latest movie is also part of the Asian Prism section of the Taipei International Film Festival (July 10 and 13) and the Cinebalu and World Movies program of the Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival in Malaysia (July 26).

“Town in a Lake” is also included in the Camera Lucida section of the Fantasia International Film Festival, which will be held from July 13 to Aug. 3 in Montreal, Canada.

Now on its 21st year, the Fantasia fest is considered North America’s “top genre festival … showcasing the most exciting, innovative and individualistic genre films from all over the world. Its “varied programming” highlights the “imaginative cinema” of Asia, Europe and the Americas.

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“Town in a Lake” recounts how a quaint village is irrevocably changed by a girl’s rape and murder and another teenager’s kidnapping.

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