Filipinos win big in California fest
Filipino filmmakers won big at the recent 10th Festival Angaelica, held in Big Bear Lake, California.
Dexter Hemedez and Allan Michael Ibañez’s “1st Sem” won the top prize, for best international feature.
E del Mundo bagged the best cinematography award for the short film, “Manong ng Pa-aling.” Marie Jamora’s “Flip the Record” scored the best short narrative at the fest. Gino Jose’s “Waivers,” which topbills Cai Cortez, brought home the best storytelling prize for short films. Jose’s other short film, “Basaan,” was shown at the fest, as well.
According to Jamora, the writer of the winner in the sci-fi category, Terence Nance’s “They Charge for the Sun,” is Filipino-American, Eugene Ramos.
“It is amazing that numerous artists are curious about the state of filmmaking in our country,” Ibañez told the Inquirer. “We are proud that other Filipino filmmakers won in the fest.”
“We’re grateful for the recognition,” Hemedez related. “The organizers, led by [actress-producer] Breven Angaelica Warren, said the group’s main goal was to promote quality independent films.”
Hemedez remarked that the organizers left no stone unturned, devoting their personal resources to ensure the festival’s success. “They don’t know how they will be able to recoup their investment, but they believe in supporting deserving films … that inspire us to work harder.”
The festival is “unique and unconventional,” Hemedez pointed out. “There’s camping, outdoor screenings and other activities involving nature. The experience was personal and intimate.”
Ibañez recounted: “We also attended workshops on different aspects of filmmaking. It allowed us to connect to different filmmakers from all over the world. We got to share stories on our struggles in creating, distributing and marketing our films.”
Hemedez noted that the fest “opened another perspective on how films could be seen and how festivals could be mounted.”
According to its website, Festival Angaelica is a film and arts festival that showcases the works of filmmakers from the United States and around the globe.
Next stop for the CineFilipino movie was the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival in New York.
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