Daniel Palacio’s “Pailalim” (Underground) won Special Mention, Fedeora Award at the 65th San Sebastián International Film Festival, held in Spain recently.
The prize is handed out by the Fedeora or the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean, which is based in London.
Palacio told the Inquirer that the San Sebastián journey was “rewarding.” He explained that the film was not just about Filipinos who “live in a cemetery … it’s about the homeless, the outcast, the neglected.”
He dedicated the award to marginalized people in society. “In San Sebastián, their voices were heard.
Loud and clear.”
He expressed elation that his film had succeeded in telling its harrowing story to a global audience. The screenings were packed, he recalled. “I kept hearing people sniffling in the theater. Some viewers cried. I couldn’t blame them because I also got teary-eyed watching it.”
He recounted that the mostly foreign audience had asked numerous questions about the shoot. “They were very curious … They wondered if we had used hidden cameras because the acting of Joem Bascon and Mara Lopez was so realistic.”
“It’s fulfilling that the audience heard and understood the film’s message,” Palacios pointed out. “Beyond the glitz and glamour, we had a mission in Spain. And with the turnout … we are on our way to accomplishing it.” —BAYANI SAN DIEGO JR.