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Alix goes to Tokyo, Warsaw, Brisbane

Gina Alajar and Phillip Salvador

Filipino filmmaker Adolfo Alix Jr. is headed to Japan, Poland and Australia this month.

Alix’s latest movie, “Madilim ang Gabi” (Dark is the Night), is competing with eight other entries at the Tokyo FILMeX in Japan, from Nov. 18 to 26. The annual event was established by Office Kitano, actor Takeshi Kitano’s film company, in 2000.

According to the fest’s website, Alix’s film, which tackles the “radical war on narcotics,” “straightforwardly protests his country’s current situation, which has provoked a significant commotion internationally, as well.”

The website hails Alix’s film, which premiered at the Toronto fest last September, “as a tour de force, closely resembling the socially aware films of master filmmaker Lino Brocka.”

“I am excited to be part of the competition, as it is my first time at the Tokyo FILMeX,” Alix told the Inquirer.

Before Tokyo FILMeX, the Filipino movie will also be part of the 11th Five Flavors Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland, from Nov. 15 to 22.

Five Flavors’ Jagoda Murczynska commended Alix’s film for its “dynamic action, intriguing supporting characters and detailed social panorama of contemporary Philippines [that] make for powerful, topical cinema.”

Scene from “Madilim ang Gabi” (from left): Phillip Salvador, Gina Alajar and Felix Roco

The critic explained that “putting unusual protagonists in the spotlight allows the director to show the social costs of political struggle … [of people] stuck in deadend situations.” Murczynska noted: “Without justifying their actions, [Alix] shows the reality in a nuanced, honest manner—leaving the audience with many open questions.”

Meanwhile, Alix will also serve as a member of the international jury at the 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (Apsa) in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 23.

He explained that, as a filmmaker, he is thrilled to take in the “diversity of stories and cinematic experiences” during the screenings.

Gina Alajar (left) and Angel Aquino

“I’m also looking forward to meet the other jury members and hear their thoughts on the films. These events enable us to talk about the richness of, along with the challenges in, the region, especially with the rise of new media and platforms,” Alix said.

Led by Australian editor Jill Billock, this year’s Apsa jury also includes Chinese actress He Saifei, Kazakh filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov, and Tokyo fest programmer Yoshi Yatabe. Two Filipino films, Avid Liongoren’s “Saving Sally” and Jun Robles Lana’s “Die Beautiful,” are vying for major awards at the Apsa.

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