Cine Europa 2012 to feature 4 Filipino moviesBy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines—As it celebrates 15 years of bridging the gap between Europeans and Filipinos through cinema, Cine Europa is set to make record high as it bolsters new features to make more Filipinos find comfort in the stories and sensibilities of their European brothers and sisters.
“Cine Europa allows us Europeans to show you what makes us laugh, what makes us cry and what makes us tick. We hope that cinema will do its magic and help us get to know each other a little better,” said Julian Vassallo, political counsellor of the European Union’s (EU) Delegation to the Philippines.
From just 11 movies in 1988, this year’s festival will feature 21 films from 17 European countries—Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and for the first time, Norway.
Firsts for Filipinos
More Filipinos will also have the opportunity to experience Cine Europe as it extends to three new areas—Baguio, Iloilo, and Davao. Vassalo said that this was done in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), which will feature films in their established cinemateques.
“In the last 15 years the festival has brought European quality films to more than 200,000 Filipino film enthusiasts. Last year alone we reached 24,000 and hope to make another leap in viewers in 2012,” Vassallo said.
Including Shangri-La Plaza, Ayala Center Cebu, and Liceo de Cagayan de Oro, the new locations will bring to six the total number of cities where Cine Europa will be showing. The films will be screened over the span of six weeks from September 6 to October 21.
For the first time, Cine Europa also partnered with the Independent Film Cooperative (IFC) to make way for the inclusion of four Filipino films—a move that is expected to engage more Filipino film enthusiasts to the festival.
“These films have been chosen either for their links to Europe or the awards and acclamation they received there,” Vassalo said when asked about the considerations made in choosing the four films.
Clodualdo del Mundo’s Paglipad ng Anghel, the documentary film Kano, 2009′s most awarded Filipino film Bakal Boys, and MNL 143 were the films chosen for this year’s festival.
Vassalo said that as part of the festival’s educational component, roundtable discussions will be made to explore the links between the two countries’ cinema industries, which, he said, “are deeper than many may think.”
“We are boosting the educational component of Cine Europa to make it not only an opportunity for Filipinos to watch European movies but also to learn about movie-making itself with some of the best local talent,” Vassalo said.
He said that the roundtables would tackle different aspects of cinematic art, and will involve sharing of information on how Filipino filmmakers might be able to access European funds for their films.
“I think there are many Filipino film makers who have close links with their European counterparts, sometimes it’s not on the front page of the newspapers but I think there’s a lot going on behind the scenes,” Vassalo said.
For his part, Benedict Olgado, director of the National Film Archive of the Philippines, explained that what made the festival successful year after year was that “despite the distance and the barriers, these films without borders run deep within our common and shared humanity.”
“We marvel at lives in a distant shore while also finding comfort in our commonality….Filipinos find affinity with immigrants in Belgium, lovers in Paris, and urbanites in Spain,” Olgado said.
Vassalo went on to explain that the selection this year will show how European cinema is less known for “sugary movies with happy endings” but for themes that “find the humorous, absurd, and the ironic…those that shine a torch on forgotten pockets of societies.”
The films this year will take viewers from “juvenile prison cells to the Chinese imperial palace…from youthful misbehavior to drama in an African refugee camp,” he said.
He said viewers would take delight in the love-life of a tramp, Leonardo Da Vinci’s plans to construct a flying machine, or how a person could see life “through the eyes of a goat.”
“Witness the madness of war and the genius of the slightly-mad,” he said.
The Manila leg of the festival will be officially open to public starting September 6 until September 16 at the Shangri-La Plaza. It will then open in Ayala Center Center Cebu from September 21 to 24. The final screenings for September will be held in Liceo De Cagayan de Oro from September 27 to 30.
FDCP Cinemateque Davao will host the festival from October 4-7, FDCP Cinemateque Baguio from October 11-14, and the final screenings will be held in FDCP Cinemateque Iloilo from October 18-21.
The organizers, as said to the press, were still working on the specifics of the programming for the new locations, and whether or not all 21 European films and four Filipino films would be shown in the new areas.
For more information on the schedules of the screenings, check out the following sites:
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