There’s good and bad news for the Philippine contingent headed to the Cannes fest later this month.
Only hours after the Inquirer Entertainment story “Rocky Road to Cannes” came out on Monday, an anonymous donor extended assistance to the three Filipino filmmakers—Lav Diaz, Adolfo Alix Jr. and Erik Matti—who were having difficulty raising funds for their trip.
Diaz’s “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan” and Alix’s “Death March” are competing in the Un Certain Regard section; Matti’s “On the Job” will be featured in the Directors’ Fortnight.
Raymond Lee, producer of “Norte,” told Inquirer that their film’s share in the donation was enough to send three members of their team to France. The three filmmakers received the exact same amount.
“This all happened because of the Inquirer story,” Lee said.
Diaz explained that although Cannes fest organizers were taking care of the directors’ three-day hotel accommodations, no plane fare was provided for them, or for anyone in the entourage.”
Matti said French distributor Wild Side would take care of his air fare.
According to Lee, several other people are planning to help the filmmakers.
Increased travel grant
Lee reported that the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), in a meeting on Tuesday, promised to increase the travel grants of the two filmmakers in competition. (The council earlier vowed to give the three filmmakers P200,000 each.)
FDCP is also set to extend assistance to three young filmmakers in the Cannes Short Film Corner: Aiess Alonso, who made “Katapusang Labok”; Carlo Manatad, director of “Oasis Redux”; and Roderick Cabrido, “Mga Engkantong Laog sa Dapithapon.”
Joining the Philippine contingent is actress Hilda Koronel, who will attend the premiere of Lino Brocka’s digitally restored “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag” in Cannes, FDCP said in a statement.
The bad news is, “Maynila” lead star Bembol Roco may not be there.
“Bembol would like to go,” manager Ricky Gallardo told the Inquirer. “He was free—he just finished a TV show, but since he didn’t get an invitation, he decided to go on vacation in the United States.”
Gallardo hopes Roco can still make it to Cannes. “‘Maynila’ was his first film. Since Brocka is no longer around, Bembol could represent him. But at least Hilda will be there,” he said.