Instituto Cervantes de Manila celebrates female filmmakers
MANILA, Philippines—While men continue to dominate filmmaking on the world stage, several critics have noted that this is slowly changing with many women emerging as promising female directors.
Celebrating March 8, the International Women’s Day, Instituto Cervantes de Manila, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), presents “Female Filmmakers,” a special eight-film line-up that showcases the achievements of contemporary Spanish, Latin American and Filipino female filmmakers who have established themselves as an important force in their own countries’ screen culture.
The film cycle will open on 7th of March, at 2 pm, in Instituto Cervantes, with the Filipino horror movie “Asin,” directed by Aimee Apostol in 2012. The movie tells the story of Lila, a girl living in isolation with her mother in a remote town of Iloilo.
Lila makes a dangerous journey across the mountains to buy salt from the nearest town. There, she unravels the dark horrible secret that doomed her to a life hidden from the world.
The same day, March 7, at 4 pm, will be the turn of the Spanish film “También la lluvia (Even the Rain),” directed by Icíar Bollaín in 2010. The story focuses on Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and Costa (Luis Tosar), who are making a movie about the discovery of America.
The film is being shot in Cochabamba (Bolivia), where privatization and sale of water to a multinational sows discomfort among the population that triggers the infamous Bolivian Water War (April 2000).
Five hundred years after the discovery of America, sticks and stones again face the steel and powder of a modern army. But this time the fight is not for gold, but for the most essential of the vital elements: water.
“También la lluvia” received more than 30 international awards and nominations –among them, the Best Fiction Film in Panorama Audience Prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011, and the Silver Ariel to the Best Latin American Film at the 2011 Mexican Ariel Awards.
Screening on March 14, 2 pm, is “Los niños salvajes” (Patricia Ferreira, 2012), an insightful drama about three misunderstood adolescents from the lower class, living in a big city.
Ill-adapted and unknown children for their parents, teachers and themselves, only keen on Flamenco dancing, kick-boxing and graffiti on walls, their emotional loneliness and isolation will lead them to tragic consequences. “Los niños salvajes” received the Best Film Award at the Málaga Spanish Film Festival in 2012.
Followed at 4 pm by “Otilia Rauda,” a Mexican film directed by Dana Rotberg in 2001. It tells the story of Otilia, a sensual young girl with an ideal body but whose face is marred by an enormous mole. As a result, Otilia grows up friendless, except for the companionship of Melquiades, a young man employed by her family.
On March 21, 2 pm, the audience will have the opportunity to see a movie from Uruguay – Ana Díez’ “Paisito (Small Country).” Produced in 2008, the film tells the story of Xavi, a Uruguayan soccer player who returns to Uruguay, his “paisito”, after completing his professional football career in Spain.
He soon runs into Rosana and his past rises up to meet him. Between love and hate, she has spent twenty years waiting for Xavi to come to her and explain what he remembers of their past.
“Paisito” will be followed at 4 pm with the screening of “El cielo gira (The Sky Turns),” a documentary shot by Mercedes Álvarez in 2004.
The last child to be born in a tiny Spanish village, Mercedes Álvarez and her parents left the area when she was three years old.
Decades later, she decides to return home to discover the world her family left behind. The town has now been reduced to just a few elderly people.
Some plans to revitalize the region are proposed: the castle, the ruins, and fossils of ancient creatures could attract tourists, yet whatever remedy is proposed would surely be too late for those who now live there.
Filmmaker Mercedes Álvarez has fashioned a moving portrait of a vanishing world in this documentary.
“El cielo gira” garnered several of major awards in different festivals around the world – the Tiger Award in 2005 Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Best Film at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, among them.
The film series will conclude on March 28 with the showing of a movie from Spain and another one from the Philippines.
“De tu ventana a la mía,” directed by Paula Ortiz in 2011, depicts three women of different generations who lose the love of their lives and are now aiming to build the lives they desire. It will be screened at 2 pm.
The same day, at 4 pm, the Filipino multi-awarded drama “Transit” will close the cycle. Directed by Hannah Espia in 2013, the film tells the story of Filipino diaspora in Israel. It specifically deals with one family, siblings working in Tel Aviv. They have expired working visas and now are in hiding.
Female Filmmakers is organized by Instituto Cervantes de Manila in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines, Aecid, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
Admission to all the screenings is free on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information, please call 526-1482 (local 111) or visit http://manila.cervantes.es or www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila. Instituto Cervantes de Manila is at 855 T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila.
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