‘Apocalypse Child’ wins in Toronto
“I’m overjoyed,” filmmaker Mario Cornejo said of the victory of his latest movie, “Apocalypse Child,” at the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival.
Cornejo’s “Apocalypse Child,” which focuses on a surfing community in Baler, won the Fasken Martineau Best Feature Film award at the fest’s closing ceremony held in Canada on Sunday.
“The Toronto Reel Asian fest presented an incredibly diverse program from some amazing filmmakers around the world,” Cornejo told the Inquirer. “Knowing that a festival and jury half a world away connected to an intensely personal and uniquely Filipino production is incredibly humbling.”
In the film, Sid Lucero plays a surfer who’s made to believe that he is the love child of Oscar-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, who filmed “Apocalypse Now” in Baler, Aurora, in the ’70s.
Cornejo was looking forward to attending the Reel Asian because it’s a “modest but good festival.”
The director and producer Coreen Jimenez were not able to join the fest, though. “We had work!”
It has been a remarkably busy month for the “Apocalypse” team. The film recently had a theatrical run in Manila.
On Wednesday, Cornejo traveled to Poland to attend the Five Flavours Film Festival in Warsaw. “Apocalypse Child” is in the Five Flavours fest’s main competition with 10 other films, including Eduardo Roy Jr.’s “Pamilya Ordinario.”
“We had just finished the Hawaii International Film Festival,” he explained. “In early December, we will have the Luang Prabang Film Festival in Laos. We have four festivals in barely a month!”
Its website relates that the Toronto fest is a “unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and works from the Asian diaspora.”
Included in the festival are films and videos of East, South and Southeast Asian artists based in Canada, the United States and other parts of the world.
The fest, which was established in 1997 by producer Anita Lee and journalist Andrew Sun, is considered the biggest Asian film festival in Canada.
The Toronto event “provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation” for the region’s cinema in North America.
Its main advocacy is to promote “Asian representation in the media arts” through “10 exciting days of screenings, forums, workshops and other events.”
The Globe and Mail reports that the Reel Asian “gives audiences a chance to see cinematic achievement beyond genres and directors typically associated with the represented countries … the fest is a cinephile’s must-see!”