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‘1st Sem’ goes to Russia

/ 12:04 AM April 09, 2018

“1st Sem” costars, from left: Darwin Yu, Lotlot de Leon, Miguel Bagtas and Sebastian Vargas

Add Russian to this Cine Filipino film’s long list of foreign subtitles.

Allan Michael Ibañez and Dexter Hemedez’s “1st Sem” will be screened at the White Nights Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, from April 12 to 14.


Hemedez recalled that, after a screening in its first international film festival in India, he jokingly told codirector Ibañez and lead star Lotlot de Leon that it would be great for their movie to have subtitles in different languages.

“Then after a few months, we were invited to festivals in South Korea, the United States, Spain and then the Ukraine,” Hemedez recounted.


Two years later, “1st Sem” is still going places.


“It’s miraculous and unbelievable,” Hemedez remarked. “When we were shooting the film, all that we wanted was to finish it on time, to meet the deadline for the Cine Filipino fest.”

“It feels as exciting as the first time our film was screened abroad,” Ibañez said of their 12th festival invitation to St. Petersburg. “We are honored that a Filipino-made film will premiere in Russia.”

Ibañez considers it a “great blessing” that their small film continues to make the rounds in the festival circuit.

Hemedez is grateful to all the programmers who keep inviting their film to these events. “Because of them, we are able to share our deeply personal story to audiences of different nationalities, and in different languages.”

Touching viewers


Needless to say, De Leon is thrilled for this latest opportunity to touch viewers from distant lands.

From left: Allan Michael Ibañez, Lotlot de Leon, Dexter Hemedez

“Nakakatuwa po! I’m really proud of my two directors,” the award-winning actress told the Inquirer. “It’s such a blessing that our film is still being shown internationally after two years. I hope our countrymen who are based in Russia will get to watch this movie, too. I know how hard they work abroad for their families here. This film is especially dedicated to them.”

“1st Sem” will be screened on April 12, as part of the Russian fest’s official selection.

According to its website, the White Nights Film Festival seeks “to enable viewers to see a large number of interesting films from all over the world.”

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TAGS: 1st Sem, Cine Filipino film’, White Nights Film Festival
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