Four PH films in Tokyo; Brillante heads jury
Four Filipino movies will be showcased at the 31st Tokyo International Film Festival in Japan, from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3.
Also, Cannes-winning Filipino filmmaker Brillante Ma Mendoza will lead the jury for the main competition.
Although there is no Filipino film in the main tilt, Perci Intalan’s domestic drama “Distance” is vying for top honors in Asian Future, the section dedicated to the region’s emerging cinema talents.
An entry in this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, “Distance” is described by the fest’s website as “a family drama [about] seeking a new form of love.” Intalan’s film topbills Iza Calzado, Nonie Buencamino and Therese Malvar, who won best supporting actress in Cinemalaya.
After premiering in next month’s Busan International Film Festival, the omnibus film “Lakbayan” will be featured in Tokyo’s World Focus program. “Lakbayan” consists of works by three internationally acclaimed Filipino directors: Kidlat Tahimik (“Lakaran ni Kabunyan”), Lav Diaz (“Hugaw”) and Mendoza (“Desfocado”).
Lastly, Diaz’s martial law musical “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” will be shown in Crosscut Asia #05: Soundtrip to Southeast Asia, along with another politically charged indie film, the hip-hop urban drama, Treb Monteras II’s “Respeto.”
Coincidentally, “Halimaw” and “Respeto” both tackle the “darkest period of Philippine history, the Marcos dictatorship,” as juxtaposed with the country’s current woes.
Monteras, who plans to attend the Tokyo fest next month, told the Inquirer: “I am excited to see how the Tokyo audience will receive ‘Respeto.’ Japan has a growing battle rap scene, so I hope hip-hop fans will take the time to check out our film.”
He volunteered that “there is also a Filipino Rap Battle League in Japan called the 052 Rap Battles. Our actors Loonie, Abra, Apekz and Mike Swift flew there last year to compete, and they won.”
Intalan, who is competing as a director in Tokyo for the first time, is actually a three-time veteran of the A-list festival.
“I can’t believe I’m going back to Tokyo as a director now,” Intalan remarked. He produced three films directed by partner Jun Robles Lana that were shown in past editions of the Tokyo fest: “Bwakaw” (2012), “Barber’s Tales” (2013) and “Die Beautiful” (2016).
Eugene Domingo won best actress for “Barber’s” and Paolo Ballesteros, best actor for “Die Beautiful” in the main tilt.
“But now, I am directing a film that is competing with other Asian movies,” Intalan asserted. “It’s so thrilling and scary at the same time!”
Intalan, along with producer Lana, will attend the fest for “Distance,” while producer Wilson Tieng and actor Vince Rillon will represent “Lakbayan,” and actress Shaina Magdayao will be there for “Halimaw.”
Joining Mendoza in the international jury are “Westworld” producer Bryan Burk of the United States, director Stanley Kwan of Hong Kong, and actresses Taraneh Alidoosti of Iran and Kaho Minami of Japan.