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Two Cinemalaya films win in fests abroad

/ 12:30 AM October 18, 2018

Abra in “Respeto”

Two Cinemalaya movies have brought home top prizes in film festivals abroad.

Treb Monteras II’s “Respeto” bagged the Best Youth Feature trophy at the 36th Carrousel International du Film de Rimouski in Quebec, Canada, last Oct. 7.

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According to its website, the Carrousel fest “distinguishes itself from other children’s film festivals by offering movies that also target adolescents and spotlight young characters.”

The Carrousel fest seeks to “explore the curiosity and open-mindedness of a young audience and question issues.”

“Respeto,” which won best picture in last year’s Cinemalaya, focuses on a drug runner who aspires to be a hip-hop artist (played by real-life rapper Abra), in spite of the squalor and violence in the urban jungle.

Monteras told the Inquirer: “I’m so happy that ‘Respeto’ continues to win in various film festivals all over the world. This award is special because it proves that the message of our film is universal. Their country might have different issues compared to ours, but in the end, all of us—wherever you are in the world—just needs respect.”

Meanwhile, another product of Cinemalaya 2017, Zig Dulay’s “Bagahe,” won the Jury Award at the 19th Asiatica Film Festival in Rome, Italy, last Oct. 11.

The jurors commended the Filipino film “for the rigor with which it [recounts] the complex journey of a woman who tried to get rid of her baby born of a rape. [Her] trauma and [eventual] awareness are depicted with a realistic and, at the same time, painfully sympathetic point of view.”

Dulay shared with the Inquirer: “This is not just validation … this is our film’s third best picture award—after France and India. This shows a pattern … that our film is being recognized not only here, but also internationally.”

He expressed gratitude to his coworkers, John Badalu and Ferdy Lapuz and ToFarm benefactor Dr. Milagros How, as well as to his mentor, scriptwriter-director Armando Lao, who “continues to guide me in the Found Story” way of filmmaking.

Dulay dedicated “these recognitions to all the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are fighting and sacrificing for their families. They don’t deserve a system that continuously revictimizes victims.”

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According to its website, the Asiatica fest aims to “establish an original channel of communication between Italy and Asia.”

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TAGS: 19th Asiatica Film Festival, 36th Carrousel International du Film de Rimouski, Bagahe, Cinemalaya films, Indie Bravo!, Respeto
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