PH horror flick ‘In My Mother’s Skin’ to premiere in Sundance
Kenneth Lim Dagatan’s horror flick “In My Mother’s Skin,” starring Beauty Gonzalez and Jasmine Curtis-Smith, will premiere at the Midnight section of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, its official website, sundance.org, announced recently.
The story, set during the tail end of World War III in the Philippines, follows a girl (Felicity Kyle Napuli) who trusts a flesh-eating fairy (Curtis-Smith) to save her dying mother (Gonzalez) when they are left behind in an isolated mansion.
“As a boy who grew up in the province in the Philippines, dreaming, I’m very grateful to be part of Sundance and very excited to share this fairy tale to the world. ‘In My Mother’s Skin’ is my version of a modern fairy tale in a fragmented world, and I look forward to sharing this story to an international audience,” Dagatan said in a statement. The film is a coproduction of the Philippines (Epicmedia Productions), Singapore (Clover Films) and Taiwan (Zhao Wei Films and Volos Films Ltd.).
The Midnight section was conceived as a “special showcase of the most challenging but rewarding experiences from around the world, brought to you at the most arduous hour,” the website explained. Past films showcased in this section included “The Blair Witch Project” (1999), “Saw” (2004) and “The Babadook” (2014).
In a previous interview, Gonzalez described the project as “really dark and fantastic.” She also said that it was shot entirely in Bacolod City, but with a crew and production team from Singapore.
Gonzalez added: “We shot it in the same house where the classic ‘Oro Plata Mata’ was filmed. It’s one of the things that makes this project exciting for me. I love anything old and historical.”
Living the dream
“We are overjoyed with the inclusion of the film in Sundance. To be the only foreign language film in the Midnight Section is living the dream,” said Bianca Balbuena of Epicmedia Productions. “This section has given birth to numerous cult classics that still influence pop culture of today and it’s an honor to be part of the pack.”
Balbuena, who is also head of Kroma Entertainment’s Anima Studios, continued: “This horror film, a dark fairy tale, has very relevant and timely themes that we hope will resonate with US and international audiences. ‘In My Mother’s Skin’ is a true example of how coproductions within Asia can fully bloom given the right partners and funding support. And it’s only the second film of Kenneth, an exciting young writer-director with a distinct voice.” Meanwhile, Zhao Wei Films CEO and founder Eric Khoo, who is also executive producer of the movie, said: “[We are] ecstatic that ‘In My Mother’s Skin’ will premiere at Sundance. It is a film that loudly declares that Southeast Asia is fertile ground for emerging genre talent. We look forward to discovering even more exciting fresh voices from around the region.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled to premiere the film at the Sundance’s Midnight section and we couldn’t think of a more appropriate place for this work to make its first encounter with an international audience. ‘In My Mother’s Skin’ stems from Filipino folklore and cultural motives but it’s also a real example of how Asian creatives can work together to bring their sensibilities and narratives on the international stage,” said Volos Films Ltd., Taiwan CEO Stefano Centini, who is also producer of the movie.
“Director Kenneth and our production partners at Epicmedia and Zhao Wei films have been extremely generous and their level of dedication to this film, equaled only by the Taiwanese talents who joined the project in the postproduction stage, has resulted in this fantastic news. We can’t wait to finally share the film with audiences worldwide and hope this is just the first step in building a stronger and solid network of cooperation across the region.” Centini added.
“In My Mother’s Skin,” to be distributed all over Asia by Clover Films, is slated for release locally in the second quarter of 2023. INQ
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