Aswang competes for First Appearance Prize at 2019 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

Aswang Documentary Film Festival
Alyx Ayn Arumpac’s “Aswang” – a term in the Philippines for witches, vampires, ghosts, and werewolves – will have its World Premiere in Amsterdam. Screengrab IDFA video.

Filmmaker Alyx Ayn Arumpac’s “Aswang” – a term in the Philippines for witches, vampires, ghosts and werewolves – has been selected for the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Competition for First Appearance slated to happen from November 20-December 1, 2019.

The Filipino director’s film, produced by Cinematografica films and credited as an international production backed with support from France, Norway, Qatar, and Germany, will compete as it holds its World Premiere at the IDFA 2019.

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The 85-minute feature film made the Final 12 of the best in non-fiction storytelling along with documentaries from Spain, Russia, Qatar, Denmark, Brazil, Denmark, Poland, China, United Kingdom, Serbia, Croatia, Georgia, and Colombia.

IDFA refers to the selection for the competition for debut feature as “films from engaged filmmakers with a remarkable creative vision.”

“Aswang” made the IDFA 2019 Competition for First Appearance selection after being pitched at the IDFA Forum and gaining support from the IDFA Bertha Fund.

An excerpt from the documentary film’s synopsis reads: “Aswang follows a group of people whose lives have been caught up in these events: a journalist who tries to make a stand against lawlessness, a coroner, a missionary brother who comforts bereaved family members, and a street kid with parents in prison and friends in the cemetery.”

Since 2007 the IDFA has been offering itself as “an alternative to mass entertainment and uniformity, confirming that there is an increasing need in audiences for high-quality films that delve deep and urge us to reflect.”

Filipino documentary films have received world acclaim, among them, Cannes’ gold-winning “Dagul” about a young Sorsogon volunteer teacher, Asian Academy Creative Awards-recipient Atom Araullo Specials and Investigative Documentaries, and 9-time awards recipient Jhett Tolentino’s Iloilo-to-Broadway bio-docu.

WATCH the “Aswang” trailer and send well wishes for the filmmakers in the comments below!

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.