French Film Festival showcases acclaimed Filipino films on Independence Day

In celebration of the 120th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day, the 23rd French Film Festival (FFF) showcased internationally-acclaimed Filipino films.

The 2018 edition of the French Film Festival continued its tradition of paying tribute to Philippine cinema on June 12 by screening films directed by Raymond Red and Zig Dulay.

“Anino (Shadow)” by Red, a pioneer of modern Filipino independent and alternative cinema, is the first Filipino film to be awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Anino and another multi-awarded film by Red, “Himpapawid (Manila Skies),” along with Dulay’s “Bagahe (The Baggage)” were screened at the Greenbelt 3 Cinemas and Bonifacio High Street in Manila.

Anino’s synopsis describes the story: “A poor church photographer is taunted by an evil being outside a church. Later, he wanders into the harsh realities of life in the city of old Manila. His camera is stolen by a kid. He encounters intimidation in his search for the kid and goes through other misadventures.”

Himpapawid, based on true events, is about a lone deranged plane hijacker and his stations of the cross in surviving the present ills in the city of Manila.

Joining the Philippine cinema feature line-up is “Bagahe (The Baggage)”, the latest film by up-and-coming director Zig Dulay, which won the grand prize Golden Rickshaw Cyclo d’or of the 2018 Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema (24th VIFFAC) in France.

The 24th VIFFAC citation recognized Bagahe “for its quiet intensity combined with the raw portrayal of the bleak side of the world that overseas Filipina women domestic workers live in. Its affective setting and cinema vérité approach forces the audience to taste, feel, and hear each struggle and nuance.”

Bagahe was a finalist at the Cinemalaya 2017 and has since received Best Screenplay award for Dulay, and Best Actress awards from the FAMAS and URIAN for Angeli Bayani.

The 23rd French Film Festival in the Philippines is presented by the Embassy of France to the Philippines, Institut Français, Uni France, the Alliance française de Manille, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

Screenings began on June 6 in Makati, Bonifacio Global City, and at the UP Town Center. The festival will also make its way to the Abreeza Mall, Davao City from June 21 to 22 and back at the Ayala Center Cebu from June 25 to 27, 2018.

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Nianna is a Broadcast Journalism student from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas. She pours her heart out in writing and has found a home in theater and podcasting.