QCinema festival showcases the best of Filipino world-class talents

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THE featured films at the ongoing QCinema International Film Festival are being received very well, what with the meticulously selected and carefully curated films by the organizers, headed by the festival director Ed Lejano.

Having followed the festival for the past 10 years, we can definitely say that this year is the best as far as the quality of selected films is concerned.

“It’s the revenge year of the festival after the curse of the pandemic, and we are very happy that everything is going well, and people are back to the cinemas to appreciate and support our roster of films this year,” said Lejano during the official opening of the festival last Thursday at the Gateway Cinemas in Quezon City.

The festival had an auspicious start with its choice of opening film, Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s Triangle of Sadness, warmly received by the opening night audience which included Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, the  top executives of the film’s Philippine distributor TBA Studio Nando Ortigas, Eddie Rocha, Jerrold Tarog and Daphne Chiu in full force, power couple Carlitos Siguion-Reyna and Bibeth Orteza, editor par excellance Manet Dayrit, restoration specialist Leo Katigbak, Filipino-American producer Alicia Catubay-Watt who flew in all the way from Utah, and National Artist for Film Ricky Lee.

Also spotted at the opening were filmmakers Paolo Villaluna, Dodo Dayao who brought his lovely partner, producer Patti Lapus;  Adolfo Alix Jr. who came with his gorgeous ward Kiko Ipapo, Milo Sugueco, Roman Perez Jr., Dennis Marasigan, Paul Santa Ana, Jerome Zamora, Jeffrey Hidalgo, Marlon Rivera, producer filmmaker Wilfredo Manalang, model John Paul Lopez, screenwriter and actress Raquel Villavicencio, actors Ricky Davao, Toni Co and Alex Diaz.

After the screening, actress Dolly de Leon was accorded a thunderous applause for raising the ante of Philippine actors once again, courtesy of her on-point performance in the movie which bagged the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival a few months ago. De Leon plays the Filipina cruise ship toilet manager Abigail who turns the narrative upside down after a tragic incident, and her performance has been praised by the world’s staunchest critics since the movie had its world premier in France.

Another much talked about movie is Japan’s competition entry Plan 75, directed by Chie Hayakawa, with Filipino American producers Alicia Watt and Wilfredo Manalang calling the shots for the film’s participation in festivals like QCinema. Watt and Manalang flew in Filipino-Japanaese actress Stefanie Arianne, who also graced the opening festivities. She will also headline the gala night of the film, aside from doing several rounds of promotions for the movie.

“I am happy to be in Manila to help promote the film and connect somehow with my roots,” Arianne told us. “I am thankful that I was tasked to play an important role in the film, and to be given this chance to show the world what Filipino actors can do, if only we are given the breaks.”

Incidentally, TBA Studios is the local distributor of both award-winning films. President and chief operating officer Daphne Chiu is ecstatic about bagging the distribution deals.

“We’re taking two steps forward for TBA Studios by bringing both Plan 75 and Triangle of Sadness for the local audience to see and appreciate. We are also proud of our local actors like Dolly de Leon and Stephanie Arianne for having penetrated world-class international productions. TBA Studios will continue supporting world-class Filipino talents in festivals like QCinema.” n

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