ERIK MATTI’s (2018) and
(2013) are to be screened this week at the ongoing New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF). They and four others make up the largest lineup of Filipino films in the festival since 2013, according to the festival’s website.
“This is a very big opportunity to showcase what kinds of films are currently in the Philippines,” said Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) CEO and Chairman Mary Liza B. Diño in the vernacular during the sendoff press conference on June 10 at the Cocoon Hotel in Quezon City.
“This is our biggest film contingent in North America so far. [ The region] is really, really hard to penetrate,” she said before explaining that directors like Lav Diaz and Brillante Mendoza, among others, have already made a name for themselves in European film fests like the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival, but very few Filipino films have made it through to the North American film market.
First held in 2002, NYAFF generally features contemporary premieres and classic titles from Eastern Asia and Southeast Asia with genres ranging from horror to crime and action. The festival is organized by Subway Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
This year’s festival runs from June 29 to July 15.
Mr. Matti’s an action film about the drug war which stars Anne Curtis-Smith and MMA fighter Brandon Vera, will have its world premiere at the festival and also serves as the festival’s closing film on July 15 at the SVA Theater.
“On the surface, it is structured like an action film in the vein of [with] narcs taking down a drug kingpin against insurmountable odds over one unrelenting rainy night. The film employed 309 stuntmen and features a wildly ambitious three-minute, one-cut action scene. Being a Matti film, it also offers a searing perspective on the ongoing drug war and broader issues of political corruption,” noted the festival website.
Three other Filipino films were chosen that also tackle the ongoing drug war: ( 2017) by Alberto “Treb” Monteras II which is competing in the festival’s Tiger Unleashed section and screens on July 14 at the SVA Theater; Mikhail Red’s ( 2017), which was screened on July 5 at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center; and Mr. Matti’s