L’ITALIA AMA LE FILIPPINE
The best of Filipino filmmaking is highlighted at the third European Philippine International Film Festival, as it goes virtual and viral
The European Philippine International Film Festival (EPIFF ) will hold its third edition this 2020 online due to the COVID19 pandemic. Founded by renowned filmmakers, Ruben Soriquez and Maurizio Baldini, and in partnership with the Philippine Italian Association (PIA), the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ICCPI) under the auspices of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the EPIFF will take place from Oct. 24 to 25.
After its successful first two editions, the EPIFF will continue to host the festival that promotes the art of Filipino cinema in Italy and all over Europe as well even with the current situation. This festival is a means to allow both Italians and other Europeans to have a better understanding of the complexity of the Philippine society. From its diverse and rich culture to its amazingly beautiful landscapes, the country will be showcased at the EPIFF during the two-day festival to people all over Europe through the new indie and classic movie streaming platform at iWatchMore.
The festival will display five films that will be competing for the coveted EPIFF awards such as the Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and the Audience Award. The previous two editions saw Honor thy Father by Erick Matti and El Peste by Richard Somes winning the Best Film award at the EPIFF 2018 and 2019, respectively.
This 2020, these are the five films that will be competing.
Sonata by Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes
This 2013 film starring Cherie Gil and Carlo Jalandoni is of a woman (Gil) whose whole life revolves around her art. She goes on a self-destructive spiral once she loses it. Carlo plays the role of the young boy who helps Gil’s character to get out of the deep funk she’s in and to slowly fall in love with her art once more.
Badil by Chito S. Roño
Also known as Dynamite Fishing, this 2013 film takes place in a small village in the Philippines on the eve of an election. It stars Jhong Hilario whose role is to make sure that his father’s responsibility to the incumbent Mayor del Mundo is fulfilled even after his father falls ill on the eve of the election. The film revolves around how politics is heavily related to corruption during this era and how far people will go to get what they want.
Bamboo Flowers by Maryo Delos Reyes
Irma Adlawan, Ruru Madrid, Orlando Sol, and Mylene Dizon star in this 2013 film where each of their characters is having a difficult time getting through life. As the title suggests, the film follows these people as they face their own challenges in life but overall the film features how resilient they are despite it all, just like the bamboo plant.
The Crescent Rising by Sheron Dayoc
The 2015 award-winning documentary film focuses on Mindanao’s forgotten people through three different lenses of characters who are unfortunately caught in a crossfire of unwavering faith and ambiguous histories. The themes of war and justice are highlighted in the film as it showcases what war can do to people, families, and communities.
Land from God by Kevin Piamonte
This short film that was shown in 2018 tackles the numerous struggles that the Ati tribe has to go through in their quest to preserve their culture in the rapid modernization and commercialization of the famous tourist spot, Boracay.
Aside from the five competing films, the 2020 EPIFF will also be showcasing two films for everyone to enjoy by the festival’s very own founders. Ruben Maria Soriquez’s 2019 film named The Spiders’ Man is one of the non-competing films available during this years’ EPIFF, in which two half-brothers, one of whom is affected by autism and schizophrenia, have thieves burst into their home. When the thieves fail to find any money, chaos ensures and things get out of hand. Maurizio Baldini’s 2016 film called Dalisay is the second non-competing film in the festival. It stars Sue Prado whose character goes through an unfortunate accident in which she also loses both parents. As she grows closer to a woman called Nida, she gets to know what higher love is and how the rhythm of nature affects each of our souls.
The third edition of the EPIFF will be hosted by the virtual godmother of the 2020 EPIFF, Cherie Gil herself! EPIFF is organized by the Island Stream Cultural Association of Florence, Italy, in partnership with various organizations in the Philippines. You can learn more about the festival by visiting www.epiff.org/ or www.iwatchmore.com/categories/epiff