It’s a gathering of almost anything and everything Filipino in the 4th edition of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) that features at least 145 titles — 67 full-length films and 78 short films.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), as organizer of the PPP, extends the call for inclusion in the film industry as evidenced by the PPP4 poster that enjoins all stakeholders to “Sama All!” from October 31 to November 15.
The poster’s key elements represent films from the online festival’s 14 sections: PPP Short Films, Romance, Youth & Family, Classics, PH Oscar Entries, Genre, Bahaghari, Tribute, From the Regions, Documentaries, PPP Retro, Special Screenings, CineMarya, and PPP Premium Selection.
The 10 distinguished Premium Selection titles
Films that have never been released to the Philippine audience or had a limited release in the country comprise the esteemed Premium Selection section. National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik leads the Premium Selection roster with “Ang Lakaran ni Kabunyan: Kabunyan’s Journey to Liwanag.”
Two classic ‘80s films are part of the pack: “Batch ‘81” by Mike de Leon, which had the late Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda as executive producer and the late Mark Gil as the lead actor, and the restored version of “Brutal” by the late Marilou Diaz-Abaya from the FDCP’s Philippine Film Archive. Amy Austria, Charo Santos-Concio, and Gina Alajar headline “Brutal” along with the late Johnny Delgado and Jay Ilagan.
“The Helper” by Joanna Bowers is a documentary on Filipino and Indonesian domestic workers in Hong Kong while “Itoshi No Irene (Come On, Irene)” by Keisuke Yoshida is a live action manga series adaptation starring Ken Yasuda and Nats Sitoy that had an international premiere at the 2018 Busan International Film Festival.
Also included are Glenn Barit’s “Cleaners,” the Best Film in the Asian New Wave Competition of the 2019 QCinema International Film Festival, and Vincent Soberano’s “Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids.” The 2019 Urban Action Showcase International Action Film Festival Best Action Film and Best Martial Arts Film stars Soberano with Sarah Chang, Roxanne Barcelo, and Monsour del Rosario.
Three entries to the 2020 Sinag Maynila Film Festival round up the Premium section list: “He Who Is Without Sin” by Jason Paul Laxamana starring Elijah Canlas and Enzo Pineda, “Kintsugi” by Lawrence Fajardo starring JC Santos and Hiro Nishiuchi, and “The Highest Peak” by Arbi Barbarona starring Dax Alejandro and Mara Lopez.
CineMarya puts the spotlight on Filipino women
Another special PPP4 section will premiere the final 12 short films of the CineMarya Women’s Film Festival, an initiative of the FDCP in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Quezon City Film Development Council, and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). CineMarya challenges Filipino filmmakers to create women-centered short films that aim to empower women and men alike to propagate gender sensitization.
The Luzon finalists are “Daadaan Na (Her Walks)” by Julius Lumiqued, “Super-Able” by Arjanmar Rebeta, “Night Shift” by Mariel Ong, and “Dalaginding na si Isang” by Nigel Santos while those from the National Capital Region (NCR) are “Noontime Drama” by Kim Timan and Sam Villa-Real, “She’s Perfect” by Jochelle Casilad, “Hakab” by Mel Aguilar-Maestro, and “Super Woman” by Angela Andres.
“Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens” by Aimee Apostol-Escasa and “Binakol sa Dahon” by Gary Tabanera hail from Visayas and “Ola” by Mijan Jumalon and “Adira” by Jorzheema Hamid come from Mindanao. The 12 finalists each received seed money worth PHP 100,000 and they underwent mentorship at the Cinemarya Film Lab & Pitch in October 2018, Cinemarya Story Development Lab in December 2018, and Cinemarya Editing Lab in February.
Not only does CineMarya have its own PPP4 section, it will also hold events such as talkback and panel sessions. The CineMarya Awarding Ceremony in November will give out the following awards with corresponding cash prizes: Best Film, Best Director, Jury’s Choice, Best Screenplay, and other special awards.
A grand showcase of Philippine short films
In PPP Short Films, audiences will be treated to 66 free titles from the FDCP’s Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition and 21 regional film festivals. The featured Sine Kabataan past entries are “Sa Unang Araw ng Pasukan” by Arjen Manlapig, “Bato Bato Pik” by Lorys Plaza and Jaq Sanque, and “Kalakalaro” by Rodson Suarez.
The Luzon shorts are from CineKabalen: The Kapampangan Film Festival, North Luzon Film Festival, SINEliksik: Bulacan DocuFest, and Urduja Film Festival in Pangasinan while the Visayan shorts are from Binisaya Film Festival in Cebu, CineKasimanwa: The Western Visayas Film Festival and Bantayan Film Festival in Iloilo, Sine Negrense: Negros Island Film Festival and Bakunawa Film Festival in Bacolod, Margaha Film Festival in Sagay, and Lutas Negros Oriental Film Festival in Dumaguete.
The Mindanao shorts hail from cineANIMO Ozamiz Short Film Festival, Cine de Oro Film Festival in Cagayan de Oro, Davao Ngilngig Film Festival, Festival de Cine Paz Mindanao in Zamboanga, Mindanao Film Festival, Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition (NABIFILMEX), Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival and Sundayag Film Festival in General Santos City, SineBugsay: Caraga Region’s Film Festival, and Northern Mindanao Film Festival.
A call for solidarity during the pandemic situation
The “PPP4, Sama All!” slogan is not just for filmmakers but also for audiences so that they may appreciate Philippine Cinema and help in the FDCP’s goal of providing support to the film industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. All proceeds from the sales of PPP Festival Passes will go to the producers involved.
“This year’s PPP may be different, but I assure that it will continue to celebrate the heritage and potential of our film industry by spreading the love for Philippine Cinema. The festival will also promote solidarity because ultimately, PPP 4 is one way to help sustain the Filipino film industry in light of the pandemic’s devastating effects,” stated FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.
Aside from QCinema, Sinag Maynila, Sine Kabataan, and CineMarya, PPP4 also features titles from various producers as well as from Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, CineFilipino Film Festival, and ToFarm Film Festival. The Special Screenings section will show “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon” by Lav Diaz.
PPP4 will be held from October 31 to November 15 on the FDCPchannel.ph platform. The Early Bird Rate worth PHP 450 for the 16-day Full Run Pass (PHP 599) is available until October 15 only. Other subscription options are the Half Run Pass (PHP 299) for eight days, Day Pass (PHP 99), and Free Pass (for short films and public events). Discounts will be available beginning October 16 for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens (20%) and students (30%).