Two of the Philippines’ most critically-acclaimed independent film directors, Raymond Red and Zig Dulay, are among those who will be joining the 23rd French Film Festival. The festival, which will be held in selected Philippine cinemas starting Wednesday, June 6, will screen the Filipino directors’ award-winning films Anino, Himpapawid, and Bagahe.
Raymond Red is a pioneer of Philippine independent cinema and whose works are being recognized in the international film scene. His most notable piece, Anino, won Cannes Film Festival’s highest prize given for a short film, the Palme d’Or. Set in Old Manila, Anino features a down and out church photographer who wanders from the church in hopes to meet people who are willing to hire him. In doing so, he clashes with three characters who will soon change his life forever.
Himpapawid (Manila Skies)
Another one of Raymond Red’s most recognized works is Himpapawid (Manila Skies). The film has also impressed audiences from across the world, bagging numerous awards and nominations from both the local and international film scene. Himpapawid follows the story of a desperate, simple man from the countryside who is trying to make a living in the metropolis of Manila. In desperation, he joins an amateur gang plotting a heist to get even with a corrupt employer. This ultimately goes wayward and ends in devastation. Further hounded by guilt that his father is helplessly ill, he draws his last straw and plots the insane hijacking of a plane to finally take him to his ultimate destination – home or hell.
Zig Dulay is another Filipino filmmaker who is no stranger to the international scene. Earlier this year, his film Bagahe won the grand prize of the Vesoul Asian Film Festival, the Cyclo d’or award. Focusing on the struggle of being an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), Bagahe tells the story of a Filipina OFW who is believed to be a suspect to a case about a newborn child thrown into a trash bin of an airplane toilet. What unfolds in the film is the whole truth behind a mother who is abused, and the measures in which she is taken care of by her motherland.
Anino, Himpapawid (Manila Skies), and Bagahe will be screened on June 12 in selected Philippine cinemas. The screening is part of the 23rd French Film Festival which will also feature 21 French films that embody the richness and depth of the French society through the creativity of French filmmakers. For more information about the festival, visit www.ph.ambafrance.org.
Text by Aizel Dolom.