By The Manila Times
The Sunday Times Magazine
The Manila Times
October 11, 2020
The festive and communal spirit of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) continues this year with its fourth edition, albeit in a virtual platform. Despite the limitations due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, PPP4 will bring the film festival experience online with at least 145 titles.
Besides screening 67 full-length films and 78 short films on the FDCPchannel.ph platform, PPP4 will also grant access to the film community by holding talkback and panel sessions, workshops, and masterclasses. This year’s online edition ensures to retain and grow the PPP Community, which has always been crucial to the festival’s success since 2017.
National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik in a still from “Ang Lakaran ni Kabunyan: Kabunyan’s Journey to Liwanag,” which he also directs.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) is hard at work in preparing for PPP4, hoping that the festival can help sustain the Filipino film industry in light of the devastating effects of the pandemic. All proceeds from the sales of PPP Festival Passes will go directly to the producers involved.
PPP4, which is slated from October 31 to November 15, has a total of 14 sections: PPP Short Films (free), Romance, Youth & Family, Classics, PH Oscar Entries, Genre, Bahaghari, Tribute, From the Regions, Documentaries, PPP Retro, Special Screenings, CineMarya and PPP Premium Selection.
Amy Austria in a still from “Brutal” by Marilou Diaz-Abaya.
I can’t wait for everyone to check out our curated lineup which has a little bit of everything for Philippine Cinema audiences. Our “PPP4, Sama All!” slogan represents the industry’s solidarity through the festival and enjoins audiences to be part of screenings and events.
The esteemed PPP Premium Selection
Films that had a limited release in the country or have never been released to the Philippine audience comprise the PPP Premium Selection section. National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik leads the roster with “Ang Lakaran ni Kabunyan: Kabunyan’s Journey to Liwanag.”
Elijah Canlas in a still from “He Who Is Without Sin” by Jason Paul Laxamana.
Two classic ‘80s films are also included. The first is “Batch ‘81” by Mike de Leon, which had the late Mark Gil as the lead actor and the late Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda as executive producer. The second is 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 Jay Ilagan and Johnny Delgado.
You might be surprised to see two Japanese titles in the PPP Premium Selection, but these have Filipino characters that are significant to the story. “Itoshi No Irene (Come On, Irene)” by Keisuke Yoshida is a live action manga series adaptation that had an international premiere at the 2018 Busan International Film Festival. Its lead stars are Japanese actor Ken Yasuda and Filipino actress Nats Sitoy.
There are two Japanese titles in the PPP Premium Selection — “Itoshi No Irene” by Keisuke Yoshida and “Kintsugi” by Lawrence Fajardo — that have Filipino characters who are significant to the story.
“Kintsugi” by Lawrence Fajardo, meanwhile, has Japanese actress Hiro Nishiuchi and Gawad Urian Nominee JC Santos. “Kintsugi,” which pertains to the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with gold, is about the highs and lows of falling in love. It is an entry to the 2020 Sinag Maynila Film Festival.
Two more Sinag Maynila entries, both dramas, are part of the PPP Premium Selection. These are Jason Paul Laxamana’s “He Who Is Without Sin” starring Elijah Canlas and Enzo Pineda, and Arbi Barbarona’s “The Highest Peak” starring Dax Alejandro and Mara Lopez.
Rounding up the PPP Premium Selection list are “The Helper” by Joanna Bowers, “Cleaners” by Glenn Barit, and “Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids” by Vincent Soberano. “The Helper” is a documentary on Indonesian and Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong while “Cleaners” is the 2019 QCinema International Film Festival Best Film in the Asian New Wave Competition.
“Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids,” which stars Soberano, Sarah Chang, Roxanne Barcelo, and Monsour del Rosario, is the Best Action Film and Best Martial Arts Film in the 2019 Urban Action Showcase International Action Film Festival.
CineMarya short films to further gender equality
Another special section in PPP4 is CineMarya. It will serve as the platform for the premiere of the final 12 short films of the CineMarya Women’s Film Festival, an initiative of the FDCP in partnership with the Quezon City Film Development Council, Philippine Commission on Women, and Department of the Interior and Local Government.
CineMarya challenges Filipino filmmakers to create women-centered short films that will hopefully inspire and empower women and men alike to make gender sensitization the norm. Other CineMarya events that will take place in PPP4 are the talkback sessions, panel sessions and awarding ceremony.
I am so proud of our 12 finalists for making it to PPP4. After each receiving seed money worth P100,000, they attended the Cinemarya Film Lab & Pitch in October 2018, Cinemarya Story Development Lab in December 2018, and Cinemarya Editing Lab in February. And now, they are less than three weeks away from their premiere at a national film festival.
“Dad-aan Na (Her Walks)” by Julius Lumiqued, “Super-Able” by Arjanmar Rebeta, “Night Shift” by Mariel Ong, and “Dalaginding na si Isang” by Nigel Santos are our Luzon finalists.
From the National Capital Region (NCR), we have “Noontime Drama” by Kim Timan and Sam Villa-Real, “She’s Perfect” by Jochelle Casilad, “Hakab” by Mel Aguilar, and “Super Woman” by Angela Andres.
“Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens” by Aimee Apostol-Escasa and “Binakol sa Dahon” by Gary Tabanera come from Visayas. Finally, “Ola” by Mijan Jumalon and “Adira” by J.I. Hamid are from Mindanao.
Be part of the PPP4 festival experience online
The Premium Selection and CineMarya are just two of the many interesting and enticing sections of PPP4. There is not enough space for all 14 sections today, so expect me to talk about the other sections in the coming weeks. I would just like to add that our Special Screenings section will feature “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon” by Lav Diaz.
I am optimistic that the PPP4 will continue the festival’s tradition of showing quality films and promoting the love and appreciation for Philippine Cinema. In this light, we wish to invite more viewers by offering The Early Bird Rate is available until October 15.
Other PPP4 subscription options are the Half-Run Pass (P299) for eight days, Day Pass (P99), and Free Pass for the short films and public events. Beginning October 16, a 30-percent student discount will be offered while persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens can get a 20-percent discount.
I hope to see you virtually at the PPP4 where you will discover the vast talents of Philippine Cinema and be one with the film community in celebrating the remarkable heritage and incredible potential of the Filipino film industry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Actress and Presidential appointee Liza Diño Seguerra is the incumbent chairman of the Film Development Council of the Philippines. She writes a weekly column titled “Notes from the Chair” in this magazine’s “Arts Awake” section. Following this special cover story, she will resume her column next week for The Sunday Times Magazine.
Click HERE to view the cover story on The Manila Times website.