Brillante "Dante" Mendoza's certificate that he received as
Best Director of the Cannes Film Festival was displayed at the top floor of
Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street, earlier today, August 4. His other framed
certificates were on display as part of the press conference to announce that
the 11th edition of Cinemanila will be held from October 15 to 25, 2009
in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Given his impressive credentials as a filmmaker, it is not surprising to learn that Direk Dante has been tapped to be the chairman of the jury for Cinemanila 2009.
In 2006, his film about a young Aeta girl titled Manoro bagged the Grand Prize in the Digital Lokal section of Cinemanila. Three years later, Direk Dante is now the one in a position to select the films that will win in the longest-running film festival in the Philippines.
Aside from Direk Dante, the other key people who conducted the presscon were Amable "Tikoy" Aguiluz VI, founding festival director of Cinemanila; Robert Malengreau, who heads the international desk of Cinemanila; Anima Aguiluz-Slangen, festival co-director; and Kaye Tinga, co-chair of the 2009 executive committee.
Mrs Tinga is the wife of Taguig mayor Freddie Tinga, who has offered his city as a "long-term" home for the annual film festival.
TALK ASIA. Next month, Direk Dante will be featured in the half-hour program Talk Asia, which provides an in-depth look of newsmakers in the fields of arts, politics, sports and business.
Anna Coren of Talk Asia arrived in the Philippines yesterday, August 3, and left this afternoon to return to the CNN office in Hong Kong. After the press conference of Cinemanila, the interviewer chatted briefly with Anita Linda and Direk Dante as part of this special episode.
ASIA-PACIFIC SCREEN AWARDS. Another CNN show will feature Direk Dante in honor of his great achievement in the international film circuit.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to interview Karen Berkman, the producer of the said CNN show. She and her crew arrived from Australia last Friday, July 31, in time for the awarding ceremony that was given to Direk Dante at the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts. They will shoot footage of Direk Dante for about a week, as he goes about his duties as a filmmaker.
It will be recalled that in last year's Asia-Pacific Screen Awards, the Ishmael Bernal film Himala (1982) won as the Asia-Pacific Best Film of All Time.
Berkman explains: "I work for the CNN Asia-Pacific Screen Awards and we're making four magazine shows in CNN, which will air around November, one episode a week. It will be screened internationally and it will be used when the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards are announced. We will feature filmmakers around the Asia-Pacific region.
"We came here because Brillante has won Best Director in Cannes and Raya Martin had a special screening in Cannes so obviously there's something happening in the Philippines," she said with a smile.
Direk Raya's Independencia is the first Filipino film to take part in the Un Certain Regard section of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival.
"The Philippines has a deep history in cinema," said the producer, who is also currently employed in CNN's office in Australia. "People like Brillante and Raya don't just suddenly appear. They're here because there is a strong filmmaking tradition here.
"Our purpose is to give filmmakers in the Asia-Pacific region, in this case, the Philippines, the chance to seen and heard."
She says that this their way of helping filmmakers penetrate the very competitive film industry abroad.
"Hollywood dominates so much so it's difficult for filmmakers of the Asia-Pacific region—even though they have a wonderful, rich heritage of telling stories—it's hard for their films to be seen."
Berkman expressed her admiration for Pinoy filmmakers because of their ability to maximize the limited resources that they have.
"Filipinos make films in a different way that is very, very fast and we're interested in that as well. A lot of filmmakers know how to work fast with a low budget. It's nothing like Hollywood," she emphasized.
The 11th edition of Cinemanila will be held from October 15 to 25, 2009 in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. Around 100 international and local films will be screened in a span of 10 days-from the current toasts of the local indie scene to award-winners and favourites at prestigious festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Sundance and Pusan. The festival will also feature workshops, seminars, and master classes. Filmmakers are encouraged to submit their entries to the various sections of Cinemanila. Details can be found at www.cinemanila.org