Ipapalabas sa Santa Monica, California on November 4 to 11 ang award-winning indie film na Engkwentro, directed by the 22-year-old filmmaker na si Pepe Diokno. Bahagi ito ng 30th American Film Market na magiging daan para magkaroon ng global commercial distribution ang naturang indie film.
Bukod sa Engkwentro, pupunta rin sa AFM ang pelikula ni Yam Laranas na Patient X. (CLICK HERE to read related article)
Isang achievement ulit ito para sa Engkwentro na nagkaroon ng Special Mention mula sa jury ng 2009 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Sa American Film Market ay naroroon ang mga tinatawag na Hollywood’s "wheelers and dealers" na siyang puwedeng maging distributor ng pelikula. This year ay more than 5,000 films ang catalogue ng AFM.
Noong isang linggo ay pumirma ng contract si Pepe Diokno with Shoreline Entertainment, isang elite Hollywood feature film production and distribution company na pinangungunahan ng iconic film producer na si Morris Ruskin.
Nakuha ng Engkwentro ang top prize sa Orizzonti (New Horizons) program ng 66th Venice International Film Festival last September 2. Naiuwi rin ni Diokno ang "Lion of the Future" prize, formally known as the Luigi de Laurentiis Venice Award for a Debut Film. Bukod sa tropeo ay may kasamang cash prize ito ng $100,000 na donated ng Filmauro.
Pinuri ang Filipino film na ito "for its bravery, novel storytelling, and technical achievement." Engkwentro is a story of two teenage brothers, Richard and Raymond, na kabilang sa rival teen gangs. Richard is the leader of Bagong Buwan samantalang neophyte member naman si Raymond ng Batang Dilim. Naging komplikado ang lahat nang utusan si Raymond ng kanilang leader na patayin nito ang kanyang kapatid na si Richard para maging full-pledged member siya ng kanilang gang.
Sa isang interview nga kay Diokno ay natutuwa ito at naglikha ng attention mula sa international film market ang kanyang pelikula.
"Our film is now being represented in Hollywood by Shoreline Entertainment, one of the most important film distribution companies in the U.S.
"We just signed a contract with them last week. They will handle selling Engkwentro worldwide and will represent it at the American Film Market in November," ani Diokno.
"A showing in the American Film Market, however, does not guarantee a buyer. So we are all crossing our fingers that we would generate interest from buyers.
"We are trying to steer Engkwentro away from the indie film circuit. After winning two awards in the 66th Venice Biennale, we received numerous inquiries and feelers from many people from all over the world."
Among the foreign companies strongly interested in distributing his debut film are those coming from France, Great Britain, and Germany.