A film made of photocopied stills and hand colored with highlighter pens was the big winner at the 2019 QCinema International Film Festival.
Cleaners of debuting filmmaker Glenn Barit won Best Film, besting seven other films in the QCinema’s main competition section called Asian Next Wave. The nostalgic coming-of-age film Cleaners, set in schoolyear 2007 - 2008 in a high school in Tuguegarao, also bagged the Audience Choice award and Best Screenplay award.
Glenn Barit said in his speech: "Nag training ako scriptwriting kay Sir Ricky Lee. Kahit wala ang award na ito, yung yakap lang ni Ricky Lee after our gala screening, panalo na kami."
Two other new directors bagged major awards. Chinese Qui Sheng won the NETPAC Jury Prize for Suburban Birds and Filipino filmmaker Rae Red brought home the best director award for her first solo-directorial work, Babae at Baril. The film Babae at Baril also won the Gender Sensitivity Award.
Janine Gutierrez was hailed as Best Actress for playing a saleslady in Babae at Baril. In her acceptance speech, Janine said, "Para sa mga babaeng patuloy na lumalaban, para sa inyong lahat ang award na ito."
Por Silatsa of the Laotian film The Long Walk was named Best Actor. Lee Chatametikool of the Thai and German film Nakorn-Sawan was recognized for his artistic contribution in film editing.
It is the first time QCinema pitted its local grantees against Asian directors in this competition section, Asian Next Wave (ANW) Competition. It put in ANW's wing the former cluster -- Circle Competition, which was for the Filipino filmmakers.
In the QCShorts competition, Judy Free won best short film for Che Tagayamon, a recent UP film graduate. Judy Free is about a young girl whose reality is intruded when her father, an overseas Filipino worker, brought home an animated doodle figure.
The Special Jury Prize was awarded to Bontoc-based filmmaker, Carla Pulido Ocampo. The comedy short Excuse Me Miss Miss Miss by Sonny Calvento garnered the audience choice award for shorts.
This year’s batch of winners is an affirmation of the festival’s theme, Rising Wave, which recognizes debuting and female filmmakers. The international set of jury for the Asian Next Wave is headed by renowned screenwriter Ricky Lee. The members are Richard Bolisay, Toshiyuki Hasegawa, Phan Dang Di, and Claire Marty.
The QCShorts competition jury members are Sari Dalena, Jun Sabayton, and Benjamin Tolentino.
Also, for the first time in 7 years, QCinema recognized the contribution of one of the living pillars of the film industry.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Mr. Vic del Rosario or "Boss Vic" of Viva Films. This 7th edition of QCinema is its biggest yet, with 73 titles contained in 10 sections.
Twelve of these have received generous grants, which are 3 full-feature films, 6 shorts, and 3 documentaries.
The festival will run until October 22 at Gateway Cineplex 10, Robinsons Movieworld Galleria Ortigas, Ayala Malls Cinema Trinoma, Cinema Centenario, Cinema 76 Anonas, and Cine Adarna.