Last August 8, PEP reported that the indie film Selda (international title: The Inmate) is the first Filipino film to compete in the 32nd Montreal World Film Festival in Canada.
Selda is competing for the Golden Alexander award, which is given each year by a seven-member international jury accompanied by a 37,000 Euro cash prize, the Special Jury Award-Silver Alexander (accompanied by 22,000 Euro cash prize), as well as awards for Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Artistic Achievement.
The first seven of Thessaloniki's 14-film competition line up with the European premieres of three Asian films among highlights scheduled for its 49th edition. The movies getting their European bows are prison drama The Inmate, by Filipino directors Ellen Ramos and Paolo Villaluna; Korean director Kim Dong-joo's A Broom Becomes a Goldfish, about a poor, middle-aged man's descent into madness; and coming-of-age film Winds of September by Taiwanese director Tom Shu-yu Lin.
The competition, which is exclusively for first and second films, will also show anti-war opus Three Blind Mice, the second film of Australian newcomer Matthew Newton; Argentinean director Celina Murga's sophomore study of teenage life, One Week Alone; and The Hourglass, Hungarian director Szabolcs Tolnai's adaptation of Danilo Kis' autobiographical trilogy about a train inspector in war-torn central Europe of the 1970s. This year's edition will also feature Ordinary Boys, the debut of Spain's Daniel Hernandez, set in an impoverished Muslim neighborhood.
Festival director Despina Mouzaki said programming had been influenced by last year's success of The Red Awn by Chinese director Shangjun Cai, which won the festival's top prize, the Golden Alexander award.
Selda stars Ara Mina, Sid Lucero, and Emilio Garcia. It is represented by Ignatius Films Canada.