Two Filipino films will be screened at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which will run from September 8 to 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.
Award-winning film director Brillante Mendoza's 2016 Cannes Film Festival entry Ma'Rosa is among the 21 feature films chosen by TIFF for its Masters section.
Jaclyn Jose, who won the Best Actress award at Cannes, leads the cast of the film featuring Julio Diaz, Andi Eigenmann, Felix Roco, Jomari Angeles, Inna Tuason, and Maria Isabel Lopez.
According to the website of Toronto IFF, the Masters programme is a showcase of "the latest bold, exciting, and moving works from masters of contemporary cinema from around the world."
Ma'Rosa is described as a film which "incisively explores the street-level corruption of the Duterte-era Philippines with this tragicomic tale about a low-level drug dealer (Jaclyn Jose, Best Actress winner at Cannes) on a desperate search for cash to pay a bribe to the local cops."
Some of the films that made it on the Masters section of TIFF include Kelly Reichardt's Certain Women and Olivier Assayas' Personal Shopper which both stars Kristen Stewart, and Cristian Mungiu's Graduation, among many others.
Meanwhile, Lav Diaz's film Ang Babaeng Humayo, with the international title The Woman Who Left, is part of Toronto IFF's line-up of 51 avant-garde films for its Wavelengths section.
TIFF describes the film as a drama which "examines economic disparity in modern Filipino society through the eyes of a woman released from prison 30 years after being framed and wrongly convicted."
The film stars ABS-CBN executive Charo Santos-Concio and was shot entirely at her hometown in Calapan, Mindoro. The cast members of the film also include John Lloyd Cruz, Michael de Mesa, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Nonie Buencamino, Marj Lorico, Mayen Estanero, Romelyn Sale, Lao Rodriguez, Jean Judith Javier, Mae Paner, and Kakai Bautista.
In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), Charo said the film is about a woman learning to deal with her past.
She revealed, "It’s about love and revenge, and transcendence of one’s humanity. How do you let go of your past? How do you let go of your baggages? How does one go back after going through so much pain in life? How does one begin to appreciate the endearing goodness in man?"
Lav's new film is inspired by Russian author Leo Tolstoy's short story God Sees the Truth, But Waits, which is about a man wrongly accused of murder and was later sent to prison.
Aside from TIFF, Ang Babaeng Humayo will also compete at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival which will run on August 31 to September 10, 2016.