Queeriosity International Film Festival 2009 kicks off, Feb 11-17

Sagwan (The Paddle) is the story of an 18-year-old virgin who lives with boatmen in an idyllic Philippine tourist town. It is a twon where sexualities are suppressed and violated.It will hold its premiere this Wednesday, February 4 (9 pm), at the UP Film Institute.

The love month of February this year is pink with queer love as Filipino directors come together to launch the first Queeriosity International Film Festival (QIFF). The chosen films will be screened in Robinsons Galleria Movieworld and the University of the Philippines Film Institute in Diliman, Quezon City.

On February 4, two screenings will soft launch the festival at the UP Film Institute.

At 7 pm, four short films are sewn together under the omnibus title The Longest One Night Stands. The anthology presents the vignettes with titles: "Wait Waiter Wait" and "Tutok" by Cris Pablo; "Balot" by Harvey Estradough; and "Ang Pinakamahabang One Night Stand" by Eduardo Roy Jr.

By 9 pm on the same day, newcomer Monti Puno Parungao, will showcase his first full-length feature titled Sagwan (The Paddle). This indie film features six members of the hot hunks of Cappucino, an eight-man all-male group like the Viva Hot Men and Men of Provoq.

Produced by Rocca Productions, Sagwan features Ryan Dungo as Alfred, Dennis Torres, Martina Wilson, Heherson 'Giggle' Esmeralda, Alexander 'Tsoknat' Castillo, and Arnold Mendoza. Introducing Genesis 'Gino' Cabrillas, Mark Portus, Adrian Campos, Anton Vincent Malco and Erie Obsena.

The QIFF will then proceed to Robinsons Galleria on February 11-17 and will screen Hikbi (Cry of Redemption) by Felbert Go. The gritty indie production is directorial debut of Go who was encouraged by director Lav Diaz to retell his crisis-filled gay life on film.

The festival will also offer once again queer selections such as Paolo Villaluna's male prison romance Selda, Aureus Solito's coming of age in the slums story Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros and the ground breaking tale of a male masseur in Brillante Mendoza's Masahista. Other titles include Kurap and Love Birds by Ronnie Bertubin; Jay by Francis Pasion and Dose by Senedy Que.

Foreign titles to be screened in the Queeriosity IFF include Feeding Boys, Ayaya from China and A Very Natural Thing from the United States.

The launch of the QIFF aims to complement the community activities of clans and groups of bisexuals and gay men such as the Fabulous 30s & 40s, Panget Clan, HBOX, School Boys Society, Bi Males Clan, Bi-Pilipinas Charity, Elite Mens Circle, Binatang Pinoy, New Age Community, Quatros Elementos Clan and many others in promoting acceptance of homosexuality in society.

According to Cris Pablo, president of the indie film proponent Sinehan Digitales and QIFF founder, the Queeriosity event is their way of paying homage to the original grand dame of queer Pinoy fests, the Pink Film Festival, which traces its roots back to 1999.

"The present generation of gay and lesbian film makers and actors owe a huge debt to the indie film giant, Mr. Nick Deocampo, because his Pink Film inspired us to come out of the closet and present our community to public screenings. His example encouraged us to openly discuss queer sexuality without shame," said Pablo.

While not as grand as the original Pink, Pablo said the LGBT community should be proud of the humble contributions the QIFF can do to reinvigorate the Philippine cinema industry and the emerging pink video market.

For tickets, venues and other information, visit www.tagged.com/queeriosity

SAGWAN SYNOPSIS. Set in a charming provincial town in the Philippines, where the river and the hanging bridge are equally popular to the tourists as the young boatmen, Sagwan explores the emotions of Alfred (Ryan Dungo) as he reluctantly gives in to the awakening of the flesh that his peers indulge with wild abandon.

One unexpected chance makes him realize that ultimate pleasure lies beyond who you are and who you're with. Sagwan, directed by Monti Puno Parungao and produced by George Rocca Productions, will have its UNCUT premiere on February 4 (9 pm) at the UP Film Institute.






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