Indie director Francis Xavier Pasion will sit as a jury member in this year's of the Vladivostok International Film Festival. The 7th edition of this film fest will be held in Vladivostok (Russia's principal Pacific port) from September 19-25.
Last year, Brillante Mendoza won as Best Director while Gina Pareño was named Best Supporting Actress for Serbis in the said film fest.
Also known as the Pacific Meridian, this annual event aims to present the cinema of Asia Pacific Region in Russia and develop cultural exchange among the Asia Pacific countries, among others.
In the official website of the Vladivostok IFF, Direk Francis is described as a Philippine independent filmmaker who has won local and international awards for his first feature film, Jay. It had its international premiere at the Venice International Film Festival and has been invited to 27 international film festivals. Jay, which stars Baron Geisler and Coco Martin, won 6 international awards in Berlin, Barcelona, Geneva, Bahamas, Bangkok, and Mexico.
Direk Francis is a cum laude graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, where he majored in Communication and directed award-winning short films. He founded the first film organization in the university: the Loyola Film Circle, which supports film production and education in his country. He is currently working on his second feature film and teaching film at the Ateneo de Manila University.
The jury head of the Vladivostok IFF is Chow Keung of China while the other members are Chiu Mui Tan of Malaysia, Shunji Iwai of Japan, and Leonid Rybakov of Russia.
Aside from having a Filipino jury member, this year's Vladivostok IFF has a special section dedicated to Pinoy films.
Called Focus on Philippines, this section will feature the following independent films: 100 (starring Eugene Domingo and Mylene Dizon), Adela (starring Anita Linda), Khavn De La Cruz Shorts (which will feature 12 of his short films), and Brillante Mendoza's Kinatay (starring Coco Martin). The Cinemalaya 2008 Best Film Jay is also part of this section.