The Cinemalaya 2009 entries Dinig Sana Kita and Colorum will take part in the 36th edition of the Brussels International Independent Film Festival.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to confirm this with Mr. Robert Malengreau, director general of the filmfest that will take place in Belgium from November 3-8, 2009.
Colorum is a road-trip movie starring Alfred Vargas and Lou Veloso, while Dinig Sana Kita is a love story between a young deaf boy and a young girl who abuses her hearing.
In the awarding ceremony of Cinemalaya, Lou Veloso was named Best Actor while Dinig Sana Kita bagged the awards for Audience Choice (Full Length) and Best Musical Score, as well as a special prize from the National Council for Children's Television.
Colorum is helmed by Jon Stefan Ballesteros and Dinig Sana Kita is directed by Mike Sandejas.
These two Filipino films will compete against 19 entries chosen worldwide. "Imagine, for each country, only one. And for the Philippines, I chose two," said Mr. Malengrau with a smile.
Why did he pick Dinig Sana Kita?
"It's a very strong movie. I salute it. My festival [has been ongoing for the past] 36 years, and 17 years ago, I started showing movies about deaf people. Every year, in the festival, I have a special section for them. And we have also a congress about it. I know that these people are movie lovers!"
Since 1992, the Brussels IIFF has been hosting an annual meeting for the deaf in Belgium.
What can he say about Colorum?
"It's very good and the two actors are wonderful," he said. "Lou Veloso and also Alfred Vargas. Fantastic! Alfred Vargas is fantastic.
"The film is very strong. It's a road movie, but not really a road movie. It's about the collision of two men, the relationship between them and the movie also shows the reality of the Philippines today. The reality of women, priests, etc. The film is very good."
Mr. Malengrau currently heads the international desk of the 2009 Cinemanila International Film Festival, which will run from October 15-25. (CLICK HERE to read related article about Cinemanila.)
He has been an active supporter of Filipino films for more than 20 years, during which he has stayed in the Philippines most of the time. In fact, he was honored as the Lifetime Achievement Awardee of Cinemanila two years ago for his contribution to the development of independent cinema in Belgium and his promotion of Asian films in Europe.
In 2008, Mr. Malengrau was also presented with a symbolic Key to the City of Manila by Mayor Alfredo Lim.
PINOY FILMS IN BELGIUM. Also known as the Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bruxelles, the Brussels IIFF has been held annually in Belgium since 1974.
In the 35th edition of the Brussels IIFF, the Cinemalaya 2008 entry Brutus won as Best Asian Film. The film directed by Tara Illenberger is an environmental film focusing on the practice of Mangyans transporting illegal logs down a river in Mindoro.
Meanwhile, the Prix du Meilleur Acteur (Best Actor Award) was given to Yul for playing the lead roles in two entries: Torotot, a sex film about crimes of passion, and Brutus.
The Brillante Mendoza film Foster Child was also selected to be the closing film in last year's Brussels IIFF.
In past editions of the Belgian filmfest, Yul Servo bagged Best Actor Awards for Batang Westside and Naglalayag. Three generations of Quizons—Dolphy, Eric Quizon, and Epi Quizon—were given a Best Ensemble Actor award for Markova. Vilma Santos, Sharon Cuneta, and Nora Aunor also bagged Best Actress awards for their movies Dekada '70, Crying Ladies, and Naglalayag, respectively.