Filipino films kick off the year on a high note
In 2021 alone, Philippine cinema made lasting waves in the industry. Just take a look at John Arcilla's historic win at the 78th Venice International Film Festival for his performance in On The Job one of the best Filipino Films. Meanwhile, Carlo Manatad’s Whether The Weather is Fine bagged awards locally and internationally. It seemed like our filmmakers were on a roll and they went against all odds despite the pandemic.
Well, two Filipino films also started the year right by winning at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
Martika Ramirez Escobar's Leonor Will Never Die received the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Innovative Spirit. Described as a “film within a film,” the movie follows a former filmmaker who spends her remaining days inside an unfinished screenplay that she wrote. This lets Leonor experience and edit her work as she goes. In her Meet The Artist interview, Escobar shares that the seven-year-old project pays homage to 80s action-gangster films. Leonor Will Never Die is also a manifestation of her view on life: a long film we continuously edit and revise until it’s complete.
Meanwhile, Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan’s The Headhunter’s Daughter took home the Short Film Grand Jury Prize. Eblahan’s entry follows Lynn, an aspiring country singer from the Cordilleras. Lynn travels to Baguio City to pursue her dreams by auditioning for a music TV show. The movie was made the movie in the thick of the pandemic, with a team of six to eight people who share his identity. In his Meet The Artist video, Eblahan reiterates the call to support Indigenous voices.
As much as January felt like a fever dream plucked out of 2020, monumental wins such as these managed to turn things around. So continue supporting Filipino filmmakers and artists as much as you can because there are heights we can definitely reach.
Art Alexandra Lara