The Cleaners: The toast of QCinema International Film Festival 2019

Images courtesy of QCinema

A crowd drawer and indie film Cleaners bagged the Asian Next Wave’s Best film and Best Screenplay awards in the recently concluded QCinema International Film Festival that ran from October 13 to 22. The coming of age film anthology was directed by Glenn Barit, who depicted the stories of a bunch of high school cleaners onscreen by editing and piecing together 3000 photocopied black and white images. The eight main characters of class 2007 were hand colored by highlighters to make them distinct while animated in the black and white film.

Chinese director Seng Qui of Suburban Birds garnered the NETPAC July Prize and Filipino director Rae Red captured the Best Director award for her work on Babae at Baril. The same film won the Gender Sensitivity Award, while its lead actress, Janine Gutierrez, received the Best Actress title. Por Silatsa of the Laotian film, The Long Walk, was judged Best Actor.

The Best Editing award went to Lee Chatametikool for the Thai and German film Nakorn-Sawan.

The Asian Next Wave competition involves emerging filmmakers from the Southeast Asian region and on its first year, up-and-coming Filipino directors were pitted against five indie filmmakers from other countries.

Jean Cheryl Tagayamon’s short film Judy Free won Best Short Film in the QCShorts competition, while Bontoc-based filmmaker Carla Pulido Ocampo won the Special Jury Prize for Tokwifi. Excuse Me Miss Miss Miss by Sonny Calvento was awarded the Audience choice Award for shorts.

Judy Free is about a young girl’s reality that she had to confront when her OFW father suddenly returns home with a 2D animated doodle figure. Tokwifi is a visual interpretation of a folklore wherein a Bontoc Igorot man interacts with a 1950s mestiza he found from a TV that fell from the heavens. The Excuse Me Miss Miss Miss short film tells of a saleslady who discovers the ultimate key to regularization amidst the call to end “endo” job culture.

Renowned screenwriter Ricky Lee headed the international set of jury for the Asian Next Wave competition with members Richard Bolisay, Toshiyuki Hasegawa, Phan Dang Di, and Claire Marty.

For the QCShorts competition the jury was composed of Sari Dalena, Jun Sabayton, and Benjamin Tolention.

Aside from the competitions, another highlight of this year’s QCinema was the recognition given to one of the living pillars of the film industry and his contribution. For the first time in seven years, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Vic Del Rosario, also known as “Boss Vic” of Viva Films.

This year’s festival screened a total of 73 titles presented in 10 categories. Twelve of these have received generous grants, which are three full-feature films, six short films, and three documentaries. The screening venues were at Gateway Cineplex 10, Robinsons Movieworld Galleria Ortigas, Ayala Malls Cinema Trinoma, Cinema Centenario, Cinema 76 Anonas, and Cine Adarna.

The festival partners are Quezon City Film Development Commission, The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, The Film Development Council of The Philippines, Sine Sandaan, Australian Embassy, Embassy of France, Japan Foundation, Embassy of the Republic Of Singapore, Viva Communications, ABS-CBN Sagip Pelikula, CMB Film Services, Outpost, Novotel Manila Araneta City, Cinema Bravo, ClickTheCity, GMA 7, Phar Philippines, Film Geek Guy, Film Police, Pelikula Mania, PEP.ph, MagandaBa, MagandaBa Movie, When in Manila, Unreel, Geoffreview, Explore Philippines, BusinessMirror, and Jura Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Image credits: QCinema



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