Film: Far East Film Festival to welcome PH delegation in Italy; showcases 9 PH films and a Manila Special Section

MANILA, PHILIPPINES— Nine Filipino films, two Filipino film projects, one Filipino series, and a delegation of filmmakers and talents, together with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) participated at the hybrid 24th Far East Film Festival (FEFF) in Udine, Italy which ran last April 22 until April 30, 2022.

The week-long jam-packed festivities at what is considered as one of the leading Asian film festivals in Europe presented a total of 72 films from 15 countries, selected from over 400 submissions.

With the UniPhilippines and FilmPhilippines Office, the FDCP led the PH delegation that participated in six events at this year’s FEFF. 


Three Filipino films, Leonor Will Never Die by Martika Escobar, Reroute by Lawrence Fajardo, and Rabid by Erik Matti were In Competition with 39 films from other Asian countries including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and South Korea. Erik Matti’s On the Job 2: The Missing 8 is one of the 7 films featured on Best of Best Section in the Out of Competition category joining films from other Asian countries, Cambodia and Indonesia.

A special section, “Visions of Manila in Philippine Movies,” a dedicated retrospective of five Manila-themed films presenting the lifestyle of the city is also included in the festival program. Two of which are restored classics, Ishmael Bernal’s Manila by Night and Lino Brocka’s Manila sa Kuko ng Liwanag which were available for the Italian audience. Completing the showcase are Metro Manila by Sean Ellis, Neomanila by Mikhail Red, and Slingshot by Brillante Mendoza which were screened in Cinema Visionario, Udine. A gala night for the World Premiere of Manila by Night was one of the events that highlighted the Philippines. 

FDCP’s FilmPhilippines presented its incentive programs to one of the leading markets exclusive to the European-Asian film market, Focus Asia. The three-day event in the latter part of the festival was dedicated for networking of film professionals in connecting their projects with producers, distributors, exhibitors, or festival directors. The potential co-productions and co-funding within Asia and Europe filmmaking industry are the main focus of the two events under the film market. The FDCP joined the “Funding News” alongside the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) and Spain’s Catalunya Film Commission (CFC). Likewise, FDCP and CFC participated in FocusAsia Industry Circles. Filipino producer Alemberg Ang was one of the speakers at the Plan 75 plenary at the European-Asian film market. Included in the selected projects pitched at Focus Asia 2022 is Joel Ruiz’s Love at 310, a short series about the different stories of love in a motel. 

In its 13th edition, Ties that Bind (TTB) Workshop selected 25 film projects for the two-part workshop created for film professionals to have comprehensive knowledge of the European and Asian film industries. Two Filipinos have joined the first half of the workshops online and continued their TTB participation in-person in Italy this week. Alemberg Ang, co-producer of Picture House, an ASEAN Co-Production Fund (ACOF) grantee of FDCP’s Incentives Programs in 2021, was one of the film’s representatives of this film project which is a co-production by three countries—France, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Stelle Laguda, producer of RA 8491 or How we Recall Lost Memories in Transit directed by Austin Tan, also brought her project to the second part of the workshop which was done onsite that furthered her skills and connections in global cinema. TTB alumni, Bianca Balbuena, known for her produced films Fan Girl, Mina-anud, and other remarkable award-winning Filipino films, was one of the facilitators for this year’s Ties that Bind.

FEFF has tailored an education program that cultivates the next generation of journalists—the FEFF Campus. Film student, Eunice Joyce B. Helera, was one of the ten delegates chosen to be mentored on writing about cinema. This batch of young professionals joined seminars and workshops that will be led by film professionals of different backgrounds.

“Asian cinema has truly so much to offer, and it makes us so proud that the Philippines has consistently been a part of this showcase in FEFF. What the Far East Film Festival gives us is not only a platform to show the other side of the world what our stories are about and what we have to offer in terms of partnership and collaboration, but more importantly, a hopeful journey for the next generation of filmmakers from Asia. A truly powerful line-up of Filipino films and talents were present in Udine and we’re grateful to have shared them with our Italian audience,” FDCP Chairperson and CEO, Liza Diño shares.

FEFF 24 happened onsite and online simultaneously. A number of films were available for worldwide screening online, while others were only accessible within Italian borders. The complete list of winning films and other details on next year’s film festival is updated through their website:

Below is the full line-up of the events that the Filipino delegation participated in at the 24th Far East Film Festival with their screening dates and details:

In Competition 

  • Leonor Will Never Die by Martika Escobar, 26th April, 17:00, Teatro Nuovo
  • Reroute by Lawrence Fajardo, 29th April, 11:15, Teatro Nuovo
  • Rabid by Erik Matti, 26th April, 9:00, Teatro Nuovo

Out of Competition: Best of Best 

  • On The Job 2: The Missing 8 by Erik Matti,  22nd April, 15:00, Teatro Nuovo

Special Section: Visions of Manila (Manila at the Movies Retrospective)

  • Manila by Night by Ishmael Bernal, World Premiere, 25th April, 8:30, Teatro Nuovo
  • Manila in the Claws of Light (Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag) by Lino Brocka, 25th April, 19:15, Cinema Visionario
  • Metro Manila by Sean Ellis, 26th April, 14:00, Cinema Visionario
  • Neomanila by Mikhail Red, 27th April, 14:00, Cinema Visionario
  • Slingshot by Brillante Mendoza, 28th April, 14:00, Cinema Visionario

Focus Asia

  • Love at 310 by Joel Ruiz

Ties that Bind 

  • Alemberg Ang, Daluyong Studios
  • Project: Picture House
  • Stelle Laguda, KT House Productions
  • Project: RA 8491 or How we Recall Lost Memories in Transit by Austin Tan

FEFF Campus

  • ​​Eunice Joyce B. Helera, Bioslide

Philippine Events

  • World Premiere of Manila by Night, April 25, 8:30, Teatro Nuovo
  • Philippine Night, April 25, 2022, 20:00, Palazzo Kechler
  • FilmPhilippines at Focus Asia, April 26, 14:30, Casa della Contadinaza

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