Film: Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s “Verdict”, the Only Southeast Asian Film to Enter the 76th Venice Film Festival

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Raymund Ribay Gutierrez‘s Filipino feature film “Verdict” produced by international film festival-favorite Brillante Mendoza will be vying for Best Film under the Horizons (Orizzonti) section at the 76th Venice Film Festival, which will run from August 28 to September 7, 2019 at Venice Lido in Italy. This makes it the only film from Southeast Asia under the prestigious Venice Film Festival’s official selection this year.

“Venice Film Festival is one of the most prominent film festivals in the world, and having ‘Verdict’ compete there along with the world’s top-tier films is a fitting celebration for the One Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño.

Director Raymund Ribay Gutierrez during the Work-in-Progress open pitch at the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) last March 2019

The film follows the steps of Lav Diaz’s “Ang Babaeng Humayo” which won the festival’s Golden Lion Award in 2016. “We are very proud of Raymund and his mentor Brillante Mendoza for continuously making a mark in world cinema and showcasing Filipino talent on a global level,” she added.

Produced by Mendoza’s Center Stage Productions, the film stars Max Eigenmann, Kristoffer King, Jorden Suan, and Rene Durian. “Verdict” has already been well-recognized as a Work-in-Progress project in this year’s Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), the leading film project market in Asia.

Raymund Ribay Gutierrez and Brillante Mendoza (Photo from I AM FILM)

According to the La Biennale di Venezia website, films under the Horizons section, including “Verdict,” are films that “represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema.”

A Facebook post by Centerstage Productions says, “Congratulations to Center Stage Productions (CSP) Co. and The Found Story School of Filmmaking for the film Verdict made it in ORIZZOTI “New Horizons”Venice Film Festival!”

It added, “The same team who made the films “Imago” (2016) & “Judgement” (2018) that both competed for Palme d’Or at the Cannes International Film Festival among others.”

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