The 6th Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) has announced the seven projects that will comprise its spotlight focus on The Philippines this year. Featuring experienced talent such as Richard Somes and Tikoy Aguiluz alongside younger directors who have begun to make their mark, the spotlight promises to showcase the growing strength of Filipino Genre Cinema.
Amable 'Tikoy' Aguiluz, who has been active in Filipino Cinema for almost 30 years and founded the Cinemanila Intl. Film Festival, will be presenting Dance of Death, a revenge film set at the gates of hell. The young Ato Bautista, who has quickly established himself with films like Blackout (2007) and his contribution to the horror omnibus Cinco (2010), will participate with the bloody action thriller Bad Blood. Multi-hyphenate Khavn de la Cruz, one of the pioneers of digital filmmaking in The Philippines, will be there with his Berlinale short Ruined Heart! Another Love Story About a Criminal and a Whore, which he is hoping to turn into a feature.
One of the biggest names in the nascent genre Cinema of the country, Richard Somes, director of Yanggaw (2008) and Corazon (2012), will make the trip to Pucheon with Thy Kingdom Come, described as an end-of-the-world action fantasy film. Another project vying this year will be the live-action and animation fantasy blend A Boy Who Roamed the Sky from US-based director Tyrone Acierto. Rico Maria Ilarde, director of Beneath the Cogon (2005) and Altar (2007), will also be on hand with slasher project Tusok. Finally, Brillante Mendoza protege Peter Eduria III will take part with Hotline.
Of late, Filipino Genre Cinema seems to be enjoying its day in the sun. Following the strong reception of films such as Erik Matit's On the Job during the Director's Fortnight at the recent Cannes Film Festival and the 'Manila Chronicles: The New Filipino Cinema' program that will take place at this year's New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), the prospects of genre filmmakers from the archipelago seem bright.
Four days of meetings, pitching sessions, forums and a chance at $50,000 await the hopefuls at NAFF, which takes place July 21-24, alongside the Pucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan, July 18-28). This year's NAFF spotlight participants, with their know-how and tantalizing log-lines, promise to expand the potential of Pinoy genre cinema ever further.
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