QCinema International Film Festival has finally released its unique lineup for its special edition for 2020.
Hailed as one of the leading international film festivals in Southeast Asia, the Quezon City-based film festival will present a hybrid festival with a well-curated lineup from November 27 to December 6, 2020. The set of films can be either streamed online or physically screened with a limited audience.
With this year’s theme “QCinema: A New Filmscape,” the festival committee has decided to shift to the new normal scheme as most of its films will be screened online to ensure the safety of both the filmmakers and film viewers and reach out to more audiences outside the NCR.
“This period of vast isolation has presented an opportunity for QCinema to reach out to more audiences from across the country. For our special #QCinema2020 edition, we will adapt, explore and take on new forms,” says QCinema festival director Ed Lejano.
This year’s opening film will be the black-and-white version of Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, the 2019 winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Best Picture at the 2020 Oscars. The award-winning South Korean film will have its physical screening (by invitation) on November 27 at Gazebo Royale in Quezon City.
During the festival proper, the festival will stage a ceremonial gathering to give the COVID-19 assistance grant to Inter-Guild Alliance and select independent films, the production of which were halted due to the pandemic. The festival will also announce the winners of the QCShort Shorts Competition in the said gathering.
Aside from these, there will also be online talks about the new filmscape and free screenings of QCinema Shorts from 2016, 2017, and 2019.
Here is the list of the films to screen at QCinema Special Edition 2020:
Balangiga: Howling Wilderness (2017)
Director: Khavn // Philippines
After nabbing the Best Picture award at the 2017 QCinema International Film Festival, this historical drama will once again set on screen at the same festival following the story of eight-year-old Kulas, his grandfather, and their carabao as they escape the Balangiga massacre in 1901 during the Philippine-American War.
The film also snatched the Best Picture Award at the 2018 FAMAS Annual Awards and 2018 Gawad Urian Awards.
Oda sa Wala (2018)
Director: Dwein Baltazar // Philippines
Winner of five major awards, including Best Picture and Best Director at the 2018 QCinema International Film Festival, this award-winning drama film is about a woman who struggles to keep her family-owned funeral home afloat.
The film also competed at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2019, where it was nominated for Best Film.
Babae at Baril (2019)
Director: Rae Red // Philippines
Fresh from its win at the recently concluded Gawad Urian Awards, the crime thriller film follows the story of a department store saleslady who has had enough of being an underdog. One night, she discovers a peculiar-looking gun right on her doorstep. Her life drastically changes as she discovers how much power owning a gun can give her.
Aside from dominating the 2020 Gawad Urian Awards after bagging six major awards, Babae at Baril also received four nominations and three awards, including the Best Director and Best Actress (Janine Gutierrez), at the 2019 QCinema International Film Festival.
Director: Glenn Barit // Philippines
The coming-of-age comedy film is the winner of Best Picture at the 2019 QCinema International Film Festival. It revolves around the lives of different students from a high school cleaners group in a Catholic school in Tuguegarao, who each deal with different pressures of being clean and pure while also discovering that the world is dirty and superficial, to begin with.
ASIAN SPECIAL EDITION
Roh (Soul) (2019)
Director: Emir Ezwan // Malaysia
Cut off from civilization, a single mother puts her children on high alert when they bring home a young girl caked in clay. She tells of spirits and spirit hunters, but these are not mere superstitions. As more strangers show up on her doorstep, she quickly finds another reason to fear the forest.
This Malaysian horror film was originally slated to release on March 19 but was postponed and moved to August 6 because of the pandemic.
Genus, Pan (2020)
Director: Lav Diaz // Philippines
This black-and-white crime drama film follows three Filipino mineworkers’ lives and exposes the country’s contradictions as it muses on the notion of humanity.
The film previously won Diaz the Best Director award (Horizons Section) at the Venice Film Festival 2020.
Death of Nintendo (2020)
Director: Raya Martin // Philippines & USA
Set in Manila in the 1990s, Death of Nintendo is a coming-of-age film that takes us into the colorful pop culture world of four teenage friends, back in the days when video games were still a novelty. During a summer, Mimaw and her friends Paolo, Kachi, and Gilligan go on a journey of self-discovery together as they try to one-up each other’s high scores and face life’s obstacles, including puppy love, peer pressure, and balancing family tradition with self-identity.
The film first premiered at Berlinale 2020. It is available for physical screening (by invitation) on November 18.
Song Without A Name (2019)
Director: Melina León // Perú
Georgina’s newborn daughter is stolen at a fake health clinic. Her desperate search for the child leads her to the headquarters of a major newspaper, where she meets a lonely journalist who takes on the investigation.
The film was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was the Peruvian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Director: Tran Thanh Huy // Vietnam
Residents live a desperate life in an apartment complex that is slated for demolition.
Rom is the first Vietnamese film to receive the New Currents Award at the 24th Busan International Film Festival.
Identifying Features (2020)
Director: Fernanda Valadez // Mexico & Spain
It has been months since Magdalena has heard from her son after he left Guanajuato to go find work in the United States. Local authorities are pushing her to sign a death certificate, but she is not ready to give up hope. With the deck stacked against her, Magdalena journeys on her own across a beautiful and often dangerous Mexico. After some close calls, she runs into the recently deported Miguel, about the same age as her son and on a solo journey of his own. The two join forces to help each other find their missing loved ones and hopefully get closure once and for all.
The film won the Audience Award and Best Screenplay at the Sundance Film Festival 2020. Identifying Features has its physical screening via invitation only on November 28.
End of the Century (2019)
Director: Lucio Castro // Argentina
When Ocho (Juan Barberini), a 30-something Argentine poet on vacation in Barcelona, spots Javi (Ramón Pujol), a Spaniard from Berlin, from the balcony of his Airbnb, the attraction is subtle but persistent. After a missed connection on the beach, a third chance encounter escalates to a seemingly random hookup. But are these two merely beautiful strangers in a foreign city or are they part of each other’s histories—and maybe even their destinies?
The film bagged the Best Argentinian Film at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema in 2019.
Suk Suk (2019)
Director: Ray Yeung // Hong Kong
Suk Suk is about the story of two secretly homosexual married men in their twilight years. One day Pak, 70, a taxi driver who refuses to retire, meets Hoi, 65, a retired single father, in a park. Despite years of societal and personal pressure, they are proud of the families they have created through hard work and determination. Yet, in that brief initial encounter, something is unleashed in them which had been suppressed for so many years. As both men recount and recall their personal histories, they also contemplate a possible future together.
This critically-acclaimed Hong Kong film has received nominations from various prestigious international film festivals, including Berlin International Film Festival, Brussels International Film Festival, and Chicago International Film Festival.
Divine Love (2019)
Director: Gabriel Mascaro // Brazil, Uruguay, Denmark, Norway, Chile, & Sweden
A religious woman uses her position at work to help struggling couples save their marriage. While waiting for some praise, she is confronted with a personal crisis.
The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival under the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section.
True Mothers (2020)
Director: Naomi Kawase // Japan
A woman with an adopted child is contacted unexpectedly by the child’s birth mother.
Based on a 2015 novel by Mizuki Tsujimura, the film was selected to be screened at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival and submitted as the Japanese entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Corpus Christi (2019)
Director: Mateusz Pacewicz // Poland & France
After spending years in a Warsaw prison for a violent crime, 20-year-old Daniel is released and sent to a remote village to work as a manual laborer. The job is designed to keep the ex-con busy, but Daniel has a higher calling. Over the course of his incarceration, he has found Christ, and aspires to join the clergy – but his criminal record means no seminary will accept him. When Daniel arrives in town, one quick lie allows him to be mistaken for the town’s new priest, and he sets about leading his newfound flock. Though he has no training, his passion and charisma inspire the community. At the same time, his unconventional sermons and unpriestly behavior raise suspicions among some of the townsfolk – even more so as he edges towards a dark secret that the community hasn’t revealed in the confessional booth.
The film was the Polish entry in the 92nd Academy Awards. It was also premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.
The QCinema Lineup 2020 will be released nationwide through Upstream, while tickets may be purchased from the country’s largest aggregator for online cinema ticketing, GMovies.
This year’s festival is supported by Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Outpost, Viva Communications, Inc., Treasury Wine Estates, Beringer Wine, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Megamobile, Inquirer.net, Clickthecity.com, Cinema Bravo, Cinema Bravo PH, Film Geek Guy, Film Police Reviews, Pelikula Mania, Blog-ph.com, Lakwatsera Lovers, and WheninManila.com.
Visit qcinema.ph for more updates and announcements.
For more online streamings, you can visit Cinema Centenario’s MOOV.