MNL 143 and Bakal Boys in Cine Europa
Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
Cine Europa which screens the best European films for free at Shang Plaza, will have new features this year. The ten-day schedule from September 6-16, 2012 at the Shang Cineplex theatres will also feature 4 Filipino films for the first time. “MNL 143” by Emerson Reyes and “Bakal Boys” by Ralston Jover will be shown on September 15. While the documentaries “Paglipad Ng Anghel” by Doy Del Mundo and “Kano” by Monster Jimenez were shown last September 8.
“MNL 143” starring Allan Paule, Joy Viado and Gardo Verzosa had its world premiere at the Edinburgh film fest last July. Event media partner Inquirer.net has reported that “Bakal Boys” won the Best Film Award at the 2010 Asian Connection Film Festival in France among others while “KANO” has won top prizes in Amsterdam, Cinemanila and Urian.
European Union Political Counselor Julian Vassallo said, “We will also be showing Filipino movies for the first time. They have been chosen either for their connections to Europe or for their awards and acclamation they received there. These movies will be screened as part of the educational component that we have and are bolstering this year. I should say that these innovations would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of our partners.”
Last year the Film Development Council of the Phil helped Cine Europa facilitate the exemption of their films from MTRCB rating by adapting them under the Film Cultural Exchange Program. Vasallo said, “The FDCP have agreed to host the Cine Europa films at 3 of its Cinemateques. And also our new partner the Independent Filmmaker’s Multipurpose Cooperative (IFC) is assisting us to put together the educational component towards the organization of educational roundtables as well as facilitating the presentation of Filipino movies this year.” The talks on film appreciation and film financing will also be held on September 8 and 15.
He explained that without the support of partners screening the films for free would be difficult, “Thank you very much Marline Dualan and the longstanding support of Shangri La which is very much appreciated. The EU member states and consulates together with the embassies of Switzerland and Norway in collaboration with our partners Shangrila, Shang Cineplex, FDCP and IFC, media support from Inquirer.net and Travel Life magazine bring to the Phil the 15th edition of the Cine Europa.”
Our own Filipino films have been hogging the headlines in Europe. Brillante Mendoza’s film starring Nora Aunor “Thy Womb” has had tremendous success in the Venice film fest. Another Mendoza film “Captive” has recently crossed over to commercial release here in Manila last September 5. “Captive” stars French actress Isabelle Huppert as Thérèse Bourgoine, loosely based on real life kidnap victim Gracia Burnham.
According to French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal the casting coup on Huppert was, “the result of Brillante Mendoza’s win as Best Director in Cannes film festival. I don’t know how you’d call it some people say this is soft power. I think we have to acknowledge the fact that cinema is playing a big role in bringing together peoples.”
FDCP National Archives Director Benedict Olgado added that even Filipino film classics thought to be lost are now being preserved in other countries, “A lot of help has been coming from our European counterparts from France and Italy. There are a number of films that we are already in the process of restoring. Actually we have shown a newly restored version of “Genghis Khan” in the Venice international Film Festival.” The screening was along side our current source of national pride; “Thy Womb” set to be shown in local theaters in November.