BY: Rohn Romulo
Two Filipino productions were screened for the first time internationally at the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival in Japan (TIFFJP).
Erik Matti’s “Food Lore: Island of Dreams” was part of the World Focus Powered by Aniplex Inc. lineup, while Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo’s “Untrue” was included in The Japan Foundation Asia Center presents CROSSCUT ASIA #06: Fantastic Southeast Asia.
“Island of Dreams,” which is part of HBO Asia’s food anthology series “Food Lore,” had its world premiere on October 30 with a subsequent screening the day after. The Matti-directed episode aims to showcase Philippine culture by highlighting local cuisine. It stars Angeli Bayani, Yul Servo, Ina Feleo, and Joey Marquez. Aside from “Island of Dreams,” the Food Lore Vietnamese episode “He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower” of Phan Đăng Di was also shown at the TIFFJP. “Food Lore,” with executive producer Eric Khoo at the helm, has started its run on HBO Asia. The Philippine episode was aired on November 3.
Meanwhile, “Untrue” by Bernardo was shown to international moviegoers on October 29, followed by another screening on October 31. The international debut of “Untrue” comes after its run at the QCinema International Film Festival in October where it was the opening film. The suspense thriller stars Cristine Reyes and Xian Lim.
“What I like is doing psychological thrillers, because you can see a person and kill that person. With horror, there are so many entities and demons, I don’t know how to kill them,” Bernardo commented during “The Discreet Charm of Girl’s Horror Talk.” Bernardo was a guest speaker together with fellow Filipina writer-director Antoinette Jadaone and Laotian-American director Mattie Do at the said CROSSCUT ASIA #06: Fantastic Southeast Asia symposium.
Aside from “Food Lore: Island of Dreams” and “Untrue,” the other Filipino films that premiered globally at the TIFFJP 2019 were “Motel Acacia” by Bradley Liew in the Asian Future section and “Mañanita” by Paul Soriano as part of the Main Competition.
Four more Filipino movies were screened at this year’s TIFFJP at the Toho Cinemas in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo. These are “The Halt (Ang Hupa)” by Lav Diaz, “Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay” by Jadaone, “Mindanao” by Brillante Ma Mendoza, and Matti’s second TIFFJP 2019 production, “The Entity (Kuwaresma).”
The TIFFJP was held from October 28 to November 5.