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5 Masterpiece Films to Watch Out For at Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino

The festival runs from today, October 31, until November 15.

Even with the threat of the pandemic, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) declared “Tuloy ang Pista 2020” or the annual Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP). The fourth installment of the local film festival will be a fully digital event, which will run from October 31 to November 15.

Around a hundred full-length feature films and short films will be on exhibition on the PPP website. Several films by national artists, regional films, documentaries, and digitally-restored classics await event attendees. Feature films that had limited release or have never been released to the Philippine audience will also take part in the festival. (Read: LOOK: 5 Indie Films on Cinema One Originals’ YouTube Channel)

“This year’s PPP is a solidarity event that aims to encourage support for Philippine Cinema in light of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño. “It aims to propagate the love for Filipino films among audiences and help sustain the country’s film industry that is gravely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.”

Feel excited yet? Check out these five masterpiece films that we recommend you watch at this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino!

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino: Cleaners

Photo from Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Facebook

Directed by Glenn Barit, Cleaners follows a group of high school students as they deal with different pressures of remaining proper and “clean” as they discover the world. The film is a cinematic masterpiece as it was made by printing and photocopying each of the film’s frames, ending with 34,560 sheets of paper. To make it more unique, the protagonists were colored by hand with highlighters making them stand out from the black and white image.

Cleaners won the Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and the Audience Choice Award at the 2019 QCinema International Film Festival. 

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino: Batch ’81

Mike de Leon’s ‘Batch ‘81.’ (Photo from Moma.org)

Mike de Leon’s 1982 masterpiece, Batch ’81, sparked controversy and debate when it was first released—and now, we will have the opportunity to know why. The dramatic film is about the Alpha Kappa Omega fraternity’s harsh initiation of its new members in the year 1981. It was screened at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival’s Directors Fortnight and stars great actors such as Mark Gil, Sandy Andolong, Ward Luarca, Noel Trinidad, Ricky Sandico, and many more. 

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino: Kintsugi

JC Santos (left) and Hiro Nishiuchi in “Kintsugi” (Photo from Inquirer Entertainment)

Directed by Lawrence Fajardo, Kintsugi conveys “ the radiance and darkness of falling in love,” according to its film description. The film follows the story of a man who travels to Saga, Japan, to hone his pottery skills. He then falls in love with a Japanese woman who is the heiress of a flourishing pottery factory.

The film features Hiro Nishiuchi, Lui Manansala, Dionne Monsanto, Vince Rillon, and many more.

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino: He Who Is Without Sin

Elijah Canlas in a still from “He Who Is Without Sin” by Jason Paul Laxamana. (Photo from Film Development Council of the Philippines)

Jason Paul Laxamana’s 2020 film “He Who Is Without Sin” follows the story of a broadcasting student who discovers the shady truth about the TV reporter he idolizes. It stars Kapuso actor Enzo Pineda and rising young actor, Elijah Canlas, who recently bagged the Best Actor award at the 17th Asian Film Festival in Rome, Italy. 

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino: Brutal

Amy Austria in a still from “Brutal” by Marilou Diaz-Abaya. (Photo from Film Development Council of the Philippines)

A restored version of Brutal by the late Marilou Diaz-Abaya from the FDCP’s Philippine Film Archive will also premiere at this year’s PPP. The 1980 film won Abaya the Best Director award during the Metro Manila Film Festival that year and is considered as one of the best films in the country today.

You may register and buy your online passes through the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino website.

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