QCinema 2022 highlights international films co-produced with the Philippines

The QCinema International Film Festival team

Last November 3, I was invited to attend the Qcinema International Film Festival press conference as they celebrated their 10th edition. With “In10city” as its theme, the festival showcases a decade of strengthening the country’s film culture.

The 10th edition of QCinema energizes 2022 with an impressive lineup that includes films from the most prestigious festival around the world.

The festival, slated for November 17-26, will feature 58 films, including six short film production winners, with eight feature film sections and three short film programs.

Although I enjoy binge-watching all these movies, what really makes me happy is the Filipino premiere in a list of Filipino movies co-produced by various Southeast Asian countries.

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Main competition section

Asian Next Wave, QCinema’s main competition section that focuses on emerging filmmakers from Southeast Asia and East Asia is back.

Singaporean Oscar entry “Ajoomma” by Shuming He, Japanese Oscar entry “Plan 75” by Chie Hayakawa, which is also a Golden Special Mention winner at Cannes; the Thai film “Arnold is a model student” by Sorayos Prapapan, whose world premiere took place in Locarno; and Indonesian director Makbul Mubarak’s “Autobiography”, which won the FIPRESCI award at Venice this year, are all feature projects in international co-production with the Philippines through the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

The other two films in competition — Anna Isabelle Matutina’s ’12 Weeks’ and Loy Arcenas’ ‘Elehiya’ which features the late, iconic actress Cherie Gil’s final on-screen performance — are feature projects also supported by the FDCP.

It is heartening to see the realization of our country’s film incentive program which aims to attract foreign film productions to work with our local film industry. Since the launch of the FDCP’s incentive program called FilmPhilippines during my time at the Agency in 2020, we have already supported around thirty film and television series projects that are helping to position the Philippines as a global player.

Another exciting showcase from this year’s QCinema is the Filipino premiere of two acclaimed European films that feature standout performances from our very own Filipino comedians.


The columnist with fellow board member and producer Armi Cacanindin and QCinema president Manet Dayrit and festival director Ed Lejano

The Palme d’Or-winning class satire “Triangle of Sadness” by Ruben Östlund with Dolly de Leon is the opening of the festival. The closing film is the Venice Film Festival entry “To The North” by Mihai Mincan, starring Soliman Cruz.

QCShorts Competition; RainbowQC, the LGBT section

One of my favorites in the competition section is QCShorts. The short films competing in this section received production grants of 350,000 pesos to make their respective films.

I was delighted with the programming of short films this year because most of them are stories from the regions made by regional filmmakers. Over the years I have seen an increasing number of regional filmmakers given the platform to tell their stories and it is wonderful to know that they continue to thrive.

These films are “Ang Pagliligtas sa Dalagang Bukid” by Jaime Morados, “Bold Eagle” by Whammy Alcazaren, “Luzonensis mula 7 hanggang 9” by Glenn Barit, “Mga Tigre ng Infanta” by Rocky De Guzman “Morilla, Ngatta Naddaki y Nuang ? (Why Did the Carabao Cross the Carayan?)” by Austin Tan, and “Sa Ilog na Hindi Nagtatapos” by JT Trinidad.

“Joyland” by Saim Sadiq is both the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize and the Palme Queer at Cannes this year. It is the first Pakistani film to premiere at Cannes and is also the country’s entry into the Oscar category for best international feature film.

“Angry Son”, by Japanese director Kasho Iizuka, received the Grand Prize at the Osaka Asian Film Festival. Also in the RainbowQC section are “You Can Live Forever,” by Canadian co-directors Mark Slutsky and Sarah Watts; and Alain Guiraudie’s charged with eroticism “Stranger By The Lake”, winner of the 2013 Un Certain Regard Prize for director at Cannes. It was mentioned on several top ten lists of the best films of that year.

Other titles on the same theme in a parallel LGBT+ section co-sponsored by the French Embassy in Manila are “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, “Billie And Emma”, “The Divide” and an anthology of short films, “Rainbow QC Shorts”.

Céline Sciamma’s 2019 French historical romantic drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire is the first female-directed film to win the Queer Palm at Cannes. Sciamma also won Best Screenplay at Cannes.

QCinema screenings will take place in person and online. Theatrical screenings for all films will take place at Gateway, Trinoma, Powerplant, Cinema 76 and SM North EDSA.

The online screening, exclusive to QCShorts 2022, QCShorts 2021 and RainbowQC Shorts, will be in partnership with VivaMax from November 22-26.

Ticket prices for theatrical screenings are P300, while online tickets are P299.

Details of in10City, QCinema’s 10th anniversary presentation, will be available at qcinema.ph, and updates are posted on its social media accounts.

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It is truly fulfilling and wonderful that this year, audiences and stakeholders can see in full screen the films that have been developed and produced thanks to the support of QCinema and the financial incentives of the FDCP.

This is what it means to push for quality and excellence in Filipino films through government supported local and international partnerships and it warms my heart that in a small but meaningful way I have been a part of it and that I will continue to defend the same.

Congratulations are in order not only to Mayor Joy Belmonte Quezon City Film Development Commission for this legacy, but also to the producers and filmmakers featured at the Festival.

See you at QCinema!

Darcy J. Skinner