Mardoquio's film, Sheika, competes in Asiatica Film Mediale Festival in Rome

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 November) – Sheika, a film written and directed by Davao-born Arnel Mardoquio is competing at the  11th Asiatica Film Mediale Festival in Rome, Italy this week.

The film premieres on Saturday evening, November 13 (Rome time) at Cinema Capranica but  will be shown to various audiences, including Overseas Filipino Workers there during the festival which runs from November 12 to 13.

Mardoquio arrived in Rome on November 12. While in Rome, festival organizers want him to shoot and edit a short film on the plight of the OFWs in Italy which will have its premiere showing towards the end of the festival.

Sheika won in the category Best Film in the recent NETPAC Film Festival held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, a parallel festival to the CINEMALAYA.  This is the third feature film of Mardoquio after Hunghong sa Yuta and Hospital Boat. Both films were reviewed favorably by film critics and Hunghong was nominated for Best Film at the Urian Awards.

Mardoquio’s invitation to compete at  the Asiaticafilm Mediale Film Festival along with other prestigious films all over the world is a clear indication as to the level of aesthetics that has been reached by Mindanawon independent filmmakers like Mardoquio.

Earlier two other Mindanawon filmmakers made waves at international festivals.  Teng Mangansakan’s film Limbunan was invited to the Venice Film Festival while Sheron Dayoc’s Halaw (Best Film at the last Cinemalaya) made it to Tokyo and Pusan Film Festivals. These three filmmakers are truly a source of pride for Mindanao as they are paving the road for other independent filmmakers of Mindanao to make it big in both national and international film festivals.

The AsiaticaMediale Film Festival is the Rome-based film festival which, like the Venice Film Festival, is a prestigious event for cineastes throughout the world.

According to the Festival President, Italo Spinelli, “the festival, organized by the cultural association Mnemosyne, presents new feature and documentary Asian films which, although qualitatively very interesting, have never been presented to the Italian audience, together with special events dedicated to cinema and literature.The interest for our festival is very high as seen during our past editions, where the participation included a great number of institutions journalists and audience from all over the world.”

This  Festival is a non-profit event, funded by the Italian Ministry of Culture along with the City of Rome, Rome Province and the Latium Region. Supported by various Italian distributors and national associations of film critics, the Festival can also count on the patronage of many Asian Embassies and Cultural Institutions. (Karl M. Gaspar, CSsr/MindaNews)