DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 October) – The Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival, featuring acclaimed films created by Filipino and international filmmakers from different parts of Asia, will be held in Davao City from October 27 to 30.
Jay Rosas, festival programmer, told MindaNews that there are 23 competing Philippine short films, of which seven are from Mindanao, and 12 competing Asian short films by filmmakers from Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.
He said the venue for this year’s festival will be the Cinematheque Centre Davao.
Aside from competing entries, Rosas said the festival will also feature 19 non-competing exhibition short films, five of them from Mindanao.
Rosas said this will be the first time that film festival organizers will mount an in-person or face-to-face event since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic happened.
“We’re also excited to see our usual patrons but also looking forward to seeing new audiences particularly the younger generation of film goers. We are slowly coming out of our lockdown, isolated viewings and back into the communal experience of watching films together, so I think it will be both an interesting and exciting thing to observe, especially on our part as festival organizers,” he said.
He added that many of these entries have been screened in various international film festivals while others will make their debut during the festival in Davao.
“These are acclaimed films that have been screened in various international film festivals like ‘The Long Walk,’ screened in the prestigious Locarno Film Festival (in Europe). It is currently being streamed in Netflix Thailand region and is currently unavailable in the Philippines so it will be the first time Davao audience will see it in a screening,” he said.
He said local cinephiles from Davao who are interested in discovering more diverse films are in for a treat.
Rosas added that Asian short films in competition have also been lauded in various international film festivals, including, among others, Locarno in Switzerland, Singapore, London, Berlin and Oberhausen in Germany, and Busan and Bucheon in South Korea.
He said the fantastic film festival in Bucheon is the largest of its kind in Asia.
“It would be interesting to learn how these films will be received, especially that we are now positioning ourselves as a ‘fantastic’ film festival, catering not only to the usual horror oeuvre but also other genre films and eclectic filmmaking styles,” he added.
He said festival organizers are slowly positioning the festival on an international scale, starting at the Asian region, ever since we started receiving film entries from Asia.
“To my knowledge, we are the first of its kind in Southeast Asia to hold a ‘fantastic’ film festival, and we are excited how we will grow in the next five years. We also hope that the local government would see this as an opportunity for film tourism worth looking into,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)