Philippine films at 2019 TIFF

Community News & Features Sep 13, 2019 at 2:49 pm

VerdictToronto International Film Festival (TIFF)


Verdict is the only feature film from the Philippines playing at TIFF. Writer-director Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s unflinching drama is his first full-length feature evaluating on domestic violence in the Philippines, an issue that affects a quarter of all married women in the country, according to government statistics. It tells a story of a wife and mother (Max Eigenmann) who struggles to win justice for herself and daughter (Jordhen Suan) after sustained abuse from her husband (Kristoffer King).

Director: Raymund Ribay Gutierrez
Producer: Brillante Ma. Mendoza
Production: Philippines-France
Key cast: Max Eigenmann, Kristoffer King, Lourdes Javelosa-Indunan, Vincent Aureus, Jorden Suan, Rene Durian
Festival Section: Contemporary World Cinema

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We Still Have to Close Our Eyes

Experimental filmmaker John Torres returns to TIFF with a collage of scenes in the periphery of film sets and locations in Manila (including the likes of Lav Diaz and Erik Matti) into an eerie, elliptical sci-fi narrative about human avatars controlled by apps, a gift to a baby named Aki Tala who will grow and watch her father’s work for the first time. An exercise in building, looking, and hearing; a tenuous work-in-progress.
John Torres was born in Manila, Philippines. His directorial credits include the features Years When I Was a Child Outside (2008), Lukas the Strange (2013), and People Power Bombshell: The Diary of Vietnam Rose (2016).

Director: John Torres
Production: Philippines
Festival Section: Wavelengths 4

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Reminiscences of  the Green RevolutionReminiscences of the Green Revolution

In this vibrant drama about Filipino activists planning a series of protests in 2001, Dean Colin Marcial depicts the environmentalist movements from both the right wing and the left wing crafting an intricately layered portrait of idealism, fraying dynamics, and jealous. At the centre of the political discussions is the perspective of one of its young members (Abner Delima Jr.).

Dean Colin Marcial was born in Quezon City, Philippines. His films include Manila Death Squad (2017) and The Midnight Service (2017).
Director: Dean Colin Marcial
Production: Philippines, USA
Festival Section: Short Cuts Programme 01

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KingmakerThe Kingmaker

Emmy Award nominee Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles) aims her lens at Filipino politician and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, who, despite disgrace, remains unbowed and enmeshed in her nation’s politics. It took the documentarian four years to piece together The Kingmaker, she at times didn’t really know what — or whom — to believe. The result is a riveting exposé of the tangled web that the now 90-year-old Marcos (and her family) have weaved in and around their nation beginning in the 1960s. Over the course of filming, the Philippines elects President Rodrigo Duterte, who’s been widely criticized for human rights abuses. But he and Imelda appear to have aligned interests. Whatever has been thrown against her, she has withstood. The modern history of the Philippines is inextricably bound with the legacy of this kingmaker.

Director: Lauren Greenfield
Producers: Frank Evers, Lauren Greenfield
Production: USA, Denmark
Festival Section: TIFF Docs

(Compiled by Ysh Cabana)