GUIDE: #QCinema2016 International Film Festival

With this year’s theme, “One City for the World,” the 2016 QCinema International Film Festival continues its thrust as a world-class event through an interesting mix of new homegrown films and award-winning international movies.

QCinema will run from October 13 to 22, 2016. It will be held at four mall venues namely, Ayala TriNoma, Gateway Cinemas, Robinsons Galleria and U.P. Town Center. It will also hold special film forum series at the QCX, the new museum complex of the Quezon Memorial Circle.


Since its foundation in 2012, the Quezon City Film Development Commission (QCFDC) has been providing grants to help filmmakers produce their own works. QCinema is its annual platform where new cinematic gems are given the chance to be appreciated by the public.

This October marks the premieres of QCinema’s new seven features and eight short films which the QCFDC funded. The Circle Competition grants are unique in that filmmakers own the rights to their features while #QCShorts is the only local funding platform for short films. “Asian Next Wave” is the most recent addition to the QCinema competitions. This category showcases the works of Asian filmmakers with less than two directorial features.


Here are the seven full-length features of the Circle Competition: (Click the title to view the trailer if available)

Starring Ryza Cenon, Martin Del Rosario, Cholo Barretto, Vangie Labalan
Synopsis: Jewel is a mysterious woman who lives alone in the city. She has a secret which has led her to settle into a lonely existence. That is, until she meets Nico, a broken-hearted, down-and-out guy who also feels unlovable like she does. Jewel is torn between wanting to love him and wanting to save him from herself. Will he accept her if he knew the truth about her? Can she ever find love, or is she destined to be alone forever?

2.  BABOY HALAS by Bagane Fiola
Starring Omeles Laglagan, Ailyn Laglagan, Vangelyn Panihao, Jhea Mae Laglagan
Synopsis: An indigenous family, one of the last forest people of old, copes with the unusual changes in their environment including the imposing lifestyle and customs of the more sociable tribes on the plains.

3. BEST. PARTEE. EVER. by HR Yambao
Starring JC De Vera, Mercedes Cabral, Jordan Herrera, Kristofer King, Aaron Rivera, Angela Cortez
Synopsis: Mikey, a young, discreet, gay man from the affluent class, spends five years in a city jail while hearing his case for drug pushing. Inside prison, Mikey holds back to adapt to the culture and stratification among inmates. Eventually, Mikey becomes a ‘Mayor’ (ring leader) to a group of gay inmates called “Gang-da”. Together, they thrive to survive the dangers of several gang riots, the mundane, and the decay of human dignity.

4. HINULID by Kristian Sendon Cordero
Starring Nora Aunor, Jess Mendoza, Raffi Banzuela, Jesus Volante, Delia Enverga, Ken Balmes
Synopsis: A woman returns to the village of Kagbunga in the Bikol region carrying the ashes of her only son via the old train that circles her universe like the tandayag, the primordial serpent. In a filial act of mourning, she will reckon and reconcile the thin line that exists between tragedy and transcendence and prove and that even the most broken life can be restored to its moments.

5. PATAY NA SI HESUS by Victor Kaiba Villanueva
Starring Jaclyn Jose, Chai Fonacier, Melde Montañez, Vincent Viado, Mailes Kanapi, Olive Nieto Sheenly Gener
Synopsis: When Iyay, a single mother, learns that her estranged husband has died, she drags the entire family on a road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete to attend the funeral. With her children – Hubert, who has Down Syndrome; Jude, a lovesick transman; Jay, who is living the bum life – as her passengers, Iyay drives her tiny multicab on a journey that yields unexpected stopovers, detours, and revelations.

6. PURGATORYO by Roderick Cabrido
Starring Bernardo Bernardo, Kristoffer King, Jess Mendoza, Arnold Reyes, Rollie, Innnocencio, Elora Españo
Synopsis: “Purgatoryo””tells the story of Ilyong. A recently-dead man killed by the police, after he was caught stealing. This is the beginning of his story, his death. Soon after, he was brought into a sleazy funeral home, run by Violet, a greedy homosexual who has learned to survive by renting out the dead bodies in his funeral home to Simon. Along for the ride is Jojo, a police officer who is under the payroll of Simon and who supplies the dead bodies for Violet to take care of and make money from. Violet has two workers, On-on and Dyograd. They clean the bodies and prepares them for the wake. On-on, for all his good looks, no longer feels alive except when he is gambling. Dyograd on the other hand, only feels alive when he is having sex. All in all it was a good team until Ilyong came and then one after another, the misfortunes came. Someone recognized him for who he really is, creating trouble for Violet. And he must make a decision whether to keep Ilyong or just throw him out. If she does, who will replace Ilyong? They cannot close shop. There is after all, no rest for the wicked.

Starring Laila Putli P. Ulao, Sharifa Pearlsia P. Ali-Dans, Taha G. Daranda, Dalma D. Baginda, Hasim P. Kasim, Mohammad Yusop A. Hajiraini
Synopsis: Satra, a widow is caught in an escalating blood feud stretching back generations. She initially seeks vengeance for the death of husband but finds herself being convinced by Farida to leave the land after the death of her only child Amiya. Beyond the will of her family she secretly meets up with the matriarch of the rival clan to seek possible reconciliation.


We now go to the seven #QCShorts entries: (Click the title to view the trailer)

1. CONTESTANT #4 by Joshua Joven and Kaj Palanca
2. HONDO by Aedrian Araojo
3. IF YOU LEAVE by Eduardo “Dodo” Dayao
4. PADATING by Gabrielle Tayag
5. PAPA’S SHADOWS by Inshallah Montero
6. SAYAW SA BUTAL by Victor Nierva
7. VIVA VIVA ESCOLTA by Janus Victoria


The Asian Next Wave entries will feature movies from Asian filmmakers and will allow them to showcase their works for the Philippine audiences, here are the entries: (Click the title to view the trailer)

1. APPRENTICE (Singapore) by Boo Junfeng
2. BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK (Thailand) by Anocha Suwichakornpong
3. OLD STONE (China) by Johnny Ma
4. SINGING IN THE GRAVEYARDS (Malaysia/Philippines) by Bradley Liew
5. SOLO, SOLITUDE (Indonesia) by Yosep Anggi Noen
6. WOVEN WINGS OF OUR CHILDREN (Philippines) by Anton Juan


For its “Screen International” section, QCinema bestows Philippine premieres to some if the films recently lauded in the international festival circuit.

The festival’s opening film is Park Chan-wook’s recent Cannes winner, “The Handmaiden”starring Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo and Tae Ri Kim.

Part of the roster are “One Week A Day,” an Israeli film by Asaph Polonsky; “The Teacher” from Czech Republic and directed by Jan Hfebejk; “Godless,” a Bulgarian movie created by Ralitza Petrova;“Under the Shadow,” a Iranian film directed by Babak Anvari; “Headshot,” an Indonesian movie from Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboei; and “The Ornithologist,” a Portugese film directed by Joao Pedro Rodrigues.


In keeping with the festival’s tradition of featuring a film trilogy every year, QCinema presents a special section, “Tribute to Kieslowsku”. To commemorate the 20th death anniversary of the celebrated Polish auteur, Krzysztof Kieslowski, the acclaimed triptych about European reunification includes “Blue” (1993), “White” (1994) and “Red” (1994).


Vibrant and diverse narratives unrael in “RainbowQC”, a category of features about the LGBTQ experience that include: “Spa Night” from Andrew Ahn of USA; “#BKKY” by Nontawat Numbenchapol from Thailand; “Kiki”, a collaboration between USA and Sweden directed by Sara Jordeno; and “Jonathan” by Piotr J. Lewandownsku of Germany.


Two digitally-restored screen gems from ABS-CBN get their due revival in the section, “Back Throwback”. It will feature “Kasal” (1980) directed by Laurice Guillen and “Haplos” (1982) filmed by Butch Perez. The former marks Guillen’s debut feature and the latter top bills the exciting team-up of Vilma Santos, Christopher de Leon and Rio Locsin.


QCinema celebrates the thriving film communities outside of the National Capital Region (NCR), through its “Cinema Rehiyon” section, featuring compilation of regional titles from Mindanao Rising, Across Luzon and Visayas, and Ilonggo Tales of Horror and Imagination. Also included is the Manila premiere of the new Cebuano indie by Christian Linaban,“Superpsychocebu.”


Filipino film master, Mike de Leon, gets his QCinema homage for his three popular titles,“Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising” (1977), “Hindi Nahahati ang Langit” (1985) and “Kakabakaba Ka Ba?” (1980).


Under the “Pinoy Spotlight” section, two new social-realists get their QCinema premieres:“Blanka” of Kohko Hasei from Japan and “Area” by Filipino Louie Ignacio.


Tickets – P150 per screening
Festival Pass – P1,500 for 10 screenings
Day Pass – P600 for 4 screenings

Festival pass freebies: Limited edition QCinema drawstring bag, magic mug and ballpen.

Use of festival pass is applicable to all malls. The festival pass is composed of 10 perforated stubs equivalent to 10 regular movie tickets that must be exchanged at the cinema ticket booth, subject to seat availability on a first come first served basis. One stub of the festival pass is good for one screening only. Meaning, if you have a companion, you cannot use the pass to redeem two tickets of the same film on the same schedule. The bearer of the festival pass can choose any regular screening film on any day of the festival starting October 14. For gala screenings, seats are subject to availability. Not valid for invitational or special blocked screenings.

Festival and Day passes will be released starting on October 13 at the QCinema festival booth in front pf Gateway Cineplex Dolby Atmos Cinema. On the succeeding days, the passes will be available at the festival booth on each mall. QCinema will only replease a limited number of both the festival and day passes.

Regular MTRCB passes are not valid on festival screenings. Only MTRCB board or staff IDs are accepted but not on gala, invitational or special blocked screenings.




The awarding ceremony for the QCinema filmmaking competitions will be on October 19, 2016.
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