The Filipino film Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether The Weather Is Fine) received the Cinema e Gioventù (Youth Jury Prize) Prize at the recent Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. Directed by Carlo Francisco Manatad and starring Charo Santos-Concio, Daniel Padilla, and Rans Rifol, it tells of a young man’s search for his mother and beloved in the aftermath of Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The film is a co-production of Globe Studios, Cinematografica, Plan C, House on Fire, Quantum Films, IwantTFC, Dreamscape, Blacksheep, CMB Films, AAND Company of Singapore, KawanKawan Media of Indonesia, and Weydemann Bros. of Germany.
Having concluded its 74th edition this August, the Locarno Film Festival is one of the world’s most prestigious and longest running independent film fests. Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether The Weather Is Fine), Manatad’s first full-length feature, was among the 14 films from around the world in the Concorso Cineasti del presente (Filmmakers of the present) competition. It was also the only Filipino film in competition at the 2021 Locarno filmfest.
Cinema e Gioventù, the award that Manatad’s film received, was bestowed by a designated youth jury coming from Switzerland and Northern Italy whose ages range from 18-23. Manatad was present to receive the recognition, together with a delegation composed of editor Benjo Ferrer III, colorist Timmy Torres, actress Rans Rifol, co-writer Jérémie Dubois and producers Armi Rae Cacanindin, Atty. Joji Alonso, Globe Studios’ Head Quark Henares, Vincent Wang, Yulia Elvina Bhara, and Jonas Weydemann.
The Kun Maupay Man It Panahon team which includes: director Carlo Manatad, producers Patricia Sumagui, Atty. Joji Alonso, Armi Rae Cacanindin, and Yulia Evira Bhara, actress Rans Rifol, colorist Timmy Torres and editor Benjo Ferrer III.
“The Cinema e Gioventù Award means a lot to me as a young filmmaker who has just started delving into feature filmmaking,” says Manatad. “Cinema has always been a medium that transcends national and cultural boundaries, but being able to be recognized especially by a generation that I am in, also the generation that the film speaks about, humbles and excites me. I will work harder to give voice to stories that have yet to be told.”
Kun Maupay… is the biggest break for actress Rans Rifol; it also marks her first time to travel for an international film festival. She says, “Having to experience Locarno is one of the moments I will forever be thankful for. Premiering the film in Locarno was very nerve wracking but memorable.”
Cacanindin, producer and also the Head of Longform of Globe Studios, reveals that the success is a triumph amid various struggles the project has undergone. “Premiering the film at this A-list festival is a big win on its own!” she exclaims. “Plus being with the team despite changing travel restrictions, it’s a celebration of cinema and of the film, and of its completion.”
When Kun Maupay… was presented to Globe Studios in 2018, the management saw the potential and immediately pledged support. “When I came to Globe Studios, this project was already greenlit,” says Henares. “And it was a great decision by (creative director) Jan Pineda and company! The creative team, composed of co-writer Giancarlo Abrahan and director Carlo Manatad, is a rising star. Producer Armi Cacanindin is one of our favorite producers — so much so that we eventually hired her! Executive producer Atty. Joji Alonso is always a reliable and fair partner. The material is strong and seemed to be a perfect fit with Globe Studios’ mission to support exciting new projects by visionary filmmakers.”
Back then, Manatad had directed Jodilerks dela Cruz, Employee of the Month, his short film that made it to the 2017 Cannes Film Festival International Critics Week Section. According to Cacanindin, Globe Studios’ commitment to back an up-and-coming filmmaker was very instrumental. “I am very thankful to Globe Studios for being onboard very early, giving their trust to a young filmmaker such as Carlo for his debut feature. I will never get tired of emphasizing this because they really paved the way for us to get the foreign grants and be accepted in international labs, honing the project and Carlo’s directorial vision to what the film has become now.”
Cacanindin and Manatad and their entire team are looking forward to screening Kun Maupay Man It Panahon in the Philippines, especially in Tacloban where the film is set. “The movie is dedicated to the people of Tacloban,” Cacanindin underscores.