QCinema Launches Elevated Documentary Section

For its 11th edition, QCinema introduces QCDox, the official documentary program of the QCinema International Film Festival.

Though the festival has exhibited documentaries before, QCDox is a stronger commitment to bringing more attention to the possibilities of the form. In line with this, QCinema has put together a lineup of three very different documentaries, each one taking its own approach to documenting some facet of our reality.

Divine Factory, directed by Joseph Mangat, looks and feels like what most people probably think of when they think of documentaries. The director takes his camera into a factory on the outskirts of Manila that produces religious figurines. He talks to the workers there, a lot of whom just happen to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. Through these interviews, we get to know these people, who work on these items of faith that paradoxically serve as symbols of their own oppression.

Miko Revereza, on the other hand, has always taken a more personal approach to the documentary, using film as a means of sorting through his own complicated feelings about who he is and who he wants to be. In Nowhere Near, the film diarist flies from the US back to his hometown in Pangasinan, where he interrogates the very notion of home as he investigates a family curse and tangles with the colonial history of the coastal province.

And then, there’s the National Anarchist: Lino Brocka, in which the maverick director Khavn gathers footage from the National Artist’s vast body of film work from various sources and reassembles them into a raucous collage that makes clear the connections between various films, and the sentiments expressed by Brocka while he was alive. Set to music by the Brockas and Max Jocson, Khavn produces a wild, unusual biography of an artist that practically lets the work speak for itself.

All three, using dramatically different methods, aim to uncover some sort of truth. Cinema is harnessed as a medium to explore the conditions of workers at a factory, to traverse the personal psychogeography of one’s hometown, and to capture the anarchic spirit of a great artist whose work is more diverse than most people know. 

Moving forward, QCDox as a section will be guided by the principle that there are many ways to get to the truth of something.

QCinema is slated from November 17-26. Updates are announced on its social media accounts with the handle @qcinemaph. 

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