Text and photos
By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
More and more the exchange of movies, talent and now media coverage seem to grow between France and the Phil. The 15th French film fest opened at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall last week and will run until Sunday June 13. Local audiences can watch the best and latest from French cinema for free. H.E Amb. Thierry Borjade Mozota of France in his speech said, “Cinema is the real link between France and the Phil. Martin Macalintal has devoted himself to provide a link of assistance and constant projects of cooperation between film makers and the media. Most recently he assisted Cesca Litton when she covered the Cannes film fest. We are proud of having her there.”
The festival opened last June 3 with the screening of “L’Amour c’est mieux à deux” by Dominique Farrugia. The French Director is currently shooting a new film in the Philippines executive produced by compatriot Louis Paul Heussaff.
Christian Merer, French Cultural Counselor reminded the press that “Brillante Mendoza won several awards at the Cannes Festival last year for “Kinatay” while Jim Libiran won the Youth Jury Prize (Pari de L’Avenir) in the 2008 Paris Cinema International Film festival. There is a true exchange and appreciation of films between the two countries.”
As a tradition, the French Film Festival pays tribute to Philippine cinema on June 12, with the screening of “Lola” at the Shang Cineplex.
Just last month, The Alliance Francais de Manille and the Goethe Institute were able to bring in rappers and dancers from France and Germany. In a week long seminar and concerts, they were able to share their talents with local rappers specifically from Tondo. The event was called “Rap sa Tondo”. Libiran and the rappers from “Tribu” played hosts to the French and German hip hop artists.
French Audiovisual Attaché Martin Macalintal also credited Shangri-La Plaza Mall saying that “the French festival has found a home here in Manila because of them.” Shangri-La Plaza General Manager Lala Fojas in turn said in her speech, “The 100 films produced in France each year is a testament to the cinematic genius of the French film maker. The Festival has an outstanding line up that cover all human travails. We will never tire of rolling the red carpet for the 15th French film fest and future festivals.”
The French Film Festival will run from June 3 to 13 at the Shang Cineplex of the Shangri-La Plaza in Manila, from June 18 to 20 at the Ayala Center in Cebu. A retrospective of classic films of Eric Rohmer will run at the Cultural Center of the Philippines from June 15 to 19, in honor of the late filmmaker who passed away early this year. Finally, a selection of films will be shown at the UP Film Institute for the film and mass communication students, followed by discussions with film professors.