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“Directors Factory Philippines,” an omnibus film project initiated by the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, has completed production in the historic city of Dapitan.

Operating since 2013, when it kicked off in Taiwan, the Directors’ Factory works with a new partner country each year to mentor eight budding filmmakers who are preparing ambitious first or second feature projects that they will make in pairs. The Philippines was selected in November.

The four resulting co-written and co-directed short films will be screened as part of the Directors’ Fortnight (aka Quinzaine des Cineastes) in May.

Dapitan, a city in The Philippines’ Zamboanga Peninsula, known for its many shrines and as the place of exile of Philippines’ national hero, Jose Rizal. These days it is a hub for domestic and international tourism.

Eve Baswel (Philippines) and Gogularaajan Rajendran (Malaysia) directed the short film “Walay Balay”, the portrait of a mother and daughter, evacuated during wartime to a safe neighbourhood they will call home. It stars Shaina Magdayao, star of multiple films by Lav Diaz and Ruby Diaz (“Expats”).

Maria Estela Paiso (Philippines) and Ashok Vish (India) directed the short film “Nightbirds” in which the mystical Tigmamanukan bird is sent by the bird council to help Ivy break free from her husband who wastes the couple’s money on cockfighting.

Arvin Belarmino (Philippines) and Lomorpich Rithy (aka YoKi) (Cambodia) directed the short film “Silig,” in which a stubborn and feisty woman, dying from cancer, returns to her hometown to organize her own cremation. It stars veteran actresses Sylvia Sanchez, who is also head of Nathan Studios, and Angel Aquino (“A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery”).

Don Eblahan (Philippines) and Tan Siyou (Singapore) directed “Cold Cut,” about the auditions for a talent show and a mysterious stranger Its cast is composed entirely of Dapitan City residents.
Having also received support from the Quezon City Film Commission, the films’ post-production stage moves to Quezon City.

“We are still raising financing to fly the eight directors to Cannes as they will not only present their short films in Quinzaine, but they will also pitch their features in development at the Cannes Directors Fortnight Beach,” said lead producers Dominique Welinski (DW) and Bradley Liew (Epicmedia). “This program has really brought new light to the benefits of collaboration between filmmakers within Asia as their synergy and experiences will forever influence each other’s works for the rest of their careers.” 

For further details, see Directors Fortnight website.



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