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Filipino Films Prepare for Their Big Spotlight

The Singapore Media Festival will spotlight the Philippines under its second-annual country in focus program.

The event, set for Nov. 29 to Dec. 9, will showcase content, talent and performances from the Asian nation. Chosen in part due to the 2018 celebration of 100 Years of Filipino Cinema, as well as Singapore’s current chairmanship of ASEAN (Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations), the Philippines has in recent years emerged as one of Asia’s most promising filmmaking nations.

Over the past decade, Filipino cinema has struck a strong balance between critically acclaimed, award-winning films and audience-friendly movies that have broken box office records. Esteemed Filipino filmmakers include Lav Diaz and Brillante Mendoza: Diaz took home took home the Golden Lion at the 2016 Venice Film Festival for “The Woman Who Left,” while Mendoza’s film “Kinatay” won the director award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

On an audience level, Filipino movies have shattered box office numbers in recent years, with action-comedies and romantic-dramas bringing in moviegoers around the world. Local films “Beauty and the Bestie” (2015), “A Second Chance” (2015), “Super Parental Guardians” (2016) and
“Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad” (2017) have all broken the previously elusive 500 million piso (around $62 million) worldwide-gross mark.
That balance places the Philippines in an exciting role within greater Asian cinema.

The festival launched its country-in-focus program last year, spotlighting Indonesian cinema in recognition of the country’s 50 years of bilateral and diplomatic ties with Singapore.

Once again highlighting Asian storytelling by recognizing feature films, short films and animation from across the continent, the festival pushed boundaries through a focus on emerging technological trends. Conferences, summits and workshops on virtual reality, the future of cinema and new careers gave visitors insights into the evolving media landscape.

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