Eight Filipino movies will be shown at the Asian Film Festival in Rome, at the Casa del Cinema, Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1 from July 30 to Aug. 5.
Under the First Live Festival, these are:
“Kaputol” by Mac Alejandre
A movie within a movie starring Cherie Gil, Angel Aquino, and Alfred Vargas. Story written by Ricky Lee.
“Jesusa” by Ronaldo Carballo
Jesusa (played Sylvia Sanchez), a barren woman, comes to her wit’s end when her philandering husband moves in with a mistress. Left only with her stepdaughters, she succumbs to the sordid ways of the neighborhood drug addicts.
“Edward” by Thop Nazareno
A public hospital is backdrop to a young boy’s (Louise Abuel) rite of passage while he takes care of his ailing father. Caught in a place where life itself is in limbo, the boy treats the hospital grounds as his playground, not knowing that it will be his source of liberation in the end.
“The Halt” by Lav Diaz
Manilla, 2034. As a result of massive volcanic eruptions in the Celebes Sea in 2031, Southeast Asia is literally in the dark. Madmen control countries, communities, enclaves, and new bubble cities.
“Watch Me Kill” by Thyrone Acierto
Luciana (Jean Garcia) is an assassin with a mission to kill an old man who found a diamond. After doing that, she learned the guy was in the company of a young girl who tried to flee but was shot in the thigh. She took the girl home and watched over her. The girl would eventually have her questioning life’s purpose.
“Lola Igna” by Eduardo Roy, Jr.
Living in a secluded hut in the middle of a rice field, Lola Igna (Angie Ferro) is 118-year old grumpy old woman who just wants to die already but her neighbors are hung up on winning the World Record for the oldest living grandmother which makes her an instant celebrity. In the middle of all the sudden changes in Lola Igna’s life, she meets Tim (Yves Flores), her great-great-grandchild from Ana (Meryll Soriano).
“Latay (Battered Husband)” by Ralston Jover
The story is about the brewing turmoil of an unusual rural couple, where the husband is the awkwardly “suffering” type, while the wife expresses discontent toward dysfunctional relationship via violent streaks. The cast is lead by Allen Dizon and Lovi Poe.
“Kalel, 15” by Jun Lana
It’s about a teenager, who is the son of a priest and is HIV positive, and how he has to make choices no child should ever have to make. The movie stars Elijah Canlas, Jaclyn Jose, and the late Eddie Garcia.
Launched in 2003, the Asian Film Festival brings together the best of the cinema of the Far East countries, with films from thirteen countries namely China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Laos, Cambodia.
The festival includes a competition with 16 films and five awards (best film, best director, best actor, best actress, and most original film) given out by a jury of film critics.
Over the years, homages have been given to celebrated directors, including the Philippines’ Brillante Mendoza.