Filipino films make world premiere at Tokyo International Film Festival

Published November 3, 2021, 2:52 PM

by John Legaspi

Films by Mikhail Red, Daniel R. Palacio, and Brillante Mendoza are part of this year’s TIFF roster

While cinemas are about to open in the Philippines, Filipino films continue to make international premieres all over the globe and their latest destination is in Japan with the 34th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF).

Movie posters of ‘Resbak,’ ‘Arisaka,’ and ‘The Brokers’

Happening until Nov. 8, 2021, the TIFF is seen as one of the leading film events in Asia ever since its establishment in 1985, as it is “accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations,” according to the Film Development Council of the Philippines. This year, it will set the platform for the world debut of four Filipino movies.

Participating in the festival’s Main Competition section are Mikhail Red’s “Arisaka” and Brillante Mendoza’s “Resbak.” While “The Brokers” by Daniel R. Palacio is part of the Asian Future section showcase, and Mendoza’s “Gensan Punch” to screen in the Gala Selection of the TIFF.

“Congratulations to the four films selected to participate in one of the largest film festivals in Asia. We hope to catch these films on the big screen to inspire our young generation of filmmakers further,” said FDCP chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

The action thriller “Arisaka” stars Maja Salvado and Mon Confiado, and centers its plot on a policewoman on the run. She must go on the same trail taken by 60,000 American and Filipino prisoners during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in World War II, historically known as the Bataan Death March.

Resbak” chronicles the story of motorcycle thief, Isaac, portrayed by Vince Rillon, as he unwillingly works for a local syndicate to pay for his father’s debts.

JC De Vera, Max Eigenmann, and Joel Torre headline “The Brokers,” where two ambitious friends attempt to sell an illegally-occupied property for millions of dollars at the expense of 700 families that must be evicted.

“Gensan Punch” is about the journey of a Japanese man with a prosthetic leg who trains in the Philippines to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional boxer, and is soon to be available on HBO.

See the movies’ screening schedule at