SAN FRANCISCO — The longest running Filipino film festival in the country, hopes the platform it creates can help push Pinoy filmmakers and directors onto the world stage.
It’s lights, camera, action in San Francisco for Filipino filmmakers, as FACINE hosted its 24th annual film festival.
“One of the goals of Facine is to introduce our diverse cinema to San Francisco audiences if. It not all of the US,” said director Mauro Tumbocon Jr.
“Most of my family is here in the Bay Area, and we don’t to have a lot of screenings here in the US. So it’s really special,” said “Kristo” director HF Yambao.
This year’s festival brought in a variety of films, including the country’s official Oscar entry Raymond Red’s Birdshot.
The highly-touted Imbisobol about the lives of undocumented workers in Japan kicked off the longest running Filipino film festival in the United States with a message.
“By the end of the day kahit Mali in a way illegal sila by the end of the day Yung message nito love,” said director Lawrence Fanardo. “Yung pag mamahal sa pamilya Yung talaga gusto namin sabihin ito na Gagawa natin ang lahat Ng bagay para sa pamilya natin
These festivals come as award season kicks into gear. Filmmakers believe exposure here will also generate buzz for future Oscars awards.
Tumbocon believes this year’s lineup shows a new level of independent filmmaking in the Philippines that will appeal to wider audiences.
“Most of the films of not all the films we would consider high quality, world class. It’s not longer just the Philippines, there are several ways of looking at it. We are not only considering the Filipino audience, the Filipino community audience, but also the non-Filipino community, who are becoming informed about the cinema from the Philippines.”
After FACINE, Yambao gets his chance to make waves in Japan at the Tokyo International Film Festival with Kristo, where Imbisibol received a warm welcome last year.
The Filipino films in the Bay Area Don’t stop with FACINE. Next month TFC will also hold its Cinematografo festival.