Filipino Film ‘Aswang’ Makes it to Esteemed Documentary Festival in Amsterdam

A total of 12 entries are in the running for the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Competition for First Appearance 2019 in the Netherlands, including “Aswang” by Alyx Ayn Arumpac. “Aswang,” a co-production among the Philippines, France, Norway, Qatar, and Germany, will be up against productions and co-productions from Spain, Russia, Qatar, Denmark, Brazil, Poland, China, the UK, Serbia, Croatia, Colombia, and Georgia.

The IDFA, now on its 32nd year, is widely regarded as the Cannes of documentary filmmaking. It has screened over 300 films annually, making it among the leading documentary film fests in the world.

The inclusion of “Aswang” in the IDFA Competition for First Appearance made it possible for the 85-minute documentary on the war on drugs in the Philippines to have a world premiere in Amsterdam on November 21.

The screenings for “Aswang” are on November 21, 23, 27, and 29, with an additional event on November 23 for the Press & Industry Screening. The international companies that co-produced with Cinematografica are Les Films de l’œil sauvage, Stray Dog Productions AS, and Razor Film Produktion GmbH. Quentin Laurent was the creative producer while Kristine Ann Skaret, Roman Paul, and Henrik Underbjerg were co-producers.

Cinematography was care of Arumpac and Tanya Haurylchyk, editing was done by Anne Fabini and Fatima Bianchi, and the trailer was courtesy of Carlo Manatad. Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr was at the helm of sound mix, John Michael Perez and Mikko Quizon were in charge of sound design, music was taken care of by Teresa Barrozo, and narration was done by Fabini and Giancarlo Abrahan.

“Aswang” may be the only documentary with Philippine production credits in IDFA 2019, but there are two other documentaries scheduled for Dutch premieres that tackle Filipino topics. “Overseas” (Belgium and France) by Sung-A Yoon features the trainings and ordeals of future Filipino overseas housekeepers, while “The Kingmaker” (United States and Denmark) by Lauren Greenfield is about the family of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, with focus on former First Lady Imelda Marcos. Since 1988, only one Philippine production has won an IDFA: “Kano: An American and His Harem” (2010) by Monster Jimenez which bagged the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance in 2010.

The IDFA runs from November 20 to December 1, 2019.

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