Film-Watching on a Budget



Cinephiles will get more bang for their buck as QCinema International Film Festival (QCinema) 2017 offers movie screenings for as low as Php150.

The single admission tickets, partly subsidized by the Quezon City government, can be purchased at mall cinema outlets. QCinema will take place from October 19 to 28, 2017, at Gateway Mall (Cineplex 10), Robinsons Galleria (Robinsons Movieworld), and Ayala Malls Cinemas in Trinoma and U.P. Town Center. QCinema screenings at Cinematheque Centre Manila are from October 24 to 28.

QCinema, which is now in its fifth year, is a film festival spearheaded by Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte who helm the Quezon City Film Development Commission (QCFDC). It supports feature-length and shorts directors by providing seed grants to mobilize production.

Quality films for all

Festival-goers are treated to a full selection of fresh independent films, classic titles, and award-winning movies.

Part of this is QCinema’s opening film, “Loving Vincent,” touted as the “world’s first fully painted feature film.” In this movie, directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman give viewers an in-depth view of the life and times of Vincent van Gogh, the controversial 19th-century post-impressionist artist, through letters, paintings, and fictional interviews.

QCinema will bookend the festival with Mike De Leon’s “Batch ‘81,” a classic eye-opener that shows the drama and brutality of fraternities through the eyes of neophytes.

QCinema will set the stage for its original films and other titles that are part of its competitions.

The indie films here are “BALANGIGA: Howling Wilderness”  by writers Jerry Gracio and Achinette Villamor and director Khavn, “Dapol Tan Payawar Na Tayug 1931 (The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931)” by Christopher Gozum, “Dormitoryo (Mga Walang Katapusang Kwarto)” by Emerson Reyes, “Kulay Lila Ang Gabi Na Binudburan Pa Ng Mga Bituin” by director Jobin Ballesteros and writer Jimmy Flores, “Medusae” by Pam Miras, “NEOMANILA” by Mikhail Red, “The Chanters” by writers Andrian Legaspi and John Bedia and filmmaker James Robin Mayo, and “The Write Moment” by Dominic Lim.

The QC Shorts roster will be divided into two sections. For QC Shorts A, the films are “Anya ‘ti Nagan Mo? (What Is Your Name?)” by Ice Idanan, “Babylon” by director Keith Deligero and writer Gale Osorio, “Gikan Sa Ngitngit Nga Kinailadman (From The Dark Depths)” by Kiri Dalena, and “Kun’ Di  Man” by Phyllis Grae Grande.

In QC Shorts B, the films are “Link” by director Mike Esteves and writer Jael Mendoza, “Love Bites” by filmmaker Carl Joseph Papa, “Pixel Paranoia” by Epoy Deyto, and “Si Astri Maka si Tambulah” by Joseph Vincent “Xeph” Suarez in collaboration with writer Cenon Palomares.

Another competition is “Rainbow QC” that shows a broad spectrum of LGBT narratives across the world. Films to be screened here are “Beach Rats” by Eliza Hittman, “Close-Knit” by Naoko Ogigami, “Fathers” by Thai helmer Palatpol Mingpornpichit, “Mga Gabing Kasinghaba Ng Hair Ko” by debuting filmmaker, Gerardo Calagui, “Signature Move” by Jennifer Reeder, and “Tom of Finland” by Dome Karukoski.

“Beach Rats” won the Grand Jury Prize at the Independent Film Festival of Boston 2017 and L.A. Outfest 2017. “Close-Knit” was given the Teddy Jury Award at the Berlin International Film Festival 2017. “Signature Move” director Jennifer Reeder was recognized as the Best Director at the recent FilmOut San Diego, and “Tom of Finland” was chosen as Finland’s official to the 2018 Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film race.

In “Asian Next Wave,” QCinema’s competition sections for Asian filmmakers with less than three features, the films are “Dragonfly Eyes,” the debut film of distinguished Chinese artist Bing Xu, “In Between Seasons” by Dong-Eun Lee, “Kfc” by Le Binh Giang, “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” by Mouly Surya, “Pop Aye” by Kirsten Tan, and “Snow Woman” by Kiki Sugino.

“Dragonfly Eyes” won the Critics Prize at the 70th Locarno Festival held in Switzerland.

“Pop Aye” took home the Screenwriting Award World Cinema – Dramatic from the Sundance Film Festival 2017 and Big Screen Award from the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2017. It is also Singapore’s Best Foreign Language Film entry to the 2018 Oscars.

Non-competition sections

QCinema continues the tradition to show excellent international films in its section, “Screen International.” The films to be shown here are Cannes Grand Prix “120 Beats Per Minute (BPM)” by Robin Campillo, “Loveless” by Andrey Zvyagintsev, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” by Yorgos Lanthimos, and “The Square” by Ruben Östlund.

“120 Beats Per Minute” also took home the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) award, François Chalais award, and Queer Palm prize at the recent Cannes Film Festival. It was also selected as France’s entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2018 Oscars.

“The Square” won the fabled Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and was chosen as Sweden’s 2018 Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. Likewise, Russia has selected “Loveless” as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 2018 Oscars.

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” was one of the winners of the Best Screenplay awards at the Cannes Film Festival.

QCinema takes a trip down memory lane by showing films that have been remastered by ABS-CBN Film Restoration Group and international entities. In its “Digitally Remastered Series,” the films that will have a second life are “All About My Mother” by written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, “Blow-Up” directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, and “The Graduate” by Mike Nichols.

In 2000, “All About My Mother” was named the Best Foreign Language Film by the Academy Awards and Golden Globes and Best Film not in the English Language by the BAFTA Awards.

“Blow-Up” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 1967 and “Best Foreign Film” by French Syndicate of Cinema Critics in 1968.

“The Graduate” took home various awards such as Best Director award from the Academy Awards as well as “Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical” from the Golden Globes in 1968.

Sharing the “Digitally Remastered Series” spotlight are local classics, “High School Scandal” directed by Gil Portes, “Karma” by Danny Zialcita, “Tatlong Taóng Walang Diyos (Three Godless Years),” a period film directed by Mario O’Hara.

“Tatlong Taóng Walang Diyos (Three Godless Years)” lead actress Nora Aunor won the Best Actress plum in the 1977 Gawad Urian Award and FAMAS Award.

“Karma” star Vilma Santos won the Best Actress award at the Metro Manila Film Festival 1981 while Tommy Abuel and Chanda Romero were hailed as the 1982 FAMAS Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

QCinema’s “Before Midnight” shows an unrated section composed of controversial titles meant to shock festival-goers. This category will feature “A Prayer Before Dawn” by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire; “Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)” by Eva Husson, “Revenge” by Coralie Fargeat, “68 Kill” by Trent Haaga who won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival 2017.

Short but powerful films are to be shown in “International Shorts.” Featured here are critically acclaimed short films such as “Dadyaa” by Bibhusan Basnet and Pooja Gurung, “Death of a Soundman” by Sorayos Prapapan, “Gaze” by Farnoosh Samadi, “Hiwa” by Jacqueline Lentzou, “Mobius” by Sam Kuhn, “Tesla World Light” by Matthew Rankin, and “A Gentle Night” by Qiu Yang  who was bestowed the Short Film Palme d’Or at the 70th Festival de Cannes.

“Special Screenings” will feature a potpourri of movies including “Fading Paradise” directed by Aurel Ayson, “Out Run” by S. Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons, and “Diamond Island” by Davy Chou who took home the SACD prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics’ Week.

QCinema’s collection of films created by different regional directors will be screened in “Cinema Rehiyon.” The films here are “Experimental Forest” by Angelica Gamolo, “Squatterina” by Darryl Yap, “The Death of Pablo” by Arvin Belarmino, and “Utas” by Al Enriquez.

Festival passes

QCinema has already released a limited number of festival passes which can be bought at and Freebies await those who will purchase online.

Festival Pass 10, priced at Php1,640, allows festival-goers to watch ten screenings. Freebies for this pass include a QCinema shirt, eco bag, ballpen, notebook, hand sanitizer.

For the Festival Pass 5, which can be bought for Php830, attendees gain entrance into five screenings. This ticket comes with a QCinema shirt, drawstring bag, coaster, and sanitizer.

Once purchased, a confirmation email will be sent to the buyer’s email address. Upon redemption, the ticket, either a soft copy from the Eventbrite app or as a printout, must be presented along with a valid government-issued ID. Tickets can be redeemed from October 20 to 27, 2017, 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM daily, at the QCinema desk found in the cinema lobby of the chosen pick-up location.

Following are the terms and conditions of the festival passes: Use of the festival pass is applicable to all malls; the festival pass is composed of perforated stubs equivalent to regular movie tickets that must be exchanged at the cinema ticket booth. One stub is equivalent to one movie ticket, hence, one screening only; use of the pass is subject to seat availability on a first come first served basis, and the bearer of the festival pass can choose any regular screening film on any day of the festival starting October 20 until October 28.

The festival pass is not valid for invitational screenings. For gala screenings and closing film, seats are subject to availability.

Regular Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) passes are not valid for festival screenings. Only MTRCB Board or staff IDs are accepted but not on the gala, invitational, or special block screenings.


QCinema, in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), will hold the Film Industry Conference @QCinema to be graced by representatives from the global film industry. This event will take place from October 21 to 22 at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.

Another highlight is the Rainbow QCinema Block Party sponsored by FDCP on October 21, 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM, to be held at the Manhattan Strip in Araneta Center.

About QCinema

Since its start in 2013, QCinema has contributed to the country’s burgeoning film scene with its original feature-length and short movies. It is a one-of-a-kind film festival that appropriates up to P1 million worth of production grants to select filmmakers and allows them to retain ownership of their movie rights.

QCinema is sponsored by Japan Foundation Manila; United States Embassy in Manila, Solar Films, Sampaguita Pictures, Embassy of France in Manila, Astro Shaw Sdn Bhd, ABS-CBN Film Restoration Project, Motion Picture Association of America, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Cinerent Philippines, Inc. CMB Film Services, Inc., and Central Digital Lab.

QCinema media partners are, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, BusinessWorld, Cinema Bravo, Film Police Reviews, and

For more information, visit

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