by Nickie Wang
An 80-meter long red carpet, a slew of Italian films and some Filipino productions, and a grand rendezvous of Italian and local film directors and celebrities—this is how we picture the upcoming Italian Film Festival slated next month.
The 10th edition of the annual festival now spells grandeur as it collaborates again with Cultural Center of the Philippines. The festival is organized by the Italian Embassy, also in collaboration with the Associazione Culturale Playtown, Asiatica Filmmediale, the Philippine Italian Association, the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the Province of Rome.
“This festival is just one of the series of events that will happen for the Italian festival here in Manila and with the overwhelming support that we have right now we hope to stage the same grand event in the following years,” Italian Ambassador to the Philippines Luca Fornari told the Standard Today during the festival’s media launch held at The Peninsula Manila.
Now introduced as Moviemov: Italian Cinema Now, it is touted as the biggest edition of the growing film event as it will also be staged in Bangkok and New Delhi. Seven never-before-seen films, a retrospective dedicated to director Bernardo Bertolucci, a homage to the great master of Italian horror Dario Argento, and a special honor to Brillante Mendoza’s Serbis, Lola and Kinatay are the main attractions of the festival that will run from Nov. 9 to 13 at the Greenbelt 3 cinemas 3, 4 and 5.
The festival that attracted more than six thousand attendees in the previous year expects a bigger audience with its new venue. The festival is also open to the public.
On top of the film exhibition, there will be roundtables among the Italian and Filipino filmmakers in order to have an international exchange of ideas and concepts in making films, ensuring future collaborations and lasting partnerships.
Two workshops by famous horror-film-director Dario Argento and award-winning composer Franco Piersanti will be conducted as well, they will be opened for students of film or film enthusiasts.
Albert Martinez’s role
According to Sen. Goffredo Bettini, general director of Moviemov, 10 months ago they came up with an idea of a red carpet event.
“It’s going to be a nice walk for the artists who are coming to Manila. The last time we did such kind of event for an Italian film festival was 30 years ago. Moviemov aims to be like the Venice or the Cannes Film Festival, in which the producers, directors, actors of the films to be shown will actually come to the Philippines,” announced the Italian official.
Taking the hat of director of the red carpet event is actor Albert Martinez, who has been known now for venturing into film directing. Albert was designated by the festival organizers to be in charge of the opening night of the festival in Greenbelt, which will also be attended by Italian celebrities and movie directors.
“As you have heard, we are putting this event to a higher level,” Albert told the press who attended the launch.
The actor furthered that the red carpet event itself is the opportunity of local artists to be part of an international festival.
“Not all of us are lucky enough to be part of huge international film event like this. So we have to take this chance for international exchange of culture and ideas,” he stressed.
Why in Manila?
Comparing the plots and the sensibilities of the characters, Italian films are almost similar to Filipino made movies. That’s why there are times that viewers no longer need the subtitles to understand the developments in the story.
The people behind Moviemov recognize these similarities and they aim that the film event would build a collaboration between Filipinos and Italian filmmakers.
“Manila or Philippines in general has a big filmmaking industry and Filipino society is dynamic and in constant transformation. These are the two main reason what we consider staging Moviemov here,” Sen. Bettini explained adding more emphasis on Asia being an emerging region with a big cultural market.
Apart from ideas cultural exchange and the promotion of Italian cinema, the main goasl of the Italian Film Festival are develop friendship among the participating nations, promote the love of cinema to the whole world particularly in this part of Asia, and spread the kind of entertainment movies can bring to all sectors of the society most especially to the youth.