Turning Quezon City into art and film capital

The government leadership of Quezon City has a vision – they want the city to be the country’s art and film capital and a top destination for culture enthusiasts.

At the press launch of QCinema, the independent film festival established and funded by the local government, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed the city’s plan to be a haven for both budding and established filmmakers and artists.

Festival Director Ed Lejano briefs members of the press on QCinema 2015

“It’s already given that Quezon City is home to major broadcast and film corporations, but we also want to transform the city into something our citizen will be proud of,” the vice mayor told the press.

Belmonte wanted Quezon City to be known as a film festival city similar to Cannes, Berlin, Busan and Toronto that have also become popular for the film festivals they host each year.

“One day, we want people to have Quezon City in mind when we talk about film festivals. This is the main reason why we included QCinema as one of our administration’s landmark projects,” Belmonte explained.

The official furthered that the city government want the public to appreciate their effort in making the festival even bigger each year. For this, it gave the festival a P22 million budget for this year’s edition alone. She also added that refurbishment of the UP Film Center, one of the festival venues, is currently ongoing in time for the festival’s schedule in October.

Circle Competition

Young filmmaker Pepe Diokno is competing in this year’s Circle Competition

As part of the city’s endeavor to be in the forefront of filmmaking map, they introduced the QCinema in 2013. Now on its third edition, the festival hopes to encourage and help emerging filmmakers turn their vision into well-crafted movies, inspired by such values as nationalism, gender sensitivity, freedom, and excellence.

Out of 168 entries, eight feature films made it as finalists for the Circle Competition, the main category in the QCinema International Film Festival 2015. A production grant of P1 million was given to each of the eight selected finalists. Winning film will walk home with P300,000 as cash prize.

This year’s line-up includes Water Lemon by Lemuel Lorca; Kapatiran by Pepe Diokno; Lisa by Chuck Gutierrez; Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo by Mihk Vergara; Gayuma by Cesar Hernando; Sleepless by Prime Cruz; Matangtubig by Jet Leyco; and Ang Huling Habagat by Mario Cornejo.

Cinematographer Will Fredo joins QCinema under DoQC

As a growing festival, QCinema added a new category called DoQC International Documentary Competition. Five full-length documentary films made it to this year’s competition. They are Of Cats, Dogs, Farm Animals, and Sashimi by Perry Dizon; The Crescent Rising by Sheron Dayoc; Audio Perpetua by Universe Baldoza; Traslacion: Ang Paglakad sa Altar ng Alanganin by Will Fredo; and Bingat by Choy Pangilinan, Qubry Quesada, Joolia Demigillo and Abet Umil.

“The DoQC International Documentary Competition signals QCinema’s thrust in putting the spotlight on local documentary filmmaking,” Festival Director Ed Lejano said.

These documentaries will receive funding of P200,000 each and will compete with five other Asian features for the Pylon Award of the DoQC International Documentary Competition.

The festival will run from Oct. 22 to 31 at Trinoma, Gateway and UP Film Center cinemas. Other details are available on the festival website, http://www.qcinema.ph.

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