Festivals, Lists

Must-See Films at QCinema International Film Festival 2019

QCinema is back, now on its 7th year! With the theme “A Rising Wave,” QCinema presents the strides Asian filmmakers have been making worldwide. There are many female directors in the documentary and short film categories, representing a rise of female voices in the Asian film festival circuit. And as part of the centennial celebration of Philippine Cinema, the festival will feature restored Filipino film classics. With over 70 exciting films in its roster, here are our must see films!

Cleaners dir. Glenn Barit (Philippines)
In Competition: Asian Next Wave

A coming-of-age anthology film about high school cleaners in a Catholic school in Tuguegarao City, Cleaners has been generating buzz because of its ambitious visual style. All frames of the film (30,000 of them!) was printed, photocopied, colored with highlighters, scanned, and assembled back again to edit. The visual style is enough to get us excited for Glenn Barit’s first feature film.

Babae at Baril dir. Rae Red (Philippines)
In Competition: Asian Next Wave

Rae Red’s follow up to Si Chedeng at Si Apple, Babae at Baril tells the story of a saleslady (Janine Gutierrez) exhausted because of her daily life in the city. She one day finds a gun at her doorstep that drastically changes her life. How does she deal with the power she suddenly has? A psychological thriller with a punchy jazz score, we’re excited to see where the girl with the gun will take us.

Bacurau dirs. Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles (Brazil)
Exhibition: Screen International

Part of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, the film competed for the Palme d’Or and won the Jury Prize. Bacurau’s trailer gives nothing away but has been described as a weird western, sci-fi, and adventure film that tackles Brazilian sociopolitical issues. The film has been making the festival circuit rounds and has been getting rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. 

Beanpole dir. Kantemir Balagov (Russia)
Exhibition: Screen International

Beanpole is about two young women trying to rebuild after the siege of Leningrad in 1945. A female-driven drama/war film, the film looks like a difficult and devastating watch. The film premiered as part of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section and won the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Director.

High Life dir. Claire Denis (France, UK)
Exhibition: Screen International

Denis’ first English film starring Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche, High Life tells the story of a crew of prisoners isolated in deep space. It focuses on Monte (Pattinson) and his daughter as they try to survive. The film had its world premiere last year at the Toronto International Film Festival and will finally have its Philippine premiere at QCinema.

No Data Plan dir. Miko Revereza (USA)
Exhibition: Special Screenings

Miko Revereza has been living undocumented in the United States for 20 years; in this, he documents his train journey across America. Revereza’s first feature is interspersed with conversations with his mother and his own reflections on undocumented people and migration at a time when tensions are rising against immigrants.

Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag dir. Lino Brocka (Philippines)
Exhibition: Centennial Classics

Lino Brocka’s seminal film Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag’s return to cinemas is timely and apt. Julio Madiaga, played by Bembol Roco in his debut role, moves to the city to find Ligaya (Hilda Koronel), his lover who leaves the province in search of a better future. Manila isn’t the glittery paradise that it seems, its people experiencing extreme poverty and doing whatever it takes to survive in a city full of cruelty and rot. Maynila holds a mirror to Philippine society, and nothing has changed since 1975.


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