The 2021 QCinema International Film Festival is fast approaching. The hybrid festival will run from Nov. 26 to Dec. 5 and will feature different lineups for its screenings at Gateway Cineplex 10 and streaming platform KTX. If you haven’t decided which films to catch yet, let our handy guide help you out.
QCinema announced the lineup for its Asian short film showcase in October. The festival boasts of the Philippine premiere of works by emerging Southeast Asian artists—including two Filipino shorts. All six films have previously competed in festival circuits.
Petersen Vargas’ (“2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten”) “How to Die Young in Manila” stars Elijah Canlas as a teenager who trails a group of hustlers in the hopes that one of them would be down for an anonymous hook-up. You’ll have to find out for yourself whether Canlas’ character does find an unlikely happy ending with the one played by his “Gameboys” co-star Kokoy de Santos.
Berlinale’s Silver Bear and Brief Encounters Grand Prix winner “Filipiñana” is also coming home. Rafael Manuel’s film reflects Philippine social structure as it follows the story of Isabel, a newbie tee girl at an exclusive golf club who’s struggling to subvert the system.
Chinese-Indonesian filmmaker Monica Vanesa Tedja’s queer short “Dear to Me” is about a young man longing to find his soulmate. He hopes to discover a reincarnated deer while vacationing on a remote island with his devout Christian parents.
Vietnamese directing duo Vu Minh Nghia and Pham Hoang Minh Thy’s “Live In Cloud-Cuckoo Land” depicts the love story of a woman who works at a wedding dress shop and a local busker who has lost his speaker and his voice. In their quest to look for a place to belong, they realize that they are exiles in their homeland and alienated from themselves.
Sorayos Prapapan’s “New Abnormal” is based on life during the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand. “The way my government handled the Covid-19 situation consisted [of] enforcing an Emergency Decree which meant that the government would have more power. And instead of buying good vaccines, the government decided to buy more submarines and said there was no budget for vaccines,” said the Thai director. Sounds familiar?
Last but not the least is Cambodian filmmaker Danech San’s “Sunrise in My Mind.” It follows a young beauty salon employee as she gives into her restrained crush on a delivery rider. Talk about a lockdown love story.
And if that’s not enough to sate your appetite, you can check out QCinema’s full offering. Earlier this year, QCinema announced its list of finalists for the QCShorts competition which includes Chuck Escasa’s “Skylab,” Maria Estela Paiso’s “Ampangabagat Nin Talakba Ha Likol,” Trishtan Perez’s “i get so sad sometimes,” Miko Livelo and Mihk Vergara’s “Mighty Robo V,” Kaj Palanca’s “Henry,” and Xeph Suarez’s “City of Flowers.”
Apart from these finalists, you can also catch full-length features such as A24’s Scandinavian folk-horror film “Lamb,” Arthur Harari’s “Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle,” as well as Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” and “Drive My Car.”
Which films are you hoping to be announced as part of QCinema 2021’s offerings?