The 2021 QCinema International Film Festival is almost here and you won’t want to miss it once you find out what’s in store. This year, the festival will offer screenings at Gateway Cineplex 10 and on streaming platform KTX from Nov. 26 to Dec. 5. For dedicated moviegoers, that may just be enough time to savor the 38 films included in the full lineup announced today, Nov. 17.
But if you’re the type who likes to prioritize or if you’re worried that you won’t have enough time, let our handy festival guide help you decide which ones to see first.
The QCinema International Film Festival has eight programs, including its Asian Shorts showcase which we have previously written a guide for here. You can check out the rest of the lineup below.
Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive my Car” is an adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s short story “Men Without Women.” The Palme d’Or contender follows the story of a director who gets invited to direct a play at a Hiroshima festival and the woman assigned to be his chauffeur.
Hamaguchi’s “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” is also included in this category.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Memoria” stars Tilda Swinton as a Scottish woman who begins to notice strange sounds while traveling in Colombia.
Philippe Falardeau’s “My Salinger Year” is set in ‘90s New York. A young writer (Margaret Qualley) gets hired as an assistant to J. D. Salinger’s stoic and old-fashioned literary agent (Sigourney Weaver).
Audrey Diwan’s “Happening” is about a young woman in 1960s France who is battling to access illegal abortion in a race against time.
The other films included in this category are Bogdan George Apetri’s “Miracle,” about a mysterious investigation on a missing young nun; Lorenzo Vigas’s “The Box,” about a Mexican teenager hoping to collect his father’s remains; Kiro Russo’s “The Great Movement,” about a mine worker who contracts a serious illness; Joachim Trier’s dramedy “The Worst Person in the World,” and Edwin’s retro action flick homage “Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash.”
Lav Diaz’s “Historya Ni Ha” stars John Lloyd Cruz as Filipino vaudeville performer and former socialist cadre Hernando Alamada who fulfills the last leg of his tour on the Mayflower cruise ship.
Three of Patrick Alcedo’s films are part of this category: “A Will To Dream,” “Am I Being Selfish,” and “They Call Me Dax.” The documentary “They Call Me Dax” is about a 15-year-old Filipino student struggling to survive as a ballet dancer. It won Best Short Documentary at the Cannes Indies Cinema Awards.
Arthur Harari’s “Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle” is based on a true story about a Japanese soldier sent to Lubang Island, Philippines and is tasked to help wage a guerilla war against American troops until the Japanese return.
Martin Edralin’s “Islands” is about a shy middle-aged Filipino immigrant who is longing for a partner as his parents, whom he has lived with all his life, see their health start to decline.
Kamila Andini’s “Yuni” follows a teenage girl who feels forced to choose between running away with a younger boy in her school or getting married to her favorite teacher.
Of course, the six QCShorts vying for production grants and ownership of film rights are also definite must-sees.
Xeph Suarez’s “City of Flowers” is set in 2013 Zamboanga, before the siege, where a couple tries to save their flower farm from a drought and raise money for childbirth.
Kaj Palanca’s “Henry” features a teenager longing for another life when he visits a mansion’s construction site to seek compensation for his older brother’s work injury.
Trishtan Perez’s “I get so sad sometimes” follows the story of a gay teenager waiting for the man he’s in an anonymous online sexual relationship with to finally reveal his face.
In Chuck Escasa’s “Skylab,” two boys make a dark discovery as they await for the Skylab satellite to crash into earth.
“Ampangabagat Nin Talakba Ha Likol” (It’s Raining Frogs Outside), directed by Maria Estela Paiso, tells the story of a woman forced to go to Zambales to confront a house that’s been terrorizing her.
Miko Livelo and Mihk Vergara’s mockumentary “Mighty Robo V” follows a documentary crew covering the Philippine Giant Monster Defense Institute’s Mighty Robo V program.
Ramon Zurcher and Silvan Zurcher’s “The Girl and the Spider” delves into the upended lives of two longtime friends and flatmates after one of them decides to move out.
Set in post-war Germany, Sebastian Meise’s “Great Freedom” is about a
man who is imprisoned again and again for being homosexual. He soon finds a steady relationship and love with his cellmate.
Bagane Fiola’s “Baboy Halas” puts focus on an Indigenous family, one of the last forest people of old, as they cope with the unusual changes in their environment.
On the other hand, Sheng Qiu’s “Suburban Birds” is a coming-of-age dramedy about a team of young engineers investigating a series of craters that appeared on the edge of a city.
Valdimar Jóhannsson’s “Lamb” is the A24 flick about a couple that adopts a half-lamb baby.
In Christos Nikou’s “Apples,” there’s a pandemic that’s giving people sudden amnesia.
Amalia Ulman’s “El Planeta” is set in post-crisis Spain where a mother-daughter duo grift to fund their extravagant life.
Laura Wandel’s “Playground” follows the story of a 7-year-old girl who is sworn into secrecy after she witnesses her older brother being bullied.
Vincent Maël Cardona’s “Magnetic Beats” brings you to 1980s rural France, where a young man tries to get out of the shadow of his local pirate radio jock brother.
Which QCinema 2021 film are you most excited about?