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Film fest pays tribute to heroes in short filmmaking

February 17 ------ Addressing the need to create a community that appreciates “other forms” of films—whether shorts, full-length features, experimental or documentaries—independent filmmaker Jay Altarejos launched another edition of ALT-R HEROES Film Festival. It will showcase a short film competition and feature free film screenings. “These are films we like to create and share with the audience. We believe that there’s a place for all kinds of films, whether mainstream or alternative films,” said Altarejos, adding that a number of his films, old and new, will also be shown during the festival that will run from Feb. 16 to Feb. 20 at the UPFI Film Center in Diliman, Quezon City. 


For free 

“We are doing this for free not only to show our sincere intent in encouraging people to watch our films, but also to help in audience development,” he pointed out. “We have to do our part from our side of filmmaking. The mainstream (industry) has done it through the Metro Manila Film Festival with popular actors in their movies. We hope that, eventually, other film-related communities will also support us financially. Who else will care about local filmmaking but those of us who are involved in creating it? 


Selected short films that showcase “alternative or alternate heroes and stories” will be curated across different styles—whether narratives telling a story, experimental pieces pushing boundaries, or documentaries capturing reality,” said Altarejos. The short film competitions will have two sections: the New Visions Section is dedicated to the filmmakers whose works have translated their visions, while the New Horizon titles are films on gender by emerging filmmakers.Filmmakers participating in the first are Toni Canete (“Desilya”), Vahn Leinard Pascual (“Mary Go Round, Mary Go Round”) and Sean Romero (“The World We Left”); and those in the second are Joe Bacus (“Happy Fiesta”), Arbi Barbarona (“The Right to Live”), Arvin Belarmino (“Hinakdal”), Roman Perez Jr. (“How to Make an Effective Campaign Ad”) and Kyla Danelle Romero (“Dosena”). 


Three prizes will be awarded: 2076Kolektib Prize (Best Film-New Visions), Gawad Balangaw Prize (Best Film-New Horizon), and ALT-R HEROES Prize for Best Director. The festival’s opening film, Altarejos’ seminal work “Ang Lihim ni Antonio” (remastered, black and white version), will be screened on Feb. 16, at 5:30 p.m., while his new BL (boys’ love) film titled “Sa Panahong Walang Katiyakan,” will be screened on Feb. 19, at 5:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow at 5:30 p.m. The event is organized by 2076Kolektib. Other members of 2076Kolektib are filmmakers Manuel Garcellano, Marco Bertillo-Mata and actor Oliver Aquino. The Kolektib is currently finishing a film that features Sunshine Cruz, Soliman Cruz and Oliver Aquino. “It is open for coproduction deals,” Altarejos reported. Another project, “Guardia de Honor,” which is a collaboration with ADCC Productions, will be released soon. It stars Laurice Guillen, Sunshine Cruz, Therese Malvar and Allen Dizon. The UPFI Film Center will be the venue for premiere screenings, master classes and talkbacks on Feb. 16, 19 and 20. Online screenings will be through iWantTFC and GagaOOLala. 




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