Pinoy film to compete at Sundance next year

Posted at 11/29/12 4:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino-British co-production has made it to next year’s Sundance Film Festival, which has been dubbed the premier showcase for independent films.

“Metro Manila,” which stars Filipino actors Jake Macapagal, John Arcilla and Althea Vega, will have its world premiere at the Robert Redford-founded film fest, which will be held from January 17-27, 2013 in Park City, Utah, the Sundance Institute said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of press.sundance.org

The movie, which is credited to both the Philippines and the United Kingdom, is among the 12 films vying in the annual festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition, which also includes films from South Korea, Indonesia and Afghanistan.
Shot in the Philippines, “Metro Manila” is directed by Sean Ellis, who also co-wrote the script with Frank E. Flowers.

According to the Sundance website, the movie is about Oscar and his family, who, searching for a better life, move from “the poverty-stricken rice fields to the big city of Manila, where they fall victim to various inhabitants whose manipulative ways are a daily part of city survival.”

The movie also stars theater actors Miles Kanapi, Ana Abad Santos and JM Rodriguez, according to its entry on the movie website imdb.com.

For the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, organizers said 113 feature-length films were selected, representing 32 countries and 51 first-time filmmakers, including 27 in competition.

"These films were selected from 12,146 submissions (429 more than for 2012), including 4,044 feature-length films and 8,102 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,070 were from the US and 1,974 were international,” the statement said.

John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival, said these films "have a particular immediacy and fearlessness to them showing us that independent film is as vibrant, creative and relevant as ever."

"Filmmakers are telling raw, powerful stories that are sure to create new energy in audiences and communities across the globe in the months to come,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Every great film starts with an idea, and it is a testament to artists that they continually find new ideas, new stories, new points of view and new ways of sharing them, year after year. We look forward to hearing from these artists not just through their words and images onscreen but also through the larger dialogue they create with audiences at our Festival and beyond,” added Redford, the president and founder of Sundance Institute, according to the statement.