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‘Cleaners’ wins top award at QCinema 2019

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A film made of photocopied stills and hand colored with highlighter pens wins big at QCinema International Film Festival.

Cast of 'Cleaners'

Cast of ‘Cleaners’

“Cleaners” of debuting filmmaker Glenn Barit won Best Film, besting seven other films in the QCinema’s main competition section – Asian Next Wave.

The nostalgic coming-of-age film “Cleaners,” set in schoolyear 2007-2008 in a high school in Tuguegarao, also bagged Audience Choice award and Best Screenplay.

Carla Pulido Ocampo and cast of 'Tokwifi'

Carla Pulido Ocampo and cast of ‘Tokwifi’

Two other new directors bagged major awards. Chinese Qui Sheng won the NETPAC Jury Prize for “Suburban Birds,” and Rae Red brought home the Best Director award for her first solo-directorial work, “Babae at Baril.” The film, “Babae at Baril,” also won the Gender Sensitivity Award.

Janine Gutierrez, who plays the titular lead in Red’s film, got her first international acting award as Best Actress. Por Silatsa of the Laotian film “The Long Walk” won Best Actor.

Lee Chatametikool of the Thai and German film “Nakorn-Sawan” was recognized for his artistic contribution in film editing.

It is the first time QCinema pitted its local grantees against Asian directors in this competition section, Asian Next Wave (ANW) Competition. It put in ANW’s wing the former cluster — Circle Competition, which was for the Filipino filmmakers.

'Babae At Baril' director Rae Red (righmost)

‘Babae At Baril’ director Rae Red (righmost)

In the QCShorts competition, “Judy Free” won Best Short Film for Che Tagayamon, a recent UP film graduate. It is about a young girl whose reality is intruded when her father, an overseas Filipino worker, brought home an animated doodle figure.

The Special Jury Prize was awarded to Bontoc-based filmmaker, Carla Pulido Ocampo, for her work “Tokwifi.” The comedy short “Excuse Me Miss Miss Miss” by Sonny Calvento garnered the audience choice award for shorts.

This year’s batch of winners is an affirmation of the festival’s theme, Rising Wave, which recognizes debuting and female filmmakers.

The international set of jury for the Asian Next Wave is headed by renowned screenwriter Ricky Lee. The members are Richard Bolisay, Toshiyuki Hasegawa, Phan Dang Di, and Claire Marty.

The QCShorts competition jury members are Sari Dalena, Jun Sabayton, and Benjamin Tolentino.

Vic del Rosario Jr. (center)

Vic del Rosario Jr. (center)

Also, for the first time in 7 years, QCInema recognized the contribution of one of the living pillars of the film industry. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Vic del Rosario or “Boss Vic” of Viva Films.

This 7th edition of QCinema has 73 titles contained in 10 sections. Exactly 12 of these have received generous grants, which are three full-feature films, six shorts, and three documentaries.

The festival will run until Oct. 22 at Gateway Cineplex 10, Robinsons Movieworld Galleria Ortigas, Ayala Malls Cinema Trinoma, Cinema Centenario, Cinema 76 Anonas, and Cine Adarna.

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