This year’s Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) will feature five unique Filipino dramas. The Philippine Entertainment Portal reports that Die Beautiful, I America, Birdshot, Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis and Shiniuma will be part of the festival’s 29th year.
Die Beautiful stars Paolo Ballesteros as a transwoman and beauty pageant veteran whose dying wish is to be dressed as Lady Gaga for her funeral. The film is directed by Jun Lana. It is the only Filipino film included in the main competition. This marks Lana’s second run at TIFF. His 2013 freshman entry Barber’s Tales won the TIFF Best Actress award for its star Eugene Domingo.
Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis or “A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery” is Lav Diaz’s eight-hour epic for TIFF’s World Focus Section. Anchored by Philippine superstars John Lloyd Cruz and Piolo Pascual, Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis is a fantastical meditation on Philippine literature, culture and history. The film won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.
Shiniuma or “Dead Horse” follows an illegal Filipino immigrant who returns to the Philippines after decades of diaspora. Helmed by 2009 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Mendoza, Shiniuma is part of TIFF’s specially produced film series entitled Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections. The omnibus includes the films Pigeon (Japan) and Beyond the Bridge (Cambodia).
The TIFF Asian Future Section features the films I America and Birdshot.
Directed by Ivan Andrew Payawal and starring Bela Padilla, I America chronicles a young Filipino-American’s search for her biological father.
Directed by Mikhail Red, Birdshot follows a young farm girl who accidentally kills an endangered Philippine eagle.
The Tokyo Film International Film Festival features exceptional films all over the world. It will run from October 25 to November 3, 2016.