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15 July 2006

kubrador wins in moscow

i was thrilled to hear that jeffrey jeturian’s kubrador (screenplay: ralston jover and armando lao) had received the fipresci (fédération internationale de la presse cinématographique) prize for best film in competition during the xxviii moscow international film festival last 23 june to 2 july.

the 2006 fipresci jurors at moscow were: sheila johnston (uk), claire clouzot (france), larisa malyukova (russia), daira abolina (latvia) and charles stephane roy (canada). founded in 1930 and paris-based, fipresci is a highly-regarded international federation of professional film historians, critics and media practitioners. they usually honor groundbreaking cinematic achievements in major film festivals like cannes, venice, berlin, sundance, locarno, rotterdam and moscow. my former student joel toledo (now a highly-accomplished poet and musician) and his friend john torres earlier bagged a joint network for the promotion of asian cinema (netpac)/fipresci prize for todo todo teros (co-winner with ying liang's taking father home) at the singapore international film festival last 13-29 april.

it is rather unfortunate that i couldn't be in manila to personally capture the film’s progression from planning to completion. but leo abaya (previous credits include: itanong mo sa buwan, misis mo, misis ko, jose rizal, muro-ami), the film’s production designer, has been sending out sms messages about the film’s wonderful accomplishments.

other friends have remarked that kubrador is possibly jeff’s best film to date. leo says that, in a way, the film problematized the everyday life of ordinary folks back home. it revolves around an aging bet collector (gina pareño as amelita) and her daily flirtation with jueteng. jueteng is an illegal game of numbers dating back to the period of spanish colonization in the philippines (1521-1898).


the bet collector is frequently held by the police. but immediately after being arrested, she returns to her wayward proclivities. one day, she learns that her soldier-son had been killed. paradoxically, she takes advantage by collecting more money from people in the slums. days later, the bet collector takes a break from work. then she visits the tomb of her soldier-son. there, she cheats death from a stray bullet.

pareño apparently did very well. at moscow, she gave julie walters, monica bellucci and salma hayek some fierce competition for the best actress trophy. of course, walters won for driving lessons. but that didn't mean that pareño's rendition was less powerful. the judges simply ventured towards a hollywood/eurocentric flair. kubrador was just different. still, it won a prize for being proudly filipino.

kubrador should also be interesting because pareño's co-stars are accomplished thespians nanding josef (father buboy), soliman cruz (policeman) and fonz besa (eli). visual artist/director and abs-cbn official johnny manahan makes a rare appearance too as a jueteng cashier.

of the film, critic joven velasco says that “the ghost of the son is a brilliant imagery for all-encompassing faith: someone watches over and protects small lives. that is how the wretched of this earth cope. this, to them, is the reality, no matter what the more privileged among us may think or say.”

meanwhile, kubrador has been formally accepted for exhibition by the following film festivals:
from 14 to 23 july, it will be competing at the 8th osian's-cinefan festival of asian cinema in new delhi, india. the film will have its north american/canadian premiere at toronto international film festival from 7 to 16 september.

from toronto, the film will cross the atlantic for its turkish premiere at the 2nd international eurasia film festival in antalya from 16 to 23 september. the festival coincides with the 43rd antalya golden orange film festival, turkey’s first and most prestigious domestic film festival. from 28 september to 13 october, the film will be moving to vancouver international film festival. kubrador will have its bollywood premiere at mumbai's 5th asian film festival from 12 to 19 october. from 12 to 20 october, it will be screened at the pusan international film festival in korea. from pusan, kubrador will have its iberian premiere at the sección oficial of spain's 51st valladolid international film festival from 20 to 28 october.

from 18 october to 2 november, the film will have its uk premiere at the 50th london international film festival. from 19 to 29 october, it will go to the louis vitton hawaii international film festival. in honolulu, kubrador will be seen by american audiences for the first time. over there, the film will also have a hollywood exposure because members of the hollywood foreign press, organizers of the annual golden globe awards, will be in attendance.

from 21 october to 3 november, kubrador will go brazilian at the 30th são paulo international film festival / 30ª mostra internacional de cinema. from brazil, the film will be crossing the pacific for the 19th tokyo international film festival from 21 to 29 october. the movie will compete at the 2006 cinemanila international film festival from 3 to 15 november. then it will be screened before greek and balkan audiences at the thessaloniki international film festival from 7 to 24 november. the film is set to make its western european premiere at the 33rd brussels international film festival of independent film from 7 to 12 november.

kubrador will have its french premiere in competition at the 26th festival international du film d'ameins (in competition) from 10 to19 november. after crossing the alps, it is set to have its italian premiere at the asiatica film mediale in roma from 18 to 26 november. from rome, the film will go to cairo international film festival from 28 november to 8 december. from cairo, the film will go to the 8th international film festival bratislava, slovak republic from 1-9 december. simultaneously, the film be exhibited at the panorama section of the tallinn black nights film festival in estonia from 1 to10 december. from 10 to 17 december kubrador will grace the 3rd dubai international film festival at the united arab emirates.


from united arab emirates, the film will go to the suchitra film society international film festival in chennai, india from 15-22 december and in bangalore, india from 22-29 december. from india, the film will proceed to palm springs (california, u.s.a.), goteborg (sweden), and tromso (norway). from scandinavia, it will be have its dutch premiere at the 36th international film festival rotterdam, which will take place from january 24 to 4 february 2007.from the netherlands, kubrador will be exhibited at the 30th göteborg international film festival from 26 january to 5 february 2007.

from sweden, kubrador will have its iranian premiere at the 25th fajr international film festival from 1-11 february 2007. from iran
, the film will proceed to the 35th belgrade international film festival from 23 february 23rd to 4 march 2007. from serbia, the film will go to the 2006 cleveland international film festival in ohio, u.s.a. from 15 to 25 march 2007. from america, the film will be featured during the inaugural hyderabad international film festival (hiff) from 23-29th march 2007. from southern india, the film with have its danish premiere at the natfilm festivalen 2007 (18th annual film festival of denmark) from 23 march to 8 april.

many other film festivals around the world are still asking for screeners of
kubrador from mlr films producer joji alonso antonio. for instance,
the film will be competing for the golden kinnaree award for best film in competition at the 5th bangkok international film festival in july 2007. my thai friends said that the festival will be held at royal paragon hall of siam paragon complex on king rama I road, thailand's dramatic shopping mall and convention center. for 2007, there will be a long and winding red carpet (surrounded by cascading waterfalls and lush tropical foliage) for celebrities to walk on. hollywood and european stars, film artists, critics and media people have been invited to meet their asia-pacific counterparts next year. i reckon, bangkok will be another memorable trip for jeffrey. sawasdee khrap indeed! kubrador has also been invited to have its west bengal premiere at the 12th kolkata (calcutta) film festival from 10-17 november 2007. then there's guadalajara (mexico) and vilnius (lithuania). certainly, there will be even more festivals to come.

i can only hope that kubrador gets to win more awards. if possible, the film should make money. clearly, the film's premise is devoid of formula. just like jeffrey's other films (sana pag-ibig na, pila-balde, tuhog, bridal shower, bikini open and minsan pa), kubrador would surely be raising some ante. for one, it wouldn't have any lacrimonous ("pang-award") moments. i've already had enough of local cinema's screaming-and-slapping fares. jeffrey's films would always say: it's time to move on.

joji alonso antonio is indeed "crazy" for producing kubrador. jeffrey and his team should be commended for struggling over the realm of micropolitics. for leo abaya, the film becomes even more important because it refers to analyze, elaborate and bring into question the inescapable problems of ordinary filipinos.

these days, films shouldn't just be entertaining. viewers are now beginning to push for an even more distinctive style of cultural politics. there has to be more support for the subaltern. committed viewers should be watching films like kubrador.


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production designer leo antonio abaya, actor gina pareño and film director jeffrey jeturian at the blue carpet of the xxviii moscow international film festival last 2 july
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film producer/lawyer joji alonso antonio, actor gina pareño and film director jeffrey jeturian in moscow
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jeffrey jeturian at a press conference after winning the fipresci prize during this year's moscow international film festival
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by the marquee of the xxviii moscow international film festival
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johnny manahan as jueteng cashier
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jeturian directs manahan
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director of photography boy yniguez takes a shot of jeturian and manahan
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pareño and yniquez by the slums of sikatuna

****
XXVIII Moscow International Film Festival
23 June to 2 July 2006
Grand Prix, Golden St. George
OM SARA / ABOUT SARA, Director: Othman Karim, Sweden, 2005
Grand Jury Prize, Golden St. George
DRIVING LESSONS, Director: Jeremy Brock, UK, 2006
Best Director Silver St. George
Bertrand Blier, COMBIEN TU M'AIMES? / HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME?, Italy / France
2005
Best Actor Silver St. George
Jens Harzer, DER LEBENSVERSICHERER / RUNNING ON EMPTY, Director: Bulent Akinci, Germany, 2005
Best Actress Silver St. George
Julie Walters, DRIVING LESSONS, UK, 2006
Special Prize for Achieving Perfection in Acting and for Loyalty to the Principles of the Stanislavsky Method
Gerard Depardieu, actor, France
The Perspectives Competition Prize
SPRING / CHASHMA, directed by Yolkin Tuychiev, Uzbekistan, 2006
The prize of The Russian Federation of Film Clubs for the Best Film of the 28th MIFF Russian Films program
NANKIN LANDSCAPE, Russia, 2005, directed by Valery Rubinchik
The prize of The Russian Federation of Film Clubs for the best film in Competition
KLIMT, Austria / France / Germany / UK, 2005, directed by Raul Ruiz
Special mention and a diploma of The 28th MIFF Jury of the Russian Guild of Film Critics
DER LEBENSVERSICHERER / RUNNING ON EMPTY, directed by Bulent Akinci, Germany, 2005
FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) Prize for Best Film in Competition
KUBRADOR, directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, Philippines, 2006

(Photo Credits: Vice Consul and Third Secretary Deric Atienza of the Philippine Embassy in Moscow and Director of Photography Boy Yniguez)

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12 Comments:

Blogger ramblingsoul said...

hi sir wendell. yung film ni john torres
na "todo todo teros" also won the fipresci in the recent (late last april) singapore international film festival. i co-wrote the script with john. :)

Sat Jul 15, 01:44:00 PM 2006  
Blogger wendell said...

joel!! great to hear from you!! felicitations re todo todo teros. when you see jeffrey, leo or bing lao tell them that i'm your friend too and that you were my student in comm 1-2 18 years ago (ang tagal na pala nun)! im looking forward to your successive publications and victories. mabuhay ka!

Sat Jul 15, 01:56:00 PM 2006  
Blogger talksmart said...

hello. I like your blog a lot. I am nominating you for the "Filipino Blog fo the Week". Visit site and vote daily. :-)

Sun Jul 16, 12:37:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous reggie said...

yipee, itaas ang bandila ng Pilipinas!

Mon Jul 17, 03:48:00 PM 2006  
Blogger wendell said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Mon Jul 17, 04:28:00 PM 2006  
Blogger wendell said...

eric a.k.a. talksmart: thanks for taking some interest in my blog. thanks too for dropping by.

reggie: how are you? do spread the word re: kubrador. it was the opening film at cinemalaya. neil knows jeffrey too. perhaps you can find some time to watch the film. take care.

Mon Jul 17, 04:29:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Eric said...

kumusta kuya wendell? eric melendez here. just dropped by, and grabbed your url para ma-link kita. thanks!

Thu Jul 20, 12:23:00 AM 2006  
Blogger wendell said...

eric!! i'll link you too. say hi to all our friends over there. tell teacher ophie i miss her and i'll visit her when i return to manila next year. she got me started. she will always be an influence.

Thu Jul 20, 12:39:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Wendell,

I don't know if you remember me, but we were at KAL together back in the early 1990s, when I was still a student at DEL and hanging out with Betty Romero and Bliss Lim. You wouldn't have known it, but I was the person who took some of the photos you posted in your blog. I'm the cultural officer at the Philippine Embassy in Moscow now and generally assisted the Kubrador team not only at the MIFF but also at the Festival of Festivals St Petersburg Film Festival, where Minsan Pa was also screened. You can check our official site: www.phil-embassy.ru.

Best,

Deric
thythia@gmail.com

Mon Nov 06, 10:13:00 PM 2006  
Blogger wendell said...

deric!!!!

how are you?

i remember you very very well. i was a novice in the department and i didn't know much when i started. but the students were there and that got me motivated.

will write a longer email. will keep in touch.

cheers.

w.

Mon Nov 06, 10:17:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just finished watching it and googled it right away. This film is different. It so honest and real. There was no catchy music, too much emotions, violence, artistry etc. etc. It's as if I was there. Very good.

Mon Dec 24, 11:49:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous jwpcapili said...

wonderful film, it is!!

Tue Dec 25, 01:31:00 AM 2007  

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