ABS-CBN is proud to announce the complete lineup of the 2018 Cinematografo International Film Festival. Events will return to San Francisco on Nov. 8 to 11 at the AMC Kabuki 8 in Japantown.
The second edition of the festival will kick off renowned Filipino auteur Chito Roño’s Signal Rock, the official submission from The Philippines for Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Academy Awards®.
The film tells the story of Intoy (Christian Bables) who is left to care for his parents when his sister moved out to work overseas. He calls the remote island of Biri his home, wherein the only way he could contact his sister and the outside world is by taking his cellular phone and going up the strange rock formation known as “signal rock.”
Cinematografo is also launching the 18th-anniversary screening of The Debut, the first known Filipino American feature drama produced in the U.S., as the Centerpiece presentation.
The Gene Cajayon’s seminal film tells the story of teenager Ben Mercado (Dante Basco) who rejects his Filipino heritage. His contentious relationship with his immigrant father Roland comes to a head at his sister Rose’s 18th birthday party. In the span of one night, he comes to terms with his identity, heritage and what being a Filipino-American is all about.
Cajayon and the cast are expected to attend. Preceding the program is a bonus screening of The Little That Could, a short documentary shot in 2001 that tracked the life of The Debut as it toured on-the-road around the US.
The film was opening night presentation at both CAAMFest (known as SF International Asian American Film Festival) and Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 18 years ago.
Moreover, true to their theme of “Breaking down Walls,” Cinematografo, is breaking down its programming walls to expand its reach beyond the borders of the Philippines and the U.S. As the second edition of the festival comes to a close, the festival will close with A Land Imagined, winner of the top prize at the 2018 Locarno International Film Festival. The Singaporean drama examines the plight of migrant workers in a foreign land.
After a construction accident, a lonely worker from China goes missing at a Singapore land reclamation site. An insomniac police investigator tracks down the mystery of the missing migrant only to uncover more than he bargained for.
A Land Imagined is preceded by the new documentary from New Zealand Obrero by Norman Zafra.
The festival is named after ‘Cinematografo’ — the first movie theater in the Philippines, that opened in August of 1897. From this grand establishment was born a rich heritage of celebrating films and the venue introduced Filipinos to the custom of going to the movies. The new film festival in San Francisco aims to continue this tradition wherever Filipinos may be and intends to draw in a wider audience of Asian American and independent cinephiles and movie lovers across the San Francisco Bay Area and internationally.
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