Italian festival pays tribute to film legend Eddie Garcia


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Eddie Garcia (right) in Raymond Red’s “Anino”

There were so many films to consider. It had been difficult to make a choice, ”recalls Sabrina Baracetti, director of the Far Eastern Film Festival (FEFF) in Udine, Italy.

The annual film event features five titles in its Eddie Garcia retrospective section from June 24 to July 2 in hybrid form with in-person and online screenings.

“Eddie has made so many films. Together with [festival programmer] Max Tessier, we decided to choose films that showcase his great talent, ”Baracetti told reporters at a press conference hosted by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) on Monday.

In honor of the late television and film legend, a special section titled “Eddie Garcia: Life as a Film Epic” features the following films: The restored version of Ishmael Bernal’s debut film “Pagdating sa Dulo”, “Bwakaw,” Rainbow’s Sunset “by Joel Lamangan, the Palme d’Or for the short film by Raymond Red at Cannes,” Anino “and” Sinasamba Kita “, which Garcia directed himself.

‘Bwakaw’, for example, says a lot about Eddie’s acting style. In this film, his performance was superb. He presented such a great character. We also wanted to show films from his youth, but we had trouble getting copies. It was such good news that the film by Ishmael Bernal, one of my all-time favorite Filipino directors, was recently restored and remastered by the FDCP. We have also included “Anino”. In this way, we hope to give a clearer picture of his state of mind, as well as his career, ”explained Baracetti.

Honored

“We have long wanted to pay a special tribute to Eddie, whom I had the honor to meet in person in Manila in 2018 when I was invited to serve on the jury for the MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival). It was incredible because, for the first time in my life, I met a legend, ”recalls Baracetti. “From that point on we already wanted to do something special dedicated to him, but a lot of things happened in between. I just learned that no organization has done this before. We are very honored to be the first.

Red, meanwhile, also felt honored when Garcia agreed to “star in this simple short,” he told reporters. “He did it in 1999 and it was shown at Cannes in 2000. I never thought that years later it would be part of a tribute for him. It was such a privilege to have had the chance to collaborate with Manong Eddie.

Baracetti added: “I’m glad we still have the festival even though times are so tough with [the global health crisis] it happens. It is difficult for all of us who work in the industry. I am delighted because we are able to select new films from the Philippines this year.

For its 23rd edition this year, the FEFF Competition section presents “Fan Girl” by Antoinette Jadaone and “Anak Ng Macho Dancer” by Joel Lamangan. Grace Simbulan’s first feature documentary, “A is for Agustin”, is in the Out of Competition section and will make its European and world premiere online.

‘Special place’

“That of Udine is one of my favorite film festivals because it presented my first work (“ Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay ”, 2011). He will always have a special place in my heart, ”said Jadaone. “Now that I have made my 11th film, I am happy to be back at the festival which presented my first film. “

For this year’s Industry section, “Bird Eyes” by Martika Ramirez Escobar will participate in the Focus Asia program. Journalists Jason Tan Liwanag and Richard Olano will be part of the Campus FEFF training project.

FEFF is the largest festival in Europe specializing in Asian cinema and a contributor to the commercial distribution of Asian films in the European and Italian markets. Last year, “Dancing the Tides” by Xeph Suarez and “Skeleton River” by Khavn dela Cruz were featured in the Industry section of FEFF.

Since 2017, as part of the Spotlight Philippines program, FEFF has screened 19 Filipino films, including “Die Beautiful” by Lana, “Ang Larawan” by Loy Arcenas and “Miss Granny” by Joyce Bernal, among others, to present the stories. diverse and multifaceted Philippines. .

The 23rd FEFF, organized by Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche, will present 63 titles from South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Macao, Myanmar and the Philippines. For more information on FEFF, visit https://www.mymovies.it/ondemand/23feff/. INQ

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