A lot of people ask where the Filipino community here in Berlin is and frankly speaking, everyone is all over the place. And what better way to bring people together than through a film screening? But why stop at one screening? Let’s have a whole festival!
The First Reel: Philippine Film Festival Berlin is the first and only Philippine film festival in Berlin (yay!) and we opened with a bang at the Kino Moviemento last November 18, 19, 25, 26,27 2015. Spearheaded by Lola Abrera and Rosa Castillo of the Philippine Studies Series Berlin (thanks also Rosa for bringing me in) and in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy Berlin, the event is the first of its kind, aiming to re-introduce Philippine cinema to Berliners and to its second and third generation Filipino community.
It was a good five days having been able to feature four films: Boses, English Only Please, Ang Huling Chacha ni Anita AND Heneral Luna and 5 short films:Chicharon, Nasan si Lolo Me, April Fools, Pusong Bato and Ang Maskot. We additionally had panel discussions on Southeast Asian Cinema in the global context; Visual Storytelling, Language and Migration as well as Q&As with our featured guests Ricky Davao and Jay Boron who flew in all the way from Manila and New York, respectively. The lovely Mishka Adams also performed for us.
What was so amazing was that the event was able to gather Filipinos from different corners of the world (some came from Rome, Stockholm and other German cities like Bremen, Dortmund Frankfurt and Hannover just to catch the films. And it was heartwarming to see and hear people enjoy the selection, especially some young Filipino-Germans who has never been to the Philippines and yet has never experienced a Filipino film. And to be able to take part in giving this kind of service to the community is such an honour and privilege. Really.
I’m looking forward to what we’re cooking up for 2016.
*Photos by Myls Rubio, Trinka Lat and Divina Tan