Following 11 nominations and 2 awards (3rd best picture and best supporting actress for Shaina Magdayao) at last December’s Metro Manila Film Festival, Tagpuan was declared the Best Feature Film at the 6th Chauri Chaura International Film Festival in India.
Alfred Vargas, the lead actor and producer of Tagpuan, is elated over the film’s international recognition. He shared, “Thank you, Lord!
Hanggang tenga ang aking ngiti. Such good news! This is once again a testament to the Filipino talent and creativity. Congrats to Direk Mac who did a brilliant job in intertwining the medium’s space and time with its emotions, places, and characters to effectively narrate Ricky Lee’s wonderfully captivating screenplay. Congratulations also to my co actors, Iza Calzado and Shaina Magdayao and everybody who worked on our film.”
McArthur Alejandre, the film’s director says Tagpuan is his “ode to brokenness and love that cannot be. He says the film “is about finding one’s roots and home in places one can never call their own.”
Tagpuan is the story of Allan (Alfred) who has been separated from his wife Agnes (Iza Calzado) for 5 years when they meet by chance in New York City. As they try to rekindle their love, Allan is haunted by a past encounter with Tanya ( Shaina Magdayao), a mysterious woman he met in Hongkong.
Tagpuan, shot in New York City, Hongkong and Manila also deals with the diaspora, the travails of Filipino OFWs and immigrants.
Alfred elaborates, “Tagpuan is the story of Filipinos all around the world. Through this film, we were able to tell our story and share our emotions, culture, sensibilities, and worth to the rest of the world.”
As an actor, Alfred Vargas is committed to his craft. As a producer, his passion is to produce films about Filipinos, for Filipinos.
“This Best Feature Film award from an International film festival is an inspiration for me to produce more films that are truly Filipino in spirit and are competitive in quality when placed on the international stage. Definitely, more quality films can be expected from AV Cinema”
The Chauri Chaura International Film Festival is the second international film festival for Tagpuan. Just last month, it was in competition at the Dhaka International Film Festival.
Last year, another AV Cinema film that also top billed Alfred Vargas, Kaputol, was in competition in three International Film Festivals. Kaputol also won the Best Performance Award (given to the film’s ensemble) at the Innuendo International Film Festival in Italy.
Two films, in competition at five international film festivals, and two international awards are remarkable achievements for actor and producer Alfred Vargas. In the midst of all the recognition, Alfred remains humble and low key. He says, “Filmmaking is collaborative work. And the awards and recognitions are a result of all the hard work of an entire village of collaborators. The honor belongs to everyone. Producing films is a great undertaking that requires a lot of sacrifices. And validation such as an award is a reminder that nothing good comes easy and that all the hard work is worth it. The key to this recognition was us being true to our core. And our core is our being Filipinos narrating a Filipino experience enveloped in a spirit that is truly Pinoy.”
Alfred Vargas, as producer, has been receiving offers for TV and online platform rights, for Tagpuan. Thus, expect Tagpuan to ba accessible to a larger audience in various platforms in the future.