As the 13th edition of the SOHO International Film Festival officially draws to a close on October 16, sole Filipino jury member David Chua shares the success of the deserving filmmakers, actors and directors who stood out in this year’s prestigious gala that celebrates intercultural cinema.
Some of the winners include: Best US Showcase Short Film – “Wild Rose,” written and directed by Hannsue; Best World Showcase Feature Film – “Magdalena” (Poland) directed by Filip Gieldon; Best Showcase Documentary Film – “How Does It Feel To Be A Problem?” produced by Thomas Edward Keith and JW Wiley; Best US Showcase Feature Film – “Out and About,” directed by Peter Callahan; Best World Showcase Short Film – “Medea,” directed by Feifei Zhong; Best Acting Performance in a Leading Role (US Feature) Peter Callahan (“Out and About”); and Best Acting Performance in a Leading Role (World Feature) Frederike Kempter (“Sweet Disaster”).
After immersing himself in a diverse assortment of multi-cultural feature films, short films, and documentaries during the week-long festival, David realizes that the current crop of Filipino filmmakers (and Pinoy films as well) can very well compete with other countries in terms of style and substance.
“The eye-opener is that we are just like them in terms of creative output, as well as dedication and commitment to the craft. The only sad reality is that while most of them can afford to splurge on their projects, most Filipino products are usually saddled with budget constraints,” he muses.
“The only thing that keeps us hopeful is that our films have actually been consistently winning in other equally prestigious international film festivals, so we can never discount the fact that we are just as world-class in terms of substance, style and technical content.”
During his week-long stay in New York City, David was able to widen his network in the global film market.
He shares, “As early as the deliberation period, I had the good fortune of meeting Marci Philips, a casting director for Disney+ and the ABC TV Network. And during the festival itself, it was very encouraging to meet a lot of filmmakers from the UK, Poland and even China, and how they were all eager to collaborate with my film outfit, Dark Carnival Productions.”
“From what I heard, Direk Lav Diaz was also there, but we weren’t able to meet, unfortunately.”
David also gamely took part in the gala’s glitzy highlights, including the awards night proper and the red carpet festivities where he looked dapper in his custom Randy Ortiz suit.
In hindsight, the chinito actor/director cites his SOHO filmfest jury stint as one of the highlights of his year. Given the opportunity, would he do it again?
Without missing a beat, he remarks, “Of course, I’d love to do it again! But it’s tiring. You need to watch a lot of films. You need time, and you have to be dedicated in dissecting a film in and out.”
“Most importantly, I’d like to express my gratitude to SOHO International Film Festival founder and president Jorge Ballos, for granting me this rare privilege. It’s amazing how much the festival has grown over the past few years, and how it has played a vital role in encouraging multicultural diversity in film.”
After his SOHO filmfest juror duties, David took time off to watch a couple of Broadway musicals—the Hugh Jackman starrer Music Man, and the Broadway adaptation of the 2007 hit movie Kite Runner. For the latter, he was able to mingle with lead stars Amir Arison and Azita Ghanizada backstage.
As soon as he gets back home, David is scheduled to resume his shooting for “Good Will,” the 12-part TV series slated to air on Net 25 early next year.
He hies off to Korea from October 26-30, and is scheduled to do a series of tourism-related shoots in Singapore from November 6-9.
Check out the complete list of the 2022 SOHO International Film Festival winners at: www.sohofilmfest.com.