Monday, September 11, 2023

Tingin Film Festival 2023 at Shangri-La Mall Cinema / September 22-24, 2023

Locarno winner Nelson Yeo’s ‘Here is Not There’ leads selections

A project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival resumes its physical screenings this September after migrating online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supported under NCCA’s Culture and Diplomacy program, Tingin is the country’s longest-running and only film festival dedicated to Southeast Asian Cinemas. Tingin aims to strengthen the ties of Filipinos and their neighbors in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region through film.

Themed “Swipe Right: Southeast Asia in Love,” the 6th iteration of Tingin returns to the Red Carpet of the Shangri-La Plaza Mall, in Mandaluyong City, on September 22-24, 2023. Admission is free. Short film selections will also be available for free on Vimeo and on SolarFlix, from 29 September to 1 October and 7-8 October, respectively. This three-platform feature is unique to Tingin, and was pursued to ensure the festival’s wide reach. 

“NCCA’s Culture and Diplomacy Program remains committed to projects which familiarize the cultures and cinemas of Southeast Asia to Filipino audiences. We hope to enrich the cultural vocabulary of Filipino moviegoers, especially film students and the youth, one Southeast Asian film at a time. This year, we are beyond thrilled that Tingin will have three platforms (the cinema, online and television) on which to showcase the region’s best films,” said Mariel Nini, officer-in-charge of the Sentro Rizal International Cultural Affairs Office of the NCCA.

The festival theme was chosen based on numerous requests over the years. “This year’s Tingin pries open the region’s conventions and modern reinventions of relationships. While some believe that romantic love merely reinforces oppressive relations and reactionary values, it has the potential to be a liberating force. The festival this year gathers films that explore the complex experience of love and that ultimately celebrate its redemptive power,” said Maya Quirino, Tingin festival director.

The festival will open with the Philippines’ Gameboys: The Movie, the sequel to the beloved BL (boy love) online series. Gameboys follows young gamers as they navigate the challenges of sustaining a relationship amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indonesia’s Yuni, by award-winning filmmaker Kamila Andini, is about a young girl who is caught between social pressures and her dreams. Tingin is the Philippine premiere of Yuni, a critical darling during its festival circuit run. The two films comprise the full-length section of the festival.

The short film selections of Tingin are led by Here is Not There, by Singapore’s Nelson Yeo. Yeo recently bagged top prizes at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival, in Switzerland, for his first feature film, Dreaming and Dying. Here is Not There is about two migrant workers falling in love and dealing with the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy.

In Viet Nam’s Touch, by Pham Linh, a young man discovers, to his alarm, the beginnings of attraction to his male roommate.

Bangkok Department tells the story of two mall workers who, after meeting while throwing trash, go on a date across Thailand’s so-called forever city. Sunrise in My Mind, from Cambodia’s Danech San, captures the strange realization of mutual attraction between a salon worker and a delivery man. 

In Perhaps That Elephant is Still Asleep, filmmaker Yoeng Kuok Hong unveils the story between a Chinese boy and a Malay girl falling in love in—and unraveling the myths of—the mystical Elephant Village in southern Malaysia.

Two best friends run away in Myanmar’s Evening Clouds to escape their individual fates. In Atrophy, the entry from Brunei, a couple’s union seems to be picture-perfect, until conflict over money starts to build. Meanwhile, a young man receives a mission from an alien in Lao PDR’s Tuktuk of the Fifth Kind.

Tingin is exclusively distributed by Solar Entertainment, Inc. For more information, please follow Tingin’s official pages (@tinginfilmfest) on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and Twitter.


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