“Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” director Carlo Francisco Manatad is dedicating the film’s recent win at the Locarno Film Festival to the people of Tacloban City, where the film was set.
The film, titled “Whether The Weather Is Fine” internationally, bagged the Cinema e Gioventù Prize from the Concorso Cineasti del Presente Junior Jury at the festival.
Manatad and his crew represented the Philippines at the prestigious event, which screened 209 films outdoors in southern Switzerland.
“Kan Maupay Man It Panahon” is based on Manatad’s own experiences during the aftermath of Yolanda. The film, he said, expresses an understanding of a devastation that has changed a community and humanity as a whole.
Speaking with TFC News, Manatad shared his insights on filmmaking and how he was able to develop the film through the help of different international institutions.
The emerging director felt that premiering in Locarno this year is like a homecoming, six years after his first participation in 2015.
“The journey has been very long and premiering a film in an A-list festival means a lot, not just to me and to my crew and maybe also to people of the Philippines. It really means a lot to me,” Manatad said.
“More than anything, I dedicate this to the people of Tacloban. This is their story. I want them to watch this. In a way — I always say this, it’s almost a cliché — this film is a love song to my hometown. Personally, that’s how I feel towards the film. Kasi I made this for them,” he explained.
Aside from Manatad’s award-winning feature film debut, another title featuring Filipino talent also premiered at Locarno.
“Holy Emy,” which stars Filipino actors Abigael Loma, Hasmine Killip, Angeli Bayani, and Ku Aquino, won the Honorable Mention: First Feature Award from the Concorso Cineasti del Presente (Filmmakers of the Present Competition).
The Greek-French-American film follows the story of a young Filipina with mysterious healing powers.
Locarno also screened the critically acclaimed films “Filipiñana” by Rafael Manuel, and “Aswang” by Alyx Ayn Arumpac.
Meanwhile, the festival awarded production benefits to a number of international projects, including the Philippines’ “SAM.”
The film, directed by E del Mundo and produced by Pamela Reyes, received the Sørfond Invitation Award and the second prize of the Locarno Open Doors Development Grant, worth 15,000 Swiss francs.