PH films featured at Toronto Int'l Film Festival

Rachelle Cruz, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Sep 18 2015 03:14 PM | Updated as of Sep 18 2015 11:16 PM

CANADA - The Toronto International Film Festival celebrated its 40 years, and three films from the Philippines made the cut.

Kapamilya star John Lloyd Cruz attended the star-studded TIFF for the first time, and broke out into a role outside his comfort zone in 'Honor Thy Father'.

He plays the character of "Edgar" who struggles to save his family once his wife's get-rich scheme jeopardized everything and put their lives at risk.

The film is eligible for people's choice awards.

"This particular film means a lot to me. This is my first venture to the kinds of films I don't normally do back home. I have to admit, nung una napaka-hirap, para kang naka-blindfold, and to be honest, it was a big risk," said Cruz.

'Honor Thy Father' is a story that tackled themes about white collar crime, family reconciliation, and hypocrisy of the church.

"I wanted to say a lot of things about the church, about the hypocrisy of the middle-class, how sometimes you can't find someone anyone to hold on to when they find that you've done something wrong," said director Erik Matti.

The other film "Imbisibol" tackled issues about migration and poverty set in Japan.

"My father is also a seaman, so gusto ko bigyan ng mukha yung mga heroes natin, gusto namin bigyan ng boses yung mga sinasabing bagong bayani, na kahit na sila di kilala sa lugar na kung saan sila nagta-trabaho, pero back home, importante silang tao," said director Lawrence Fajardo.

"Beast," featuring actor Chad McKinney, can also relate to the film. He plays a Filipino-American boxer fighting in the streets of Manila.

"When I did the movie, I just moved back from the states, from being a prominent boxer, and doing alright financially and everything and I pretty much, not gambled it all away, but I wasted the money," he said.

Movie-goers were pleased to see Philippines being represented to a larger audience in Toronto.

"I think it's about time because the Filipino perspective has a different angle on things, you know it just has a different take. And you know, being raised here but having the pleasure of going back and forth, I really appreciate Filipino films," said Mila Nabor Cuachon.

TIFF began in 1976 and is now recognized as the most important film festival after Cannes.

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