What To See In The First Venice Film Festival In Manila

Arts & Culture

July 17, 2017 | BY Sharmaine Uy

Cinephiles, rejoice! A select pool of Venice Film Festival entries and award-winning films is showing this month

Manila will get to experience the world’s longest running film festival, the Mostra Internazionale D’arte Cinematografica (or the Venice Film Festival), this month in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Italy and the Philippines. Taking place from July 26 to 31 at the Venice Grand Canal Mall Cineplex, the film fest will showcase a total of 11 award-winning films throughout its run.

Of the 11 films, eight are Italian and three are Filipino. A highlight of this film fest is the screening of the 2016 winner of the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion, Ang Babaeng Humayo by Lav Diaz. Here’s a summary of the participating films:

Questi Giorni (These Days)

The film follows four friends who go on a trip to Belgrade to see one of them off. In the process, they’re confronted with decisions about their uncertain futures and the trappings of adulthood.

Orecchie (Ears)

Alessandro Aronadio

Venice Film Festival 2016

This tragicomedy takes place in one day and focuses on one man who wakes up with a ringing sound in his ears. Then, he finds a note that says his friend Luigi has died, but he doesn’t have a friend named Luigi. The film tracks his chaotic day of discovery.


Kim Rossi Stuart

Venice Film Festival 2016

Popular Italian actor Kim Rossi Stuart directs and stars in this romantic comedy featuring an actor who has ambitions of writing and directing his own film, but is hindered by writer’s block. The film follows his creative struggles, as well as his relationships with three women, who bring out different versions of the titular character.

Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left)

Lav Diaz

Venice Film Festival 2016

Horacia Somorostro is released after being imprisoned for a crime she did not commit. She soon finds out what has become of her family, and learns of who framed her for the crime. The film then follows her path to revenge.


Francis Xavier Pasion

Bangkok International Film Festival 2008

Jay Mercado, a homosexual teacher from Pampanga, has been found dead in his home, a victim of murder. Television producer Jay Santiago, himself a homosexual, decides to create a documentary on the murder. He then takes advantage of Mercado’s impoverished family to create a high-rated documentary. What follows is an exploration of media exploitation and moral implication of creating sensationalist content.

Liberami (Free Me)

Federica Di Giacomo

Venice Film Festival 2016

This documentary explores the topic of exorcism by exploring several cases conducted by Vatican-approved priests. The film shows the side of the priests and also the lives of those sporting mysterious symptoms.

L’Estate Addosso (Worn Summer)

Gabriele Muccino

Venice Film Festival 2016

This coming-of-age story brings together four young people who are at a crossroads in their lives. 18-year-old Italians Marco and Maria take on road trip through America and meet Paul and Matt, a gay couple. The film follows them as they explore issues like identity, depression, acceptance, and love.

Processo Alla Citta’ (Trial to the City)

Luigi Zampa

Berlin Film Festival 1953

Set in Naples at the turn of the century, the town is shook by the murder of Salvatore Ruotolo and his wife. With all evidence pointing to the crime organisation Camorra, fear and corruption hinders a young and courageous judge who is tasked to solve the case.

Profumo Di Donna (Scent of a Woman)

Dino Risi

Cannes Film Festival 1975

This comedy-drama follows an injured army captain named Fausto and his army cadet escort who are making their way through Italy by train. Fausto is hiding something from his escort and also from the woman who’s in love with him. What could it be?

Piuma (Feather)

Roan Johnson

Venice Film Festival 2016

Also a comedy-drama, Piuma explores the lives of a teenage couple who’s dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. The film follows the couple and their parents as they all fumble through this exciting time in their lives.

Sinapupunan (Thy Womb)

Brillante Mendoza

Venice Film Festival 2012

Thy Womb is set in the Muslim Badjao community in Tawi-Tawi, with Nora Aunor’s midwife who’s unable to bear a child and seeks a new wife for her husband so that he can have his heir.

Venice Film Festival in Manila is made possible by the collaboration between the Embassy of Italy, the Societa’ Dante Alighieri Comitato di Manila, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

Cover photo: a screenshot of Ang Babaeng Humayo trailer on YouTube

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