Friday, May 13, 2005

In The Pink Of Health

On its third edition this year, the country's most hysterical film event, the Pink Festival (The International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival), unreels from June 1 to 7 at the Gateway, the newest mall to rise in Cubao, Quezon City.

Celebrating with the world the annual Gay Pride Month, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, in cooperation with the Mowelfund Film Institute and ProGay, mounts this week-long film event with empowering images of gays and lesbians, a community much too often ridiculed with stereotypes on screen. With its theme, "In the Pink of Health," the festival highlights the human and health rights of this marginalized sector.

The extravaganza opens with Ellen Ongkeko's dazzling directorial debut, "Mga Pusang Gala" (Wayward Cats) starring Irma Adlawan and Ricky Davao as next-door neighbors sharing a house, sex fantasies and lousy lovers.

The always impressive Davao manages to deliver not just another gay role, but a totally different take on the tortured, if hysterical, existence of the Pinoy bakla. But Adlawan shares half of the fun (and the tears) in the film as she essays a highly sympathetic role of a fiercely independent bohemian Marta. The film is as much a woman's as it is a gay film.

In another major film premiere, the freshest male showbiz sensation, Coco Martin, gambles on a most offbeat debut character as the exploited male prostitute in Brillante Mendoza's "Masahista" (The Masseur), opposite "Macho Dancer" stars Alan Paule and Jacklyn Jose.

Not to be outshone is the Taiwanese film that will open this year's international section. "F-17" is a feel-good movie with to-die-for handsome Chinese boys loving and hurting in the mad world of Taiwanese society. Balancing the gay fantasies generated by this film and other titles like last year's megahit, Hamilton McLeod's "Inter.Mates" starring Ian Veneracion, are gay and lesbian films that take the mask off society's hypocritical regard of LGBTs.

Academy award-winning director Debra Chasnoff brings from the American heartland three powerful documentaries that hit intolerance and homophobia among young audiences in "That's a Family" and two other films. In her "One Wedding and a Revolution," she chases around town the troublemaking Gavin Newsom who figures in a huge firestorm of debate as the new mayor of San Francisco when he gave same-sex couples the right to get married at city hall.

Filipino-American filmmaker Jennifer Ting peeks into the secret world of lesbians in Seattle and we see how ordinary lesbians dispel bad stereotypes among their peer groups in the docu-drama, "Not Straightforward."

From Norway, Kenneth Elvebakk uncovers "The Secret Club," an underground society for homosexuals established in Oslo in 1950 when homosexuality was a criminal offence then. With humor and a touch of sadness, a group of older homosexual men recall titillating episodes from their youth, as well as the negative reactions from society. In a similar film, memories of teenage lesbian love are awakened and suppressed feelings begin to rise when two old ladies bump into each other in Claudia Lorenz's "Hoi Maya" from Switzerland.

The festival also boasts of promising Filipino artists such as Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo who joins the digital revolution with her whimsical short film "Babae," a tale of two women who boldly redefine what family means in a community along the railroad tracks. A group of students from De La Salle capture the magic of "hard-of-hearing" gays whose sign language takes wild flights of fancy in their thesis film, "When Pink Fingers Talk."

Chris Pablo's rediscovered 1998 educational video "Slow Motion" is a subtle yet penetrating diatribe on anti-gay bullying in grade schools.

The Pink Festival 2005 is also supported by the Finland Embassy, the Swiss Embassy, Philippine NGO Support Program (PHANSuP), Women's Educational Media (Womedia), Norweigian Film Institute, University of the Philippines Film Institute and AIDS Society of the Philippines.

Reservations and Season's Passes will soon be made available. Corporate sponsorships and provincial bookings are now being accepted. For more information, call: Mowelfund Film Institute at 410 4567; 727 1915 local 202; or 3673109.

Visit the website at or e-mail

See yah there!

[Music of the Moment: American Baby - Dave Matthews Band ]
[Mood: Pinkish ]


Post a Comment

<< Home