A 10-day Festival of Filipino films kicked off in Chennai, the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on 18 February, the first major event aimed at bringing Filipino movies to a South Indian audience.
The 350-seat South Indian Film Chamber Theatre was filled to capacity for the festival’s inauguration, which was graced by Ms. Maria H. Bugarin, Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., of the Philippine Embassy in New Delhi, and representatives of the Government of Tamil Nadu, the Tamil film industry, and the Philippine Honorary Consulate General and other foreign missions in Chennai.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Bugarin told the audience, “The idea (for this festival) is not to give you, our audience, a visual crash course on things Filipino, but rather, to give you a window into India’s fellow Asian country and eastern neighbor, with whom India has a shared history, as well as the promise of a closely linked future.”
The inauguration ceremony was followed by the screening of the opening film, Inang Yaya by director Pablo Biglang-awa. Ten other titles are included in the lineup of the festival, which is scheduled to run until 27 February, namely, Dekada ’70, Muro-Ami, Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa, Jose Rizal, Mano Po 3, Panaghoy sa Suba, Till I Met You, Matakot Ka sa Karma, and Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo.
Tamil Nadu is home to a robust local film industry also known as Kollywood, which is second only to Mumbai-based Bollywood in terms of its contribution to the Indian film industry, the world’s largest in terms of ticket sales and number of films produced.
The film festival was made possible through the joint efforts of the Philippine Embassy in New Delhi, the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Chennai, the Madras Film Society, and the Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation.