Cover Photo: Jeremy Yap / Unsplash

The Cannes Film Festival celebrates its 75th iteration this 2022, with a rich portfolio of Filipino films under the Philippine delegation.

Cannes Film Festival is highly regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals worldwide, if not the most distinguished of its kind. This 2022, the ongoing festival celebrates its momentous 75th edition with an ever-impressive lineup, including three films under the Philippine delegation.

Directed by Chie Hayakawa, Plan 75 is a Japan-France-Philippines collaboration about a fictional voluntary euthanasia program by the same title and follows three main characters: “an elderly woman whose means of survival are vanishing, a pragmatic Plan 75 salesman, and a young Filipino labourer” who must choose between life and death. Selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, the film is co-produced by Filipino producer Alemberg Ang and Filipino production company Fusee, helmed by Will Fredo.

See also: Sundance Film Festival Selects Two Filipino Films for 2022 Competition

Meanwhile, veteran filmmaker Mike de Leon presents the now-restored version of his first-ever feature film Itim, initially produced 46 years ago. Participating in the Cannes Classics section, the gripping film centres on new friends Jun and Teresa as the two uncover that the latter has been possessed by her sister’s spirit—and with it, the painful truth about her heartbreaking disappearance.

Finally, Triangle of Sadness by Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund, featuring Filipina actress Dolly de Leon, zones in on models Carl and Yaya as they are marooned on a desert island with billionaires and one of the cruise ship’s cleaners. The kicker? Only the housekeeper knows how to fish. Nominated for the illustrious Palme d’Or, it is poised to be among the must-watch films of the season.

See also: Ishmael Bernal, Lino Brocka, Lav Diaz: 12 Directors Who Have Shaped Philippine Cinema

In addition to these three titles, Pinoy cinephiles can also look forward to the Marché du Film, the Cannes Film Festival’s industry counterpart, as it showcases the cinematic flair of many more Filipino filmmakers and producers. 

The return of the Philippines to the Cannes Film Festival is certainly a timely one, as the 75th iteration of the festival coincides with the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and France. To celebrate, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) is slated to host a series of industry events both in the Philippine-Singapore Pavillion and around Cannes.

See also: Heneral Luna, Anino, On The Job, and More: Critically Acclaimed Filipino Films You Ought To Know

“It is truly an honour to jumpstart the FDCP’s mission of bringing the best of Philippine Cinema to the rest of the world, after two years of hiatus because of the pandemic, in Cannes,” relates FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño. “We are proud and excited that we are going to Cannes with a large delegation of both renowned and emerging filmmakers who are ready to put their projects out there, are open to collaborating and networking with other film professionals and companies, and gaining more knowledge that they can bring home to elevate our local film industry.”

From the 18th to the 25th of May, the pavilion will house an exciting array of events from the daily happy hour to networking rounds, all while featuring local Philippine production companies.

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