“This opens opportunities for growth,” said TM Malones of the importance of international recognition, just like the best feature film award (under the Orient Express category) that his debut film “Kargo” won at the Porto International Film Festival-Fantasporto 2023 in Portugal.
“Kargo,” about a wife (Max Eigenmann) on the hunt for the man (Jess Mendoza) who she believes murdered her husband and daughter, premiered at the 2022 Cinemalaya International Film Festival.
The festival’s 45th edition ran from Feb. 25 to March 5.
“As a filmmaker, recognition or award is just a bonus to us because our main goal is to deliver our story. But in the real world, especially in a struggling industry, this opens opportunities for growth,” Malones told Inquirer Entertainment on Wednesday night, the day he arrived home from Portugal.
“Shooting ‘Kargo’ was very memorable to us, because we had to pack up the shoot two days before the pandemic lockdown. We shot our film in Iloilo and our cast and crew were from different regions,” said Malones when asked to recall his experience working on the film in 2020.
“It is a collaboration of different artists—from first-timers to experienced artists in the industry. It was a fun and learning process for everyone. Given a chance again, I would love to make more films with our limitless concepts,” the director said.
“Kargo” also competed at the 2022 Transsaharien International Film Festival in Morocco.
According to Malones, the film was titled “Kargo” because it literally means load or burden. “The bamboo-loaded truck driven by the character of Sara figuratively represents that burden we all carry and would sometimes even include the burden of conscience (kargo de konsensya). As she navigates the road called life, she is confronted with choices along the way that will either make or break her,” he explained.
Another triumph for ‘Silip sa Apoy’
Meanwhile, Mac Alejandre’s drama, “Silip sa Apoy,” has bagged the 2nd best feature film trophy in this year’s two-day Chauri Chaura International Film Festival in India.
The festival was held from Feb. 25 to Feb. 26.
The award is the film’s third international recognition, after Alejandre was declared best director at the 2022 Wallachia International Film Festival in Romania, and second best director at the Samskara International Film Festival, also in India.
“Silip sa Apoy,” about a woman’s (Angeli Khang) struggle while living with her alcoholic and abusive husband (Sid Lucero), also competed at the Asian Film Festival in Barcelona.
“I thank all the people who helped me make the film, especially our producer, Viva Films, and our ‘guardian angels,’” said Alejandre on his recent Facebook post. INQ
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