Back in 2002, I was fresh out of college and didn't have a job yet. My mom suggested that I go and find work in the Cinemanila Film Festival at the time was only five years old. After finding out that volunteers and participants get free access to all the movies, I jumped at the chance. I'm very glad I did. It contributed hugely to my cinephilia since I got exposed to a lot of films from all around the world. Every year, even after I have found steadier employment, I always look forward to Cinemanila because it means I get to see films that normally would not get wide commercial releases in my country. The past few years have found the festival gaining prominence since famous film people have graced the festival: Quentin Tarantino, Lou Diamond Phillips, Paul Schrader, Fernando Meirelles have visited and promoted their films in the festival. This year, Italian horror maestro Dario Argento will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement award and one can only assume he'll be on hand to grace the proceedings.
Films scheduled to be screened this year include: Pina, German director Wim Wenders' 3D dance documentary/cinematic tribute to the late dancer Pina Bausch; 13 Assassins, prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike's samurai epic and I Saw the Devil, a South Korean horror film, just to name a few. I will be seeing these films and more and will be reviewing them as I see them, in addition to my weekly round-ups. If you're in Manila in between November 11th and November 17th, you can catch these films and more at the Market! Market! Cinemas. I for one can't freakin' wait.