Filipino comedy wins in Italian festival
FILMMAKER Chris Martinez recalls feeling the audienceâ€™s warmth at the 13th Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy, where his film, â€œHere Comes the Bride,â€ was shown last week.
â€œThe 1,500-seat venue was full,â€ Chris told Inquirer via SMS from Vatican City. â€œThe [audience] kept laughing… being Catholic, they were able to relate with the wedding setup.â€
The filmâ€™s star, Eugene Domingo, was a big hit, Chris added. â€œIn a speech, she taught the Italians a Filipino term: â€˜Bonggang bongga!â€™
It was Chrisâ€™ second trip to Udine. In 2004, Jeffrey Jeturianâ€™s â€œBridal Shower,â€ which Chris wrote, was featured there. â€œDirek Jeffrey and my mentor Bing Lao asked me to join them.â€
This trip won him third place in the audience choice derby. Zhang Yimouâ€™s â€œUnder the Hawthorn Treeâ€ was second while Feng Xiaogangâ€™s â€œAftershockâ€ was first. Both are from China. To share the lineup with the directors behind â€œThe Banquetâ€ (Feng) and â€œRaise the Red Lanternâ€ (Zhang) was awe-inspiring, Chris said.