Filipino comedy wins in Italian festival
FILMMAKER Chris Martinez recalls feeling the audience’s warmth at the 13th Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy, where his film, “Here Comes the Bride,” was shown last week.
“The 1,500-seat venue was full,” Chris told Inquirer via SMS from Vatican City. “The [audience] kept laughing… being Catholic, they were able to relate with the wedding setup.”
The film’s star, Eugene Domingo, was a big hit, Chris added. “In a speech, she taught the Italians a Filipino term: ‘Bonggang bongga!’
It was Chris’ second trip to Udine. In 2004, Jeffrey Jeturian’s “Bridal Shower,” which Chris wrote, was featured there. “Direk Jeffrey and my mentor Bing Lao asked me to join them.”
This trip won him third place in the audience choice derby. Zhang Yimou’s “Under the Hawthorn Tree” was second while Feng Xiaogang’s “Aftershock” was first. Both are from China. To share the lineup with the directors behind “The Banquet” (Feng) and “Raise the Red Lantern” (Zhang) was awe-inspiring, Chris said.