THE Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival is back and getting better

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THE Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival is back for its second year and hopefully, it is for the long haul.

As expected from any organization slogging the learning curve, LAPIFF went through a lot of challenges, the hardest of which was, of course, the money challenge.

The money challenge is so difficult, as intimated by veteran Filipino American actor Abe Pagtama, one of the founders and prime movers of LAPIFF; that there were certain occasions that he had to spend his own money.

But the future is not bleak, said Jush Andowitt, another founder and prime mover of LAPIFF.

“There are many sponsors who want to give us money. But they want us to guarantee a full house, which we cannot guarantee,”Andowitt said.

Sweeney Mae, (second from left) marketing director of South Pavilion, joins the founders of Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival (LAPIFF) Abe Pagtama, Jush Andowitt and Fe Koons (from left to right). Others are selection committee members, media people, and supporters. Photo © Tony Garcia

Drum beatings from supporters, stakeholders, friends, families and the media, according to Andowitt, would greatly help the cause of the film festival.

“Please do help us bring the people to watch the film festival,” Andowitt said.

During a press conference held at the Pinoy Food Republic in Carson City, the LAPIFF selection committee announced that 10 narrative films would be competing in the film festival on October 29 to 29 at Cinemark Carson in South Bay Pavilion.

The 10 films are Area, Birdshot, Dagsin (Gravity), EJK, Imbisibol, Laut, Sakaling Hindi Makarating, Sinners or Saint and The Sun Behind You.

Comedian Ai-Ai delas Alas stars in the film Area.

The selection committee has also selected the competing 10 short films namely; Back to One, Chapter X, Diliman, Instaland, Last Farewell, N.O.V.I.S., RELEVE, Sequins, Sins of Wasteland and Supot.

Three documentary films were selected namely; Apology, Do You Remember the Philippines and We Will Never Play in Manila again.

Special screenings of shorts from members of the FilAm Creative, an organization of Filipino American filmmakers, artists, actors, writers, and producers will be part of the festival’s opening night.

Last year, the movie Honor Thy Father, which starred John Lloyd Cruz, was adjudged Best Picture of the film festival (LAPIFF).

Actress Cindy Pangilinan (Star Na Si Van Damme Stalone) was named Best Actress and Soliman Cruz (Balik/Return) was declared Best Actor in the feature films category.

The Best Director award was shared by Pedring Lopez (Nilalang) and Randolph Longjas (Star Na Si Van Damme Stalone).

The other honors were awarded to “Ari: My Life With The King” for Best Screenplay; and “Tandem” for Best Cinematography.

Special Jury Prize For Ensemble Cast was given to “The Head Thieves.”

In the short film category, Los Angeles based actress Katherine Olmedo (Got It Maid) was awarded the Best Actress honor while Niko Salazar (Sejour) was named Best Actor.

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