By Seymour Barros Sanchez
THE Film Development Council of the Philippines celebrates Pride Month by screening four award-winning films that empower and recognize the LGBT community, in all Cine Lokal cinemas as part of PelikuLAYA: An LGBT Film Festival from June 22 to 28.
The lineup includes the Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival 2013 drama Lihis written by Ricky Lee and directed by Joel C. Lamangan.
Set in the 70’s during the turbulent period in Philippine history, the film stars Jake Cuenca and Joem Bascon as communist rebels bound by a similar cause to topple a dictatorship. Their characters’ relationship turns passionate amid their struggles to fight for freedom. Lihis also features Lovi Poe, Isabelle Daza, Gloria Diaz, Raquel Villavicencio, Tony Mabesa, Jaime Pebanco, Lloyd Samartino, Alex Castro, Ruby Ruiz, Jess Evardone and Chanel Latorre, among others.
Another film featured in PelikuLAYA is the Cinema One Originals 2017 comedy film Si Chedeng at Si Apple directed by Rae Red and Fatrick Tabada.
Chedeng (Gloria Diaz), 66, decides to come out during her husband’s wake while her best friend Apple (Elizabeth Oropesa), 63, kills her live-in partner, beheads him and stuffed his head inside her favorite Louis Vuitton bag. Together, they are on the run from the law and their children as they set off an adventure to find Chedeng’s ex-girlfriend.
Also part of the program is Joselito Altarejos’ Kasal, which won Best Film at the 2014 Cinemalaya Film Festival. It tells the story of a gay couple, played by Arnold Reyes and Oliver Aquino, whose relationship is challenged when they attend a wedding. Providing support are Rita Avila, Maureen Mauricio, Ruby Ruiz, Rener Concepcion, Sue Prado, Ronwaldo Martin, Luis Ruiz and Ray An Dulay.
Completing the list is Out Run, a documentary about an LGBT political party mobilizing transgender hairdressers and beauty queens. Directed by S. Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons, the film provides a unique look into the challenges LGBT people face as they transition into the mainstream and fight for dignity, legitimacy, and acceptance across the globe.
PelikuLAYA, which is organized by FDCP in partnership with different LGBTQIA+ organizations, screens this month at Cine Lokal theaters in SM Manila, SM Sta. Mesa, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Fairview, SM Southmall and SM Bacoor.