Filmmaking is emerging as a dominant form of art and expression in the Philippines, and Bay Area audiences will soon have a first-hand opportunity to see for themselves just how strong and diverse it is. The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) presents New Filipino Cinema, from June 7-10 and June 17. The comprehensive showcase will feature 29 films—narratives, documentaries, and experiential shorts—many of them as U.S. premieres.
“There’s an incredible resurgence of talent and energy in independent cinema in the Philippines right now that is not really known internationally,” said Joel Shepard, YBCA’s Film/Video Curator. Shepard co-curated the program with Philbert Ortiz Dy, the film critic for Clickthecity.com and writer-at-large for Esquire Philippines. “It’s an amazing renaissance that I really wanted to celebrate and bring to the U.S.” Shepard took four trips to the country in the past two years to meet with filmmakers, critics, and production staff and watched over a hundred films in preparation for this program before narrowing it down to the final titles.