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Magnify, Film4 launches ‘Filipinana” ahead of spring shoot exclusive

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Source: Idle Eyes

The 2020 short film ‘Filipinana’

Magnify and Film4 are teaming up to launch Filipinana, a Philippines-set feature that will shoot in spring 2024.

It is the debut feature of Filipino filimmaker Rafael Manuel, adapted from Manuel’s short of the same name that won the Silver Bear jury prize at the 2020 Berlinale, and was nominated for a British Independent Film Award.

Film4 has developed the feature and will executive produce and co-finance. Producers are Jeremy Chua and Sam Chua Weishi of Singapore’s Potocol, with Bradley Liew of Epicmedia Productions Inc and Alex Polunin.

Magnify – formerly Magnolia Pictures International – has acquired global and US sales rights on the title, having encountered the film at the 2023 Busan Asian Project Market. Lorna Lee Torres, SVP of global sales, and Austin Kennedy, director of global sales will launch the title at the EFM.

Set in the self-contained sphere of an elite golf course and country club in Manila, Filipinana follows tee-girl Isabel as she learns the rules and tests the boundaries of her new job.

The film has been through labs including Cannes Cinefondation La Residence, the Berlinale Script Station and Talents Tokyo; while Manuel has received mentorship from Lulu Wang at the Oxbelly Director’s Lab and Jia Zhangke at the Rolex Mentor and Protege Initiative.

Manuel is based between London, Amsterdam and Manila, and has previously made shorts including Dogeater and Sadie Makes a Baby.

Lee Torres described the film as a “profoundly mesmerising and highly visual story.

“Manuel manages to give shape, texture, and sound to this sensory depiction of a hidden violence. This marks an exciting chapter for Magnify as we grow our footprint and venture into earlier stage projects.”

“To my mind, a golf course is a perfect metaphor for my country (the Philippines),” said Manuel, “in that it is a very large, and very fertile plot of land that’s toiled on and worked on by so many, but ultimately, enjoyed and profited from by only a privileged few.

“Through this lens, one may find that the sound of a golf club hitting a golf ball may not sound unlike the sound of a gunshot going off.”

Magnify’s lineup includes Sundance title Veni Vidi Vici, Cannes Un Certain Regard 2023 entry The Delinquents, and 2023 award winner Kokomo City.

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