What comes into your mind when you hear the word “free?” Free foods? Free internet? A free spa or massage? How about free movie passes? Yes! Free film viewing no strings attached. All of that just because recently, EDSA Shangri-La hosted a five-day event where they offer free screening of six award-winning movies straight from Hong Kong just in time for the Spring Season and Chinese Lunar New Year. You’ve heard it right, free movies for all to watch and again not one, but six movies all up for grabs!
Ateneo de Manila University Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies, together with thevFilm Development Council of the Philippines and Credit Suisse, and with the Cooperation of Ateneo Celadon and Shangri-La Plaza presents the annual Spring Film Festival last January 25-29. And for the 11th time they did it again with six different films to choose from. From comedy, action, romance to an epic story in the vast grassland of Mongolia.
Those titles included are the following: A Complicated Story by Kiwi Chow, a story of a surrogate mother; Book of Love by Xue Xiaolu, a romantic comedy that takes a slight twist on how a relationship emerge; Everybody’s Fine by Zhang Meng, a remake of a film that starred Robert De Niro in 2009 that was also based on a Italian movie that tells the story of an old man’s road trip to reunite with each of his grown children; another film is Lee Chi Ngai’s Horseplay, an adventurous journey of three different people with each have a different goals in retrieving a relic that lives up full of comedy and laughs with slight degree of suspense; next is Wang Xiaoshuai’s Red Amnesia, a story of an old woman haunted by her past in this mysterious film; last but not the least is Wolf Totem by Jean-Jacques Annaud, a tale of man vs. beast set in the wide grassland of Mongolia set during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.
I must say that the organizers did a really great job in screening these films for no cost. I watched a couple of movies and all of them are quality films and there is no-brainer why these are all award-winning allover abroad. If I will be given a chance and the luxury of time to watch all of the six films, I will be glad to watch them all. The only setback for me is that all the films were screened at a lone cinema, as a result if, you would like to watch the next film is either you need to exit the movie house earlier and fall in line for the next one or missed it, or visit it again on the next screening day. Nevertheless, I’m hoping the next time that the people behind the Spring Film Festival to continue its promise to give the mainstream Filipino good quality films. Aside from this, I’m also hoping for a wider screening of these movies, therefore there will be more people that would experience how Chinese producers, directors, actors etc. did a really good job in producing such a masterpiece.
Generally speaking, this year’s Spring Film Festival have an amazing line-up of film and the success of the event was very evident in the number of people lining up just to watch the movies mentioned above up. If only the organizers added more screening area to accommodate the volume of spectators, that would be nice, but all in all job well done for all the people behind this event and I think the 2018 Spring Film Festival is something to look forward to.