Chicago Filipino American Film Festival 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012 7:00 pm to Sunday, November 4, 2012 9:00 pm

Chicago Filipino American Film Festival 2012 Schedule



Friday, November 2, 7:00 PM FREE

Friday, November 2, 8:00 PM $10

Benito Bautista, whose feature-length documentary GIFT OF BARONG  first appeared at the Chicago Filipino American Film Festival in 2006, returns with a powerful new narrative feature. Veteran Filipino actor Ronnie Lazaro, whose work has been featured in MANILA SKIES (CFAFF 2009) and John Sayles’s AMIGO, stars as a cab driver who takes on a mysterious passenger and embarks on a dark journey of deception and betrayal.



Saturday, November 3, 1:30 PM $10

Directed by Donald Plata and narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips. FORGOTTEN SOLDIERS looks back at the Philippine Scouts of World War II, a regiment of U.S. and Filipino soldiers based in the Philippines during the start of the war in the Pacific. With extensive archival footage, re-enactments, and interviews with the few remaining survivors, FORGOTTEN SOLDIERS recounts the conflict at Bataan and the captivity that followed.

Saturday, November 3, 4:00 PM $10

A fascinating and vivid documentary by Jeanie Duque Di-zon at the North Manila Cemetery, and the caretakers, merchants, and artisans who work and live there each day. Narrated by acclaimed novelist Miguel Syjuco. Presented with the short documentary “The Sugar Bowl,” directed by Shashia Nakhai.

Saturday, November 3, 7:00 PM $10

Directed by Silas Howard and Ernesto Foronda. Assigned to retrieve a precious medical shipment, a nurse finds herself on a modern-day adventure with the boyfriend she left behind. Starring Monique Gabriela Curnen (THE DARK KNIGHT, CONTAGION) and Sung Kang (BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, FAST AND THE FURIOUS), and a long list of surprising celebrity cameos. SUNSET STORIES marks the feature directing debut of Foronda, who co-wrote Justin Lin’s groundbreaking film BETTER LUCK TOMORROW.

Saturday, November 3, 9:00 PM $10

Ron Morales, who made his directorial debut with SANTA MESA (CFAFF 2008), returns with GRACELAND, a bold new thriller that tells the story of Marlon Villar (Arnold Reyes), the chauffeur of a wealthy politician who struggles to care for his ailing wife and pre-teen daughter. Marlon looks the other way in the face of his employer’s corruption, but is forced to take matters into his own hands when a botched kidnapping attempt on the politician’s daughter goes horribly wrong, and Marlon’s own daughter is taken instead. Morales based this look at the gritty underworld of kidnapping and sex-trafficking in the Philippines on extensive research, and the result is a harrowing example of the moral compromises a man must make to survive. GRACELAND premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.



Sunday, November 4, 1:00 PM $10

Directed by Judy-Anne Goldman. This inspirational documentary follows the story of thirteen students in a volatile region of the southern Philippines who endeavor to learn the indigenous music of the Philippines in an effort to put on an unprecedented concert for their community. The students and their families, along with a number of notable Filipino folk musicians rally to see the concert through, and the result is uplifting and magical. Presented with the short documentary “Manila Road” by Fernando Dalayoan.


CFAFF Shorts Program

Sunday, November 4, 3:30 PM $10

Selections to be announced shortly.


Closing Night Presentation:


Sunday, November 4, 6:00 PM $10

Jay Ignacio directs an eye-opening exploration of one of the greatest cultural traditions of the Philippines: the Filipino martial arts systems known as Kali, Eskrima, and Arnis. An unprecedented look at the martial arts of the Philippines, THE BLADED HAND includes a wealth of archival photography and footage, along with interviews with the most authoritative figures in martial arts, including Dan Inosanto (THE GAME OF DEATH, RED BELT); Mumbakki Foronda, an instructor whose students include Russia’s elite Spetsnaz special forces, and Jeff Imada, one of Hollywood’s most respected stunt coordinators. Filmmaker Jay Ignacio will be in attendance at this screening.