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Pelikula nina Max, Kristoffer pinuri ng ‘Hollywood Reporter’

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Ang debut feature na “Verdict” ni Raymund Ribay Gutierrez na prodyus ng Center Stage Productions ni 2009 Cannes best director winner Brillante Mendoza at co-produced ng Films Boutique, Playtime, at Bord Cadre ay tumanggap ng sunod-sunod na positive film reviews mula sa top international press, tulad ng Screen Daily, the Hollywood Reporter at Variety.

Ang crime drama feature na pinagbibidahan nina Max Eigenmann, ang yumaong aktor na si Kristoffer King, Jorden Suan, at Rene Duria ay sinusundan ang isang domestic violence case sa isang legal process. Produkto ang pelikula ng Brillante Mendoza Film Workshop at Armando Lao Found Story School of Filmmaking.

Ito ang komento ng The Hollywood Reporter sa unang pelikula ng writer-director na si Gutierrez: “Clearly long-awaited, with the director’s two most recent shorts, ‘Judgement’ and ‘Imago,’ selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in Cannes.”

Ayon naman sa Screen Daily, ito ang napansin nila sa writer-director: “Gutierrez proves to have a distinctive voice. His swiftly flowing and female-focused narrative, which balances its underlying social issues with strong storytelling, should see ‘Verdict’ gain a solid foothold on the festival circuit after its world premiere in Venice’s Horizons section and screenings at TIFF.”

Samantala, ito naman ang binigyang-diin ng film review mula sa Variety: “Gutierrez seizes a grippingly refined rhythm and a disheartening scenario that could be considered a prototype for every unfairly discredited female ever. […] it’s nearly impossible not to feel for all the unnamed women around the globe whose wings have similarly been clipped.”

Isa ang “Verdict” sa competing films sa Horizons (Orizzonti) section sa ika-76 na Venice Film Festival, at nagkaroon din ito ng Canadian premiere sa ika-44 na Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Ipinalabas din ito sa ika-46 na Telluride Film Festival (TFF) sa main program na The Show simula Agosto 30 hanggang Setyembre 2, 2019 sa Telluride, Colorado sa America. Ito ang tanging pelikula mula sa Southeast Asia na kasali sa official selection ng Venice Film Festival at ang kaisa-isang Filipino feature film na napili sa TIFF at TFF ngayong taon.

Sa pamamagitan ng International Film Festival Assistance Program (IFFAP) ng FDCP, nabigyan ng suporta sina director Gutierrez at ang aktres na si Max sa pagpunta nila sa Venice Film Festival.

Proud naman at excited si FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño para sa “Verdict.” Sabi niya, “We are very proud and happy with the overwhelming positive reviews for ‘Verdict’ as it travels in A-list international film festivals. As a Filipino film, not only does it evoke mastery of craft from a first-time director. More importantly, its timely and relevant story—that while local, still resonates in these current times and highlights the need for action in discourse regarding the rampant abuse of women everywhere—is truly moving and something that we are proud to showcase. It’s also a great dedication to the late Kristoffer King, one of the most talented actors of his time.”

“We are confident that ‘Verdict’ will go on to make its stamp around the world. We wish Raymund and his film the best of luck!,” dagdag pa niya.

Noong Marso, kinilala ang “Verdict” bilang isang Work-in-Progress project sa Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), isang leading film project market sa Asya. (Dondon Sermino)

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