By By Pablo A. Tariman
John Denver trending headed for San Diego Asian Film Fest in USA
posted 15 days ago  ·  
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The first international red carpet walk of Filipino director Arden Rod Jansen and first time actor Jansen Magpusao at the Busan film fest in South Korea.

The 24th Busan International film Festival which opened October 3 ended October 12 at the Busan Cinema Center in Korea with awards for the winning entries.

The film fest marked the first time Filipino director Arden Rod Condez and first time actor Jansen Magpusao (John Denver Trending) made their first international red carpet walk in the opening ceremonies.

Some 303 films from 85 countries jazzed up  up the festivity  and closed with "Moonlight Winter," a melodrama by South Korean director Lim Dae-hyung, the 2016 winner of BIFF's New Currents award for "Merry Christmas Mr. Mo."

In this year's New Currents competition section, 14 films from 10 countries, including "John Denver Trending" by Philippine director Arden Rod Condez and "An Old Lady" by South Korea's Lim Sun-ae, vied for the prize.

British director Mike Figgis led the jury for the New Currents competition along with Karel Och, a Czech filmmaker; Samal Yeslyamova, a Kazakh actress; Lee Sinje, also known as Angelica Lee, a Malaysian actress; and Suh Young-joo, the CEO of a South Korean film distributor.

Director Condez said he and lead actor Magpusao wore suits designed by mother-daughter designing team from Pandan, Antique -- –Sarah and Patricia Rafols Romarate of Rafols Collection.

After Busan, John Denver Trending is headed for the San Diego Asian Film Fest in the United States.

Meanwhile, one of the winners in the new Currents section is Rom by Tran Thang Huy from Vietnam.

The debut film by Huy took seven years to be furnished depicting the world of desire on the back streets of buzzing metropolitan Saigon. Rom tries to raise money to find out where his parents are, who abandoned him when he was a child. His profession is a middle man to pick numbers to buy lottery tickets for his clients. While he has to prevent other competitors from entering his territories of business, he tries various unscientific and superstitious methods to figure out the lucky numbers. When his clients win on the illegal lottery, he gets some commission, but he has to hide away when they lose. As the complex slums with their own order are destined to be demolished due to urban redevelopment plans, the peasants push their luck for the last jackpot. The brutal desire inevitably invites violence that is exploded at the urban chasing scene later in the film. The energetic color and composition is the viewing point.

The jury’s verdict: the film has amazing energy and this combined with excellent performances and some spectacular camera work to make a standout film. The use of real, live locations impressed the jury greatly and the ending was very satisfying.


Scene from the Vietnamese film, "Rom," one of the winners in the New Currents section of the Busan film fest in Korea.
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