PH film wins in women’s fest in Japan

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A Filipino movie won the top plum at a women’s film festival in Japan. Maricel Cabrera-Cariaga’s “Pitong Kabang Palay” bagged the grand prize, the Golden Owl Award, at the 22nd Aichi International Women’s Film Festival, held in Nagoya, last Sept. 10.

This is the second international recognition for Cariaga’s film, which debuted at the ToFarm fest last year. Last January, it won the Best Children’s Film citation at the 15th Dhaka International Film Festival in Bangladesh.

Cariaga’s debut movie recounts the struggles of a farming family - particularly of the children who dream of finishing school - in rural areas.

“I am so happy to have represented our country at the Aichi fest,” Cariaga told the Inquirer. “I am honored to win the grand prize, which I believe is a first for the Philippines.”

She is elated to be part of a festival that honors women. “The fest did a great job giving importance to, and a venue for, female directors,” she remarked. “The fest not only empowers women, it also gives us a fair share of the limelight. I’m proud to be part of this endeavor that aims for equality.”

She attended the movie’s screening last Sept. 6, and got to interact with audience members. “They described the film as thought-provoking, moving and sensitive. They also commended the performances of the actors, especially the children,” she recalled.

The Aichi fest aims “to support the advancement of women in society and promote international exchange among women.”  -BAYANI SAN DIEGO JR./