Philippine storytelling shines bright alongside other international entries in the 2021 edition of the prestigious film festival.

/ 25 February 2021

The annual Osaka Asian Film Festival (OAFF) is an initiative from the Japan film industry to facilitate development and exchange through cinema, by promoting Osaka as a venue to watch and experience excellent Asian storytelling. It is part of the country’s plan to establish Osaka as a gateway for Asian film, where communities of culture, art, education, tourism, and business can engage with one another over the same passion and commitment to cinema development.

Each year, the festival showcases high-quality Asian films in the Competition section, the Indie Forum section, special programs, and other sections in its wide and diverse program:

  • The Competition section will name the Grand Prix and Most Promising Talent Award out of 14 featured films, which were previously unreleased in Japan.
  • The Spotlight section has been known to feature relatively unpopular works that are expected to gain traction because of new talent, or movement in cinema.
  • The Indie Forum will present 10 works by innovative talents who challenge the boundaries of film. After the festival, the Japan Cuts Award will be presented by the Japan Society to one of the films in the indie lineup.
  • The Special Programs sections are different lineups from Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and others across Asia that display some of the best from the region’s booming film industry.
  • The Supported Program, features film study and production in graduate schools. The program will premiere 4 films supported by the Housen Cultural Foundation, to be aired free of charge.

Three films from the Philippines have made it to the Special Programs <New Action! Southeast Asian> lineup, namely Excuse Me, Miss Miss Miss by Director Sonny Calvento, Here and There (Dito at Doon) by Director JP Habac, and Broken (Kintsugi) by Director Lawrence Fajardo.

Excuse Me, Miss Miss Miss

Directed by Sonny Calvento, Excuse Me, Miss Miss Miss is a satirical story about the struggles of contractual and regularized work in the Philippines. The short film, that cuts just over 16 minutes, follows contractual sales lady Vangie as she discovers the shocking secret to regularization as she’s on the brink of losing her job.



Here and There (Dito at Doon)

Judging from the trailer, JP Habac’s Dito at Doon starring multi-awarded actors Janine Gutierrez and JC Santos will tell a romance story between two people forming a relationship through text messages, calls, and social media—a reality most of us know from this longstanding quarantine. The film will have its premiere at the Osaka Asian Film Festival.


Broken (Kintsugi)

Also starring JC Santos, the Lawrence Fajardo-directed film follows his character as he flies off to Saga, Japan to expand his pottery business. There, he falls in love with a Japanese woman (Hiro Nishiuchi), who is the heiress of a celebrated local pottery factory.


Given the current global condition with the Coronavirus pandemic, the OAFF will have two programs, separating the online and on-screen program. The On Screen lineup will premiere all films in the program from March 5-14, 2021, while the Online lineup (with selected films from previous OAFF programs, and 2 classic Taiwanese films from OAFF 2021 program) will be broadcasted on February 28-March 20, 2021.

More details about online screening and cinema viewing are expected to be announced in the coming days before the festival officially begins.

Check out http://www.oaff.jp/2021/en/index.html for more updates.