MANILA – Birdshot, the award-winning film from acclaimed director Mikhail Red, made its Philippine premiere at this year’s Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival as the official opening film. The movie going public will have its chance to catch Birdshot during its commercial run at the first ever Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2017 which starts on Wednesday August 16th. The local film festival spearheaded by the Film Development Council of the Philippines is a weeklong celebration where theaters nationwide exclusively screen Filipino films.
Birdshot is a provocative coming-of-age thriller that tells a story of a young Filipino teenage girl who wanders into the boundaries of a Philippine reservation forest. Deep within the reservation she mistakenly shoots and kills a critically endangered and protected Philippine Eagle. As the local authorities begin a manhunt to track down the poacher of a national bird, their investigation leads them to an even more horrific discovery.
The film’s premise was actually inspired by a news clip that the filmmaker read about a farmer who mistakenly shoots and kills an eagle without knowing that the act he committed was illegal. For Red, uncertain situations and moral ambiguity are elements that draw him in as a storyteller.
“I like stories that are morally ambiguous, yung hindi mo alam who’s good or who’s evil. And ‘Birdshot’ is very much like that,” Red shares. “All the characters are struggling to survive. It creates a story with several layers that leave a lot of gray areas which the audience can explore. When they leave the cinema, we want them to start a conversation and talk about what they’ve seen.”
Birdshot features an ensemble cast led by a dynamic new young actress Mary Joy Apostol, and screen veterans Arnold Reyes, Ku Aquino, and John Arcilla in his highly anticipated follow-up film project after the huge success of the historical epic Heneral Luna.
The film made its world debut at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival where it bagged the Best Picture award in the Asian Future Film section. Since then, the film has made round in the international film fest circuit including South Korea, Lithuania, Laos, Sweden, Thailand and Belgium. Finally, Birdshot is coming home this August.
“We’re excited that finally, Filipinos can see Birdshot,” Red adds. “PPP is the perfect is the perfect occasion for us kasi mas Malaki yung audience that can be reached. We’re very happy and honored to be part of this pioneering batch of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.”
PelikulaRED and TBA Studios, the indie studio outfit behind such acclaimed films as Heneral Luna, Sunday Beauty Queen, I’m Drunk, I Love You, and Bliss. Birdshot is supported by Doha Film Institute, CJ Entertainment, Asian Project Market, and Produire au Sud.
It is being released in partnership with Globe Studios who is co-marketing the film. Says Quark Henares, head of Globe Studios, “I love Birdshot and it’s a film that deserves to find its audience. We are happy to be co-marketers of the film and we are honored to be associated with the film and TBA, its production outfit.”
Birdshot opens in cinemas nationwide on August 16. Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino is slated to until August 22. The film is being distributed by Solar Films.