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The Philippines shines bright in the 20th year of the International Festival of Asian Cinema (FICA), the biggest Asian film festival in Europe. From 11 to 18 February this year, close to 30,000 people watched over one hundred films from Asia in Vesoul, capital of the Haute-Saône region, 315 kilometers east of Paris.

For the Festival’s 20th year, the organizers, headed by Martine Thérouanne, Director of the Festival and her husband, Jean-Marc Thérouanne, Secretary General, have chosen to present a “Retrospective of Philippine Cinema” that showcased more than 20 different films produced in the Philippines from 1975 to 2014. Some of these films included Marlon Rivera’s Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, Jeffrey Jeturian’s Kargador, Mes de Guzman’s Ang Istorya ni Mabitu, Ismael Bernal’s Himala, LinoBrocka’s Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Karnal and Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb.

Internationally acclaimed Filipino producer and director Brillante Mendoza was the President of the Festival’s Grand Jury this year.  Mr. Mendoza was recently named Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters) by the French government at an awarding ceremony held in the French Embassy in Manila last January. During the closing ceremony of the Festival on 18 February, he was also awarded the Cycle d’Or (Golden Wheel) lifetime achievement award for his collection of works.

Eduardo Roy’s critically acclaimed film Quick Change, which focuses on the life of Dorina, a transvestite living in Manila, bagged the Internet Press Award during the awarding ceremonies.

Present during the closing ceremony to present the Emile Guimet Award was Hubert Guimet, great grandson of the founder of the Guimet Museum in Paris, the biggest and most prestigious museum of Asian art in Europe.

Other notable Filipinos who were present in this year’s festival were multi-awarded actress Eugene Domingo and Rolando Tolentino, Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.  Dean Tolentino  was also the president of the jurists from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) during the Festival. The Philippine Embassy in Paris was represented by Third Secretary and Vice Consul André Peter C. Estanislao and Mr. Arnel V. De Luna, Attaché.

The winners of the 20th FICA are:

Cycle d’Or Award  

10 Minutes, Lee Young-Seung (South Korea)

Grand Jury Prize   

Nobody’s Home, DenizAzçay (Turkey)

Jury’s Special Mention    

Quissa, Anup Singh (India)

NETPAC Award                 

The Ferry, Shi Wei (China)

Emile Guimet Award         

The Ferry, Shi Wei (China)

Special Mention                 

Summer’s End, Kumakiri Kazuyoshi (Japan)

INALCO (National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, Paris) Award

Quissa, Anup Singh (India)

Special Mention                 

10 Minutes, Lee Young-Seung (South Korea)

Internet Press Award       

Quick Change, Eduardo Roy, Jr, (Philippines)

People’s Choice Award   

Again, Kanai Junichi (Japan)

Vesoul High Schools Award

Nobody’s Home, DenizAzçay (Turkey)

Public Choice Award for a Documentary       

Mille Jours à Saigon (A Thousand Days in Saigon), M.C. Courtès (Vietnam-France)

Youth Award for a Documentary                      

Blossom with Tears, Huaquing Jin (China)

For more information on FICA, visit their website at



Director Brillante Mendoza with the winners of the 20th International Festival of Asian Cinema (FICA) during the festival‘s closing ceremony held on 18 February 2014 at the Theatre Edwige Feuillere,  Vesoul, France


Director Brillante Mendoza accepting the Cycle d’Or (Golden Wheel) award during the closing ceremony of the  20th International Festival of Asian Cinema (FICA) on 18 February 2014 at the Theatre Edwige Feuillere,  Vesoul, France


Vice Consul Andre Peter C. Estanislao with Mme. Martine Therouanne,  Festival Director of the20th International Festival of Asian Cinema (FICA) and her husband, Mr. Jean-Marc Therouanne, Secretary General.


Vice Consul Andre Peter C. Estanislao with Mr. Jean-Marc Therouanne, Director Brillante Mendoza, and Mayor  Alain Chrétien of Vesoul, France