A National Geographic documentary about President Rodrigo Duterte’s internationally condemned drug war — which was shortlisted for an Oscar nomination in December — will get its local premiere at the new film festival Daang Dokyu (short for “Isang Daan,” or the “100-year” mark of documentaries in Philippine cinema) in Quezon City in March, festival organizers announced in a press statement.
Nightcrawlers’ unflinching exposé features Filipino journalists Patricia Evangelista and Raffy Lerma as they report about the bloody campaign, one that has left thousands of drug suspects dead. While the doc can be streamed for free in the U.S., it has yet to be screened on our shores.
Daang Dokyu, which was first slated to debut in February, will now run from March 16 to 21 at the University of the Philippines Film Institute’s Cine Adarna. The six-day festival celebrates the development of local documentary filmmaking for the past 100 years, and will showcase films from different parts of the country that buck convention and question taboos.
Cine Adarna’s 800-seat venue will be screening docs that date back to the 1900s, as well as films released in the recent years. The line-up includes the Joanna Vasquez Arong award-winning short Ang Pagpapakalma sa Unos (“To Calm The Storm Inside“), which talks about the devastating blow of super typhoon Haiyan on Leyte and the rest of the country. Plus there’s Pabelle Manikan’s Dreaming in the Red Light, which chronicles the story of a former sex worker trying to get out of the trade while raising her daughter, whose German father was a former client.
The festival kicks off with Alyx Ayn Arumpac’s Aswang (“Monster”), which, much like Nightcrawlers, follows the lives of people bearing the brunt of Duterte’s bloody drug war. Aswang won a critics choice award at the International Film Festival Documentary in Amsterdam late last year.
On top of the exhaustive documentary screenings, a book on Philippine documentaries will be launched, and several roundtable talks, masterclasses, and lectures, will run throughout the six-day event. Ticket details will be available on the festival’s website and accounts soon (see below). Be sure to be there.