(Eagle News) – “Kapayapaan Sa Gitna ng Digmaan” (Peace in the Midst of War), a historical drama celebrating the triumph of love and faith in God set in the tumultuous era of before, during and after World War II, is one of the five finalists in the 2019 Singkuwento International Film Festival Manila Philippines (SIFFMP) for the Full-Length Film Category.
The entry from CEBSI Films is a true to life story of civilian Japanese officer, Yoshiaki Moto (played by multi-awarded actor Richard Quan), who fell in love and married a Filipina, Felicidad (played by commercial model and actress Celina Talavera), before the war.
Their love was tested by the cruelty of war, by racial difference, by one’s patriotism to country, but with the help of their faith in God as Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) members, they endured all these trials even when war broke out.
-Overcoming trials through strong faith-
“This is the story of the Iglesia Ni Cristo members who survived the war,” said the film’s director, Nestor Malgapo Jr.,
“Gusto po naming ipakita kung paano kami manindigan sa panahon ng pagsubok.. at kung paano naging inspirasyon si kapatid na Felix Manalo (We would like to show how we [INC members] stood strong in the face of trials.. and how Brother Felix Manalo served as our inspiration),” he said.
The INC, which was officially registered in the Philippines on July 27, 1914 by Brother Felix Y. Manalo whom INC members believe was God’s Last Messenger, flourished even during the war, despite persecution of its members by the Japanese Imperial government which wanted to regulate the holding of religious worship services.
“During the war, Iglesia Ni Cristo lang ang nag-fluorish (it was only the Church Of Christ which flourished),” Malgapo said.
Yoshiaki was also able to save many Filipinos from Japanese atrocities and death during the war, he said.
Richard Quan said he was fully into the film which was close to his heart.
Quan, an INC member, said he did not accept any talent fees because he was dedicated to fulfill his role in the film where other INC members were also involved.
Actor Christopher Roxas is also in the film’s cast playing the role of the American official who interrogated Yoshiaki.
The film, as well as the other four full-length film finalists in the 4th Singkuwento International Film Festival Manila, Philippines (SIFFMP), can be viewed from February 15 to 23, 2019 at the Leandro Locsin Theater in the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Building in Intramuros, Manila.
Festival director Perry Escaño said that the SIFFMP celebates Filipino culture and arts at its best through films that best capture the Filipino spirit.
The international film festival is co-sponsored by the MPJ Entertainment Productions, the NCCA, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
-Other full-length film contenders-
The four other festival contenders in the full-length film category are “PROMDI” (drama) directed by Charlotte Dianco; “RENDEZVOUS” (fantasy drama-romance) directed by Marvin Gabas; “PLAYGROUND” (drama) directed by Dave Cecilio; and “PUR LAINE”, a comedy-drama directed by Filipino-Canadian filmmaker Alexander Cruz.
The film festival also features five other documentary films, and 25 short films.
(Eagle News Service)