‘Kun Maupay Man it Panahon’ Continues to Cross Borders in 2022

MANILA, Philippines—Following its impressive run in the festival-circuit in 2021, Carlo Francisco Manatad’s disaster drama Kun Maupay Man it Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine) is showing no signs of slowing down. The multi-awarded film is slated to be screened in two new international film festivals this month, in India and Japan respectively.

The critically-acclaimed film will be played at the Asian Film Competition at the Bengaluru International Film Festival in India, reportedly from March 3-10.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CaR4dECBtEZ/

It will then have its Japanese premiere at the Osaka Film Festival at the Spotlight section, with a highlight on new talents and movements in cinema, starting March 10, 2022.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CaE7rRZhPEq/

Kun Maupay Man it Panahon (Whether the Weather Is Fine) tells the story of Miguel, played by acclaimed young actor Daniel Padilla, as he goes through the ruins of Tacloban, Leyte in the wake of Yolanda’s devastation in search of two women in his life: his partner Andrea, played by MNL48’s Rans Rifol, and mother Norma, portrayed by legendary acting heavyweight, Charo Santos-Concio. Miguel desperately searches for the two in the hopes of fleeing to the nearby city before another storm approaches.

This serves as Manatad’s first full feature film, having had an illustrious film editing career, written together with another acclaimed filmmaker Giancarlo Abrahan and Jérémie Dubois. It was picked up by the Film Development Council of the Philippines in 2019 for the FDCP Project Market, aiding in its development before completion, and in 2021, the FDCP’s FilmPhilippines Office named it as a recipient of the International Co-production Fund (ICOF) worth PHP 2.5 million.

In August of last year, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has announced that the regional Filipino production made it to the lineup of the Locarno Film Festival, one of the longest-running film festivals in the world. This then came as a momentous achievement for regional films in the country, with its Tacloban-set story, and Tacloban-led writers depicting the tragedy left behind by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) back in 2013.

“We are tremendously proud of the journey of Kun Maupay Man It Panahon, which is a milestone in Philippine regional cinema. FDCP is honored to have supported Carlo Francisco Manatad’s journey from the development and production of this project until now when it’s ready to be shown to the world. We thank Locarno for giving it a world premiere and express our heartfelt gratitude to all international film labs, programs, and organizations for believing in and extending support to a Filipino regional film,” FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño said in an official statement.

The whole film is shot in the native Waray dialect, with Padilla speaking a language that hits close to home, with a mother who actually hails from Tacloban and who can also fluently speak the language. On the other hand, Santos-Concio, widely successful media executive for ABS-CBN and critically-acclaimed actress, had to learn the script in a language she’s not at all familiar with.

But regardless of these challenges, the film’s storytelling undoubtedly shone through as it caught the attention of the A-List international film festival that provides a platform for auteur, or “author-like”, cinema. At the time, the film was the only competing entry from the Philippines, marking its world premiere in the Concorso Cineasti del Presente (Filmmakers of the Present) section. Not long after, it bagged the Cinema e Gioventù Prize.

Lauded in numerous film festivals overseas, including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival, it then had its Philippine premiere as an official selection for the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival, where it took home the 2nd Best Picture recognition and acting trophies for its actors Santos-Concio (Best Actress), and Rifol (Best Supporting Actress), while a Special Jury Prize was awarded to Padilla. It also took home the Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award, an annual recognition at the film festival to films with exemplary portrayal of Philippine culture and the Filipino people to the world.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CZwEyFGhMWj/

As of this writing, the film continues to be streamed in the Philippines through ktx.ph, iWantTFC, Upstream.ph, and WeTV for ₱249 until March 6. The FDCP Channel also offers the movie for rent for ₱249/48 hours.

This isn’t the first time that a Filipino film has earned a second look from audiences on a global stage. Over the course of the past few years, many local masterpieces have toured and premiered around the world, building up to a highly-anticipated peak where we might finally be recognized as a competitive source of quality-level acting, direction, cinematography, and storytelling. This will only continue with the due support and push from the authorities and governing bodies to continue harness Filipino expertise and give a platform to many impressive but oftentimes unheard-of talent in the Philippine film industry.

Kun Maupay Man it Panahon’s continuing global success is a testament to how far we’ve come, and how much further we can go, as a storytelling nation.

Official trailer:

Additional research: Jaime Bautista