Int’l Film Festival Manhattan extols Nebrida’s ‘Across the Crescent Moon’
NEW YORK — Filmmakers from different countries presented their work in various genres during the recent five-day International Film Festival Manhattan.
Feature length, documentary, short and experimental films screened from October 18-22 at Kalayaan Hall, Philippine Center.
Opening the 7th year awards ceremony was the showing of Best Feature Film Global, “Across the Crescent Moon,” a heart-pounding action-drama film, written and directed by Baby Nebrida, starring Christopher De Leon, Dina Bonnevie, Gabby Concepcion, Sandy Andolong, Joem Bascon, Ivan Carapet, Jerco Estregan and Alex Godinez.
Baby Nebrida involved the Philippine Navy Seals and the Philippine National Police in several shots, with location shooting between Marawi and Manila, using all means of transportation, from a tricycle and jeep to boats, airplane and shipping lines. Co-produced by her children Christie and Jodi Nebrida, the team hired a West Coast-based stuntman to do the choreography. They proudly claim the use of Dolby Atmos sound as the first in the Philippines.
The movie’s theme cannot be more timely: It is set in the Muslim part of the Philippines, showcasing the art, fashion and culture of Marawi. Based on real life events, “Crescent Moon” tells a story of human trafficking and white slavery, of young girls lured by promises of jobs abroad only to find themselves packed inside container vans. Some of the victims are forced at gunpoint from resort islands within a boat ride to Mindanao. The plot centers on a family conflict, between Muslim and Catholic traditions, ending on a high note of forgiveness, love and peace.
“Crescent Moon” was shown in Manila where it received the Catholic Mass Media Awards for Best Film of the Year. Baby Nebrida earned the title of Ambassador for Peace by International Parliamentarians and was nominated as Best Director by IFFM. The film was also selected for the Honolulu Filipino International Film Fest.
Organizer of the International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) Luis Pedron started this project years ago, promoting independent shorts and feature films at the Philippine Center. He continued to expand his reach to the international film community. The 7th season vested an award for Lifetime Achievement in Acting for Christopher De Leon, who expressed gratitude through video messaging. Another Lifetime Achievement award for Arts went to Fernando Mendez for his outstanding achievements in the Fil-Am community equally promoting performing arts through his annual Fiesta in America grand exhibition.
Regular screenings were held at the Producers Club, New York City featuring the work of student and professional filmmakers from the U.S., Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Canada, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Brazil and the Philippines. Several horror films about the folkloric “aswang” and suspense-drama “Sikreto Sa Dilim” added flair to the urban myths that certain parts of the Philippines are known for.
Each year, the list gets longer for the IFFM participants, giving credit and accolades to upcoming artists and unsung heroes in the independent film industry, with the help of the Philippine Consul General Theresa Dizon De Vega. Sponsors for this year include Lexington Collaborative/Power Media, Erehwon Center for the Arts, JCI Philippines, Project Michaelangelo and Get Reel TV. The festival was for the benefit of Basilia Women’s Foundation in the Philippines.
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