ISA ang pelikulang Aswang na ipinrodyus at idinirehe ni Alyx Ayn Arumpac sa 12 na entry sa International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Competition for First Appearance 2019 sa Netherlands. Ang Aswang ay isang co-production ng Pilipinas, France, Norway, Qatar, at Germany. Makakalaban nito ang mga produksiyon galing Spain, Russia, Qatar, Denmark, Brazil, Poland, China, the UK, Serbia, Croatia, Colombia, at Georgia.
Ang IDFA, na nasa ika-32 taon na ay itinuturing na Cannes sa mundo ng documentary filmmaking. Nagpapalabas ito ng mahigit sa 300 na pelikula taon-taon kaya kasama ito sa mga nangungunang international documentary film fest. Pagpapasyahan ang Competition for First Appearance 2019 ng limang miyembro ng IDFA Jury na pinangungunahan ni Paolo Moretti, ang Delegate General ng Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Makakasama niya ang editor at filmmaker na si Maya Hawke, at ang mga filmmaker na sina Tatiana Huezo, Anand Patwardhan, at Emma Davie.
Nagkaroon ng world premiere ang Aswang sa Amsterdam noong Nobyembre 21, ang dokumentaryong tungkol sa war on drugs sa Pilipinas.
Ayon sa direktor na si Arumpac, “We’re very proud and grateful to premiere at IDFA, and happy that we were selected for the competition lineup. IDFA is one of the film’s biggest supporters, through its Bertha Fund, IDFAcademy Summer School, and the IDFA Forum. Despite this, all films still have to undergo a selection process to be able to screen or compete in the festival.” Ibinahagi rin ng direktor na sold out ang dalawang screening ng Aswang sa Amsterdam.
Noong 2018, nakatanggap ang Aswang ng 40,000 Euro para sa Europe: International Co-production mula sa IDFA Bertha Fund na sumusuporta sa mga dokumentaryo ng mga umuunlad na bansa.
Kabilang din ang Aswang sa 2018 IDFAcademy Summer School Script na nagbibigay ng pagsasanay sa mga umuusbong na talento sa larangan ng paggawa ng dokumentaryo.
Nakatanggap din ito ng suporta mula sa Aide aux cinémas du monde – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée/Institut Français, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, Berlinale World Cinema Fund, Purin Pictures, White Light Post, Doha Film Institute, Tan Ean Kiam Foundation-SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary Grant, PACA Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Un Monde par tous foundation, Société des Producteurs et de l’ANGOA, DMZ Docs Fund, at Talents Tokyo Next Masters Support Grant.
Karagdagang suporta ang natanggap ng Aswang mula sa La Socieìteì Civile des Auteurs Multimeìdias (La SCAM) Brouillon d’un reve, Sarah Jacobson Film Grant – Free History Project, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), at Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
“The FDCP and NCCA helped us through their filmmaker travel assistance program which paid for our flights for some of the development workshops and pitches. This was very important for us and we are very grateful for this,” pahayag ni direk Arumpac, na isa rin sa mga producer kasama si Armi Rae S. Cacanindin ng ACC Cinematografica Films.
Idinetalye ni Cacanindin ang International Film Studies Assistance Program (IFSAP) ng FDCP.
“We started developing this project in 2016 and FDCP has supported us since early 2017. Their IFSAP partly covered the expenses we incurred to be able to attend the IDFA Forum where we pitched the project and had one-on-one meetings with potential funders and co-producers. We also received the same travel assistance program last year when we were chosen to be part of IDFAcademy Summer School.
“Our project was presented to mentors who gave us valuable feedback and helped us strengthen the narrative structure. The support that we received gave the filmmaker the space and freedom to pursue the direction she wanted, with no creative and editorial compromises. We are so honored that these institutions trusted us.”
Say naman ng direktor, ”Compared to fiction films, there is not a lot of support structures for documentaries (especially of a political nature) in the Philippines. And it is also not at all easy to get support anywhere if you are a first-time filmmaker from the Philippines. It was purely self-funded during the first year, and it took over a year before we received any support. Asian initiatives such as the DMZ Docs Fund in South Korea, Talents Tokyo Next Masters Grant in Japan, and Docs By The Sea in Indonesia helped the project move forward in the early development stage and connected us to our future partners. As the film took shape, then we could try for other grants appropriate to our stage of production. It was a great amount of work, and we are so thankful and proud to be supported by these institutions.”
Sa harap ng mga pagsubok ay nagpakatatag sina Arumpac at Cacanindin, at nagkaroon pa ng world premiere ang kanilang pelikula.
Nagbahagi naman ng mga payo si Cacanindin para sa mga nais gumawa ng dokumentaryo: ”Timing played a big part in our grant application process. It is best to do research on the grants and their past supported projects to understand them better. Another advice is to turn in a well-written and thorough application. Do not cram, take time in crafting the essays and treatment because these are very competitive. Hundreds of projects are all applying for the same thing.”
Nag-iisa man ang Aswang sa pagkakaroon ng Philippine production credits sa IDFA 2019, mayroon namang dalawa pang dokumentaryong tungkol sa mga paksang Pinoy.
Hinggil sa mga pagsasanay at pagsubok ng mga magiging overseas Filipino housekeeper ang Overseas (Belgium at France) ni Sung-A Yoon, habang ang The Kingmaker (United States at Denmark) ni Lauren Greenfield ay tungkol sa pamilya ng yumaong dating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos na may pokus sa dating Unang Ginang Imelda Marcos.
Isang Filipinong produksiyon pa lamang ang nagwagi sa IDFA simula noong 1988. Ito ang Kano: An American and His Harem (2010) ni Monster Jimenez na nanalo ng IDFA Award for Best First Appearance noong 2010. Nagsimula ang IDFA noong Nobyembre 20 at matatapos ito sa Disyembre 1.