The 65th San Sebastian International Film Festival will take place on Sept. 22-30 in Spain. Among the 13 films in the festival’s New Directors section, four are from Asia including “Underground,” which was written and directed by Filipino filmmaker Daniel Palacio.

As a new director, Palacio is humbled by the opportunity to represent the Philippines in a major international film festival. He told Conan Daily, “The selection validates Filipino craftsmanship and talent along with the best filmmakers around the world.”

Palacio acknowledged the help of 2009 Cannes Film Festival best director Brillante Mendoza, the executive producer of “Underground.” For the former, hoisting the Philippine flag could not be any sweeter with his mentor by his side.

The main cast of “Underground” includes Joem Bascon, Mara Lopez, Grace Ann Betalmos, Ryan Sandoval, Jalyn Taboneknek, Jun Nayra and Lou Veloso. In the supporting cast are Elijah Filamor, Conan Altatis, Gay Quililan, Lito Capina, Salmon Macarambon, Maria Celiza Maglaque and JR Aguila.

A cash prize of approximately $3 million will be awarded to the winner of the New Directors section of the 2017 SSIFF. The other Asian entries competing in the section are South Korea’s “The Seeds of Violence” by Lim Tae-Gue, China’s “From Where We’ve Fallen” by Wang Feifei and Taiwan’s “A Fish out of Water” by Lai Kuo-an.

“Underground,” “The Seeds of Violence,” “From Where We’ve Fallen” and “A Fish out of Water” will compete against 10 other films from Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. These are “Alberto García-Alix, La línea de la sombra” by Nicolás Combarro, “Blue My Mind” by Lisa Bruehlmann, “Cargo” by Gilles Coulier,  “Matar a Jesús” by Laura Mora, “Princesita” by Marialy Rivas, “Ravens” by Jens Assur, “The Price of Success” by Teddy Lussi-Modeste and “The Sower” by Marine Francen and “Tigre” by Silvina Schnicer Schlieman and Ulises Porra Guardiola.

Check the 13 entries to the New Directors section of SSIFF 2017 here:


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