Asian American Heritage Month kicks off for ABS-CBN’s CINEMATOGRAFO Originals Contest with an announcement of its fourth grant winner, award-winning Los Angeles-based Filipino American writer-director-cinematographer Francis Dela Torrewhose work, The Trade, will be screened at the CINEMATOGRAFO Film Festival this November.
CINEMATOGRAFO Originals Contest is the new film competition launched this year by ABS-CBN International that provides seed grants for full-length features, documentary or narrative. So far, the contest has announced four grants winners: H.P. Mendoza’s Bitter Melon, Diane Paragas’s Yellow Rose, Loy Arcenas’s Ebb Tide and Dela Torre’s The Trade.
Dela Torre studied film production at University of Southern California’s School of Cinema/Television in Los Angeles. While there, he was one of two students specially selected by a committee of faculty and entertainment industry professionals to direct a master’s thesis for his graduating class. Throughout the past decade, Dela Torre has directed and photographed numerous television commercials and music videos in the U.S., many of which have won awards, including an MTV Best Music Video Award in 2002.
Dela Torre’s directorial feature film debut, Subject: I Love You, based on the “I Love You Virus” that was launched from the Philippines in the year 2000, premiered to much acclaim at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2011, and starred Briana Evigan of the Summit Entertainment hits, Step-Up 2 and Step-Up: All In. His second feature film, Blood Ransom, will be released internationally by Gravitas Ventures in August, 2017. The film stars Alexander Dreymon of Netflix Original’s The Last Kingdom, and Filipino-Australian box-office star, Anne Curtis. Both films were co-produced by TECTONIC FILMS, a company Dela Torre founded in the fall of 2009.
Dela Torre’s entry, The Trade, is a modern take on the Cain and Abel story. It is about two tight-knit brothers forced to turn against each other by the criminal underworld and a crooked police force. What unravels is a journey into the grim side of Los Angeles and a somber look at the dark side of the Filipino-American experience.
CINEMATOGRAFO was made open to all U.S. citizens and/or U.S. permanent residents of Filipino descent, 18 years or older. The contest awards a $100,000 production grant. This is a path to have stories realized on the big screen. CINEMATOGRAFO Originals Contest winners will highlight the CINEMATOGRAFO International Film Festival to be held this November in San Francisco.
The contest criteria are 40% Story and Premise, 20% Presentation, 20% Plot and Pacing and 10% Theme.
“CINEMATOGRAFO is showing amazing promise with all these grants winners. We are looking forward to a large audience being able to see all these magnificent works in our November film festival,” said Film Festival Executive Director John-D Lazatin, also the Global Head of Theatricals of ABS-CBN International.