Purin spring 2024 grantees

Purin Pictures Spring 2024: Funding News

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Filipino filmmakers dominated the spring 2024 funding round of Bangkok-based film fund Purin Pictures, taking three out of four production grants and a post-production grant for Joseph Mangat’s documentary Pony Boys. 

The three production grants went to Mario Cornejo’s My Neighbor The Gangster, produced by Monster Jimenez; Arvin Belarmino’s RIA, produced by Kristine De Leon and Alemberg Ang; and Joanne Cesario’s documentary Invisible Labor, produced by Alyssa Suico (see full details below). 

Purin Pictures awarded a fourth production grant to Indonesian docudrama South Sea, directed by Riar Rizaldi and produced by B.M. Anggana and Sam Hewison. The project is an investigation into a 2022 tragedy, in which ten Indonesians died after a tidal wave swept away a group of people performing rituals on Payangan Beach.

“This session we received the highest number of applications since starting the fund in 2017,” said Purin Pictures co-director Aditya Assarat. “It was a very difficult process for the reading committee to choose the grantees and reinforces the need for the different funds in the Southeast Asia region to support our own artists.”  

Purin Pictures described My Neighbor The Gangster as “a funny and moving recollection of [Cornejo’s] own childhood living next door to the Philippines’ most famous gangster” and RIA, from up-and-coming young director Belarmino, as “an introduction to the fascinating world of Filipino punk”.

Invisible Labor, from labour activist Joanne Cesario, addresses the issue of preserving truth against the rewriting of history, following recent events in the Philippines, while Mangat’s documentary follows the young cowboys of Baguio, whose century-old culture and traditions can be traced back to the US occupation of the Philippines.

Purin Pictures is a non-profit film fund that supports independent cinema in Southeast Asia, with activities across film production, exhibition and education.  The fund is managed by Assarat and Anocha Suwichakornpong, both filmmakers based in Thailand. 

($30,000 for fiction films, $15,000 for documentaries)

My Neighbor The Gangster – dir: Mario Cornejo, prod: Monster Jimenez
Prod co: This Side Up (Philippines)
Synopsis: In 1981, a young boy’s life is changed when the Philippines’ most notorious gangster moves in next door to his peaceful seaside residence.

RIA – dir: Arvin Belarmino, prods: Kristine De Leon, Alemberg Ang
Prod co: WAF Studios (Philippines)
Synopsis: A young punk woman and her friends fight to defend their punk commune, the only home they have left in a land-grabbed neighborhood’s ruins.

Invisible Labor – dir: Joanne Cesario, prod: Alyssa Suico
Prod co: Mayday Multimedia (Philippines)
Synopsis: As the Marcoses return to power in the Philippines, labor rights activists preserve their movement’s history through an archive and a documentary.

South Sea – dir: Riar Rizaldi, prods: B.M. Anggana, Sam Hewison
Prod co: New Pessimism Studio (Indonesia)
Synopsis: An investigation of a 2022 tragedy, in which ten Indonesians died after a tidal wave swept away a group of people performing rituals on Payangan Beach.

($50,000 for fiction films, $35,000 for documentaries)

Pony Boys – dir: Joseph Mangat, prod: Alemberg Ang
Prod co: Daluyong Studios (Philippines)
Synopsis: A documentary tracking teenage Filipino cowboys contending with adolescence while their livelihood and culture are slowly dying.