The 5th Manhattan International Film Festival (MIFF) was held at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) on March 27, 2017. It was well-attended by the MIFF finalists, their family and friends, World Youth Alliance staff and interns, youth delegates to the 14th International Solidarity Forum, and representatives from TECO.
To welcome the guests to this year’s screening, WYA President Lord Pomperada shared a few words. H.E. Ambassador Lily Hsu, Director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, also addressed the assembly by sharing about the wonderful relationship between TECO and WYA. Cocktails were served in the lobby before the screening commenced in the theater. Mary Imbong and Manuel Soto hosted the program and the subsequent awarding of the winners.
Gotta Serve Somebody (Álvaro Hernández, Spain) placed fourth in the competition, with its tale of a former gang member in Los Angeles and his struggles toward a virtuous and honest life with his family. Breaktime (Lin Po-Yu, Taiwan) placed third, with its steady storytelling of a girl who much to the dismay of her mother, would rather practice her dance routine with her friends than to watch over her sick grandfather. Frenemy (Skylar Burke, USA) placed second, with its compelling picture of the realities of social bullying as experienced by a previously vibrant girl. My 2014 Neighbor (Anya Nicole Isabel Zulueta, Philippines) was awarded first prize, with its heartwarming story about the friendship of two little girls.
The 5th MIFF finalist lineup boasted young talent from around the world, including Josh Venkataraman (USA, “I Art New York”), Clare Halpine (Canada, “Nostalgia”), Jonathan Cheng (USA, “Part-time Friend”), Celeste Koon (Canada, “The Ghost of Grandpa Tong”), Inshallah Montero (Philippines, “The Little Reader”), and Asher Grodman (USA, “The Train”).
Submissions for the 6th Competition of the MIFF are now being accepted. WYA invites young directors committed to creating films reflecting the depth of the human condition. The submission deadline is September 30, 2017. For submission guidelines, visit www.wya.net/miff.