Blanka

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    Blanka

    Directed by

    Japan, Italy

    2015

    75 min

    • Tagalog

    Drama

    11-years-old Blanka survives alone in Manila begging and stealing from tourists. One day, an absurd idea pops up: if she could buy a mother, she could have a good life. But she has to make countless efforts in order to collect enough money. An opportunity arises when she meets Peter, a 55 years old blind street musician, who teaches Blanka how to sing, a skill out of which she can make money. However, concerned about Blanka’s future, Peter decides to take Blanka to an orphanage. When she finds out, she runs away and the nightmare starts again.

    Awards

    • Audience Award - Fribourg IFF

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Cydel Gabutero
    Peter Millari
    Jomar Bisuyo
    Raymond Camacho
    Ruby Ruiz
    Screenplay
    Kohki Hasei
    Cinematography
    Takeyuki Onishi
    Editing
    Ben Tolentino
    Music
    Aska Matsumiya
    Alberto Bof
    Francis de Veyra

    Director's Statement

    Originally, the idea for this movie came from my interest in exploring children’s point of view. I have been traveling around the world for many years now, especially in places where poverty is the greatest plague. The kids that I have met on my journeys gave me strength, inspiration and hope more than anything else. The expedients and imagination they use to face the harsh, tough context of their lives, with their radiant smiles, have always constituted an unmatched stimulus for my creativity and my vision of the world. The main character of the film is an 11-year old street girl, an orphan. However, I also wanted to avoid any pity. My intention was not to give the audience the impression of grief or sadness by telling the story of a little girl living in poverty. It’s actually the very opposite.

    Sales
    M-APPEAL
    Production
    DORJE FILM SRL

    Press

    Hasei's story may be simple but it is warm, unsentimental and has plenty to recommend it, particularly for older children.

    Amber WIlkinson, Eye for Film

    The film’s tight focus and character exposition is full of depth.

    Kamran Ahmed, Next Projection

    Gabutero and Millari share a sweet rapport that comes off as natural, which anchors the film in the sweeter side of drama.

    Yam Magazine

    Though classical in structure and style, the film offers refreshing surprises as it unfolds.

    Madison Moore, Cineuropa

    A sliver of joy amid the misery rather than a naïve urban fantasy.

    Elizabeth Kerr, The Hollywood Reporter

    Kohki Hasei

    Kohki Hasei

    Japan

    For many years now, I have been travelling around the world, especially to places where poverty is the greatest plague. The kids I met on my journeys gave me more strengths, inspiration and hope than anything else.

    In 1994 after finishing high school in Okayama, Hasei moved to Tokyo where he started working in the art world. In 1998 he created and directed the art and creative space named “Obscure Gallery”. In the same year Hasei published independent art, photo and music magazines.
    In 2001 he directed his first documentary: W/O. The film was screened at the Rotterdam Film Festival, Austrian Viennale and New York "Moma" Festival and at The Seoul Net Festival in Corea where it was awarded with the Digital Express Prize. In 2003 Hasei started to direct music and fashion videos.
    In 2007, Hasei directed his second film, GODOG, in a dump site in Manila where he spent several weeks. This short film was been awarded the First Prize at the Kustendolf Film Festival (2009) in Serbia. In 2008, he worked on Sergei Bodrov’s movie MONGOL as set photographer.