Shaina Magdayao (left) and Alfred Vargas

‘Tagpuan’ is a gift that never stops giving,” said its director Mac Alejandre after the dramatic movie won its second best picture award at the recently concluded Wallachia International Film Festival in Romania.

The said festival, which ran from Aug. 12 to 15, is the eighth international film derby for “Tagpuan,” which features Iza Calzado, Shaina Magdayao and Alfred Vargas in the lead.

“Tagpuan,” which premiered at the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival, has also won best feature film at the sixth Chauri Chaura International Film Festival in Uttar Pradesh, India, as well as a best director trophy for Alejandre at the second Samskara International Film Festival, also in India.

In spite of its previous victories in India, Alejandre said he was still “very pleasantly surprised” to have been recognized at the Wallachia fest, “which has a formidable cinema reputation.”

He added that more festivals are slated for the movie.

“Our ‘Tagpuan’ journey is so much fun. Even before the film’s international festival run, we were already happy with it because we felt accomplished to have been able to make the movie according to how we first planned it,” Alejandre recalled.

Iza Calzado


“All that followed, its awards, are making my heart swell with gratitude. They are like an unsought validation of our vision. I’m also happy for everyone who worked on our movie, the cast, the staff, especially for Alfred, our producer, whose faith and belief in me and the material of Ricky (Lee) are the reasons ‘Tagpuan’ came to be.”

Alejandre added: “I remember Alfred once told me, ‘Let’s make a film that you really believe in and will make you feel happy. Because if you believe in it and you’re happy with it, it will surely be a movie that you can be proud of.’”

Pinoy stories

The director emphasized the importance of continuously creating stories that reflect how we really are as Filipinos and making sure that the world will see them.

“Telling Pinoy stories are important, as well as the many aspects of the Pinoy experience. It’s just right that people get to see our stories. The world deserves them,” the director declared.

Alejandre said he had just finished a new movie for Viva Entertainment, titled “My Husband My Lover,” which was also written by Lee.“It was my first lock-in shoot. I’m currently doing postproduction work for it, and will soon start preprod work for a new movie,” he said when Inquirer Entertainment asked him for updates.

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