The Culture & Cultures Intercultural Film Festival has been making good use of the two theaters at the Abbaye Ecole in Soreze this week. Anne and I have been running around the corner and up the street to help out, selling and punching tickets.
The Mountain Thief is the first feature film by young director Gerry Balasta. In 2004, Gerry went back to the Philippines, where he was born and raised, and started an acting workshop open to the residents of the Philippine’s largest garbage-collecting town of Promised Land and Urban, Payatas. He used residents of the town who graduated from his workshop as the actors in The Mountain Thief when he shot it on location at the garbage-collecting town with a small crew.
In 2009, Gerry started THE MOUNT HOPE PROJECT, to assist the scavenger-actors who acted in his film. In late 2009, with money raised through the supporters and fans of the film, two of the children involved in the film received medical care, including surgery for one child with a club foot deformity.
Gerry Balasta was present at the screening to answer questions from the audience about the film and his ongoing work with the Mount Hope Project. It was a moving and inspiring start to this remarkable film festival, which, for the second year, is screening some of its films in our little village of Soreze.
Love for now.