The Philippines in partnership with Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Jakarta lead by Director-General Law Kin-wai sponsored recently the screening of “Still Human” at the recently concluded Cinemalaya Film Festival.

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Crisel Consunji and Law Kin-wai at Cultural Center of the Philippines (Photo by Manny Llanes/Manila Bulletin)

In an exclusive interview with Bulletin Entertainment, Law said “Still Human’s” main drew is the story; about a paralyzed and hopeless man (played by actor Anthony Wong) who meets his new Filipino domestic helper (Crisel Consunji), who has put her dreams on hold to come to Hong Kong to earn a living.

“The cast of ‘Still Human’ worked very closely together. They spent a lot of effort in order to put this film together,” he said. “This is Olivia Siu Kuen Chan’s first feature film so it’s in line with the Hong Kong government’s objective to nurture our next generation of talents.”

He hopes for “Still Human” to be the first of many Hong Kong films to be shown in the Philippines.

Asked why he thinks Pinoys should watch the film, Law said more than it being a Filipino story in Hong Kong story, it is also a Hong Kong story in a Filipino story.

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SCENE FROM ‘Still Human’

“And I think the Filipino community is not a stranger to many Hong Kong clients. Actually, we are very grateful to all the help and assistance overseas. I mean, the Filipino migrant workers have all along been contributing to our society. So I think the closeness or the sense of attachment between the two societies is shown in this film,” he said.

Crisel added: “I think it’s a hallmark for us that in many ways our voices are being heard and being portrayed and being said in our voice, it’s not just somebody else’s interpretation of how these women think and feel. It’s our interpretation of the way our people think and feel.”

In the 38th Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong’s equivalent of the Oscars, “Still Human” has been nominated in eight categories – Best Film, Best Director, Best New Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, New Performer, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Screenplay, wherein Director Oliver bagged the Best New Director, while actor Anthony Wong the Best Actor and Crisel received the New Performer award.

Crisel is the first Filipino Actress to have been nominated – and have won – in that festival.

Anthony and Crisel did the project pro bono “because of our belief in the project.”

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Anthony Wong as Cheong-wing

“We got into the film because we believed in the message. I personally believed that Olivia Siu Kuen Chan would treat it with respect and integrity and help us give a voice to the Filipino women in diaspora,” Crisel said.

She is proud that “Still Human” has been screened in other parts of the world.

“It was screened in film festivals around the world. Like the film won the Black Dragon Critics’s Award and the Top Audience Award. We’ve been to so many cities in Asia. And then in the US, we went to Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and most recently, Washington, DC with the Smithsonian. And it was wonderful, it’s wonderful because we’re able to reach a wider audience and realize that our film actually permeates different sectors, different groups, it’s breaking down the barriers of the race of gender, of class, and really trying to connect people.”

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