Jun 24, 2024

Actress Sue Prado plays the long-suffering mother in Jun Lana's Anak Ka ng Ina Mo. Photo courtesy of TIFF.
Actress Sue Prado plays the long-suffering mother in Jun Lana's Anak Ka ng Ina Mo. Photo courtesy of TIFF.

September 1, 2023 - After more than a decade, acclaimed filmmaker Jun Robles Lana hits the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) again with the world premiere of his film Ina Ka ng Anak Mo (Your Mother’s Son). In 2012, Lana joined the film festival with his award-winning Bwakaw starring the late veteran actor Eddie Garcia.

Ina Ka ng Anak Mo revolves around how the relationship between a middle-aged, hard-working woman and her indolent son is challenged by the addition of a young man in the household. 

TIFF’s June Kim notes that Lana’s film “invents a category of its own” with “the odd, intimate relationships (are) skillfully brought to life by his talented cast.”

In describing his film, Lana reflected, “At the height of my depression two years ago, it was filmmaking that saved me.” 

He added, “I’m beyond thrilled to return to Toronto. It’s been 11 years since I went there to present my Cinemalaya film Bwakaw.”

Aside from Bwakaw, Lana’s many directorial credits include award-winning films Barber’s Tales, Die Beautiful, Kalel 15, and most recently, About Us But Not About Us.

TIFF’s Centrepieceprogramme will feature 47 titles from filmmakers representing 45 countries, including Lana’s film. The programme was previously known as Contemporary World Cinema and “honours and celebrates global cinematic achievements, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in a dynamic array of contemporary films.”

TIFF’s chief programming officer Anita Lee has this to say: “The rebranding of the TIFF programme…is a reflection of the festival’s vision to provide an elevated platform for international cinema, for acclaimed titles from festivals around the globe, highly anticipated premieres from Canadian and international talents, and the latest work of influential filmmaking luminaries.”

Joining Ina Ka ng Anak Mo at the festival is Filipino director Sonny Calvento’s Primetime Motherin the festival’s Shortcuts Category. In this 15-minute satire, the audition process for a whacky game show tests a mother’s fortitude and tenacity. 

Calvento’ short film, EXCUSE ME, MISS, MISS, MISS joined the 2021 Sundance Film Festival as the first ever Filipino short film in the festival.

Both films will be shown at the Scotiabank Theatre on 259 Richmond St W in Toronto from September 7 to 14. 

Last year, Martika Escobar's Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago (Leonor Will Never Die) won the Amplify Voices Award for emerging filmmakers at the TIFF.

Tickets for Ina Ka ng Anak Mo are available at https://tiff.net/events/your-mothers-son while tickets for Primetime Mother are on hand at https://tiff.net/events/short-cuts-2023-programme-01

About the Author
Rachel Ramos-Reid started writing for magazines and newspapers when she was still a junior at the University of the Philippines’ Communication degree program majoring in Journalism. She continued to write in a public relations/corporate communications capacity in various private and government offices until moving out of the country in 1997 to work as Programme Officer for the arts and culture branch of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO-SPAFA) in Bangkok, Thailand. At the end of her term, Rachel found herself immigrating to Canada in the year 2000 and again searching for new beginnings. Currently she is the Executive Assistant to a small rural college on Vancouver Island.

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