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  • By Pacific Island Times Staff

Guam International Film Festival to screen 46 entries this year

This year’s Guam International Film Festival (GIFF), which will be held at the Guam Museum and will run from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, will feature 46 local and foreign films. The 46 films were selected among the more than 300 entries submitted from 43 different countries.

“I can’t fully describe my excitement for this year,” said Ruzelle Almonds, GIFF Festival Director. “We’re looking at another amazing lineup. Some films have already won awards at other festivals and some are having their world premiere at GIFF.”

The 2017 lineup includes films “Bernard and Huey,” directed by Dan Mirvish co-founder of Slamdance Film Festival and starring Academy Award-winner Jim Rash alongside David Koechner, whose notable roles include Champ Kind from “Anchorman;” and “Kuleana” directed by Brian Kohne and starring an all Hawaiian cast including Moronai Kanekoa, Sonya Balmores, and Kristina Anapau. Both films have been nominated for the 2017 GIFF Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature.

Featured to play as the 2017 GIFF Centerpiece film is the Philippine drama “Dagsin,” directed by Atom Magadia. The film has been selected to screen at several other top-tier film festivals and has been awarded Best Costume Design at Madrid International Film Festival and Best Actor (Tommy Abuel) at Cinemalaya Film Festival. The film is a GIFF Grand Jury Nominee for Best Narrative Feature and is also nominated for the Achievement in Acting Award (Benjamin Alves).

“On the surface, the story's plot may seem simple: An old man's love story that has now ended with the passing of his wife,” Magadia said of the award-winning film. “Yet, we have richly layered the movie with sub-plots (World-War II and Martial Law), characters, symbolisms and metaphors that can be deciphered by those who manage to crack the surface.” ‘

“Dagsin” will be screened on Sept. 30 at 5:50 p.m. and will include scheduled appearances by Director Atom Magadia, Producer Anne Prado-Magadia and Guam-born Actor Benjamin Alves.

Among other international delegates expected to make an appearance at the 7th Annual GIFF are Seul-woo Hyung, director of film “Love Triangle” (Republic of Korea), and GIFF Alumnus Jack Niedenthal, director of ‘Batmon vs. Majuro’ (Marshall Islands). We will also see the return of local GIFF Alumni including Sarah Filush Camacho, director of “Chew.”, and James Davis, director of “You Deserve Tomorrow”.

This year will also see the return of the original GIFF Grand Jury Panel, headed by Tom Brislin, Ph.D. who will be returning to Guam for the festival’s 7th year. Alongside Brislin on the Grand Jury is Gabrielle Kelley, instructor at the American Film Institute, and Daniel Ferranti, a consultant for Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.

The 7th Guam International Film Festival will also feature the theme “From GIFF, With Love” coinciding with the fact that 2017 is the island’s “Year of Love”.

“This year’s fest is like a love letter to them and anyone who joins us,” Almonds said. “Every year, we work on enhancing the experience for both audiences and filmmakers so I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone enjoys this year.”


Festival patrons have the option to purchase VIP Passes to the 2017 GIFF which will include perks such as reserved seating, complimentary swag bags from I Love Guam (2017 GIFF Sponsor) and access to all 2017 GIFF Screenings. General Admission Tickets to the festival will be sold online, starting Sept. 11, and at the box office during the festival. More information on tickets and VIP Passes can be found at


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