The Rights Stuff


Filipino Film “Quezon’s Game” Premieres in Israel

By BALIKBAYAN — 16.11.19

Over 200 guests, including Israeli government officials and members of the diplomatic corps attended the special screening of the movie which dramatizes the historic decision of Philippine President Manuel Quezon to welcome into the country the Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust in Germany and Austria.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Strategic Communications and Research Ernesto C. Abella (left photo), Isreali Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director-General Gilad Cohen (center photo), and Film director Matthew Rosen (right photo) deliver their respective remarks during the short program prior to the screening of “Quezon’s Game,” (Tel Aviv PE photo)

The film explores the events behind Quezon’s decision and the obstacles he had to overcome to bring Jewish refugees to the Philippines. Initially released in the international film festival circuit in December 2018, “Quezon’s Game” has taken home 23 awards, including Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Foreign Film from various film festivals such as the World Fest, the IndieFest Film Awards, and the Maryland International Film Festival. It is scheduled to screen commercially worldwide by year 2020.


“It has been over 80 years since the Philippines’ doors opened to the Jewish people, and the seeds of friendship planted during Quezon’s time continue to blossom today,” said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella in his welcome remarks.


Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Gilad Cohen also spoke at the premiere, extending his compliments and saying that the film was the story “… not [of] the kindness of one man but of the entire Filipino nation.”

This year’s Philippine Film Festival in Israel was arranged through the efforts of ABS-CBN’s Star Cinema and KINETEK in partnership with Cinematheque Tel Aviv, Cinematheque Jerusalem, and Cinematheque Haifa. The Philippine Film Festival will run until 24 November, with the following schedule:

27 October 2019  – Quezon’s Game, Cinematheque Tel Aviv (Special Screening)

03 November 2019 – Balangiga: Howling Wilderness, Cinematheque Jerusalem

10 November 2019 – Oro, Plata, Mata, Cinematheque Haifa

17 November 2019 – Balangiga: Howling Wilderness, Cinematheque Tel Aviv

24 November 2019 – Oro, Plata, Mata, Cinematheque Jerusalem.

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This article was first published here.