York University dance professor’s film selected in Cannes

Dancing Manilenyos, the latest documentary of Patrick Alcedo, an associate professor in York University’s Department of Dance, was an official selection at the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase.

Professor Patrick Alcedo with 12-year-old Anah Ambuchi, director of Made in His Image, a powerful film about bullying. Ambuchi received the inaugural Rising Star Award

Independent of, but held during the highly prestigious Festival de Cannes, or the Cannes Film Festival, the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase promotes globally diverse filmmakers telling stories specific to marginalized groups at the festival.

A 53-member international screening committee of diverse entertainment industry professionals and film enthusiasts selected his film, which was chosen from a record of 359 films that were submitted from 35 countries, including China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Turkey and the United States.

Only 13 other films were selected, and together with those films, Alcedo’s Dancing Manilenyos was screened on May 20 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cannes, France.

On its 10th year, the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase was presented by American publicist and event producer Yolonda Brinkley, with support from Academy Award-winner Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions, Midian Films and director Crystle C. Roberson.

According to Brinkley, the 2019 Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase’s International Screening Committee had the task of determining the official selections from hundreds of submissions globally.

“With an acceptance rate of less than 10 per cent, I am delighted to announce Dancing Manilenyos as an official selection,” said Brinkley. “It is the unwavering support of filmmakers like Patrick Alcedo that inspires the continual momentum necessary to ensure marginalized voices and underrepresented stories are seen and heard at the Cannes Film Festival and beyond.”

To date, Dancing Manilenyos has been officially selected at four international festivals and has won four film awards, the latest of which is a win from the Global Shorts International Film Competition in Los Angeles.

Dancing Manilenyos is about a group of young Filipinos living in the Philippine capital of Manila, dreaming of making it big in the ballet world. Victor, who comes from a poor family, and Monica from a privileged background are among them. In this city that is considered to be the world’s most densely populated, with 46,000 people living per square metre, the difference between those who have and have not is painfully extreme. Amidst Manila’s disparate social class, ballet teacher Luther hopes to lift his students out of poverty by way of artistic and life skills one learns from dancing.

View a trailer of Dancing Manilenyos: