Canada202194 minTagalog, English with English subtitlesOntario PremiereDrama, Family
Our Opening Night presentation is the in-person screening of ISLANDS on November 10 at 7:30pm at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Guests in attendance include director Martin Edralin, and cast members Sheila Lotuaco and Esteban Comilang. Vangie Alcasid and Pablo S.J. Quiogue will be available for the media call and will participate in the Q&A.
Shy, sheltered, middle-aged Joshua lives with his elderly parents and is desperately lonely as he longs for a wife. When he’s suddenly forced into a caretaking role for his family, Joshua goes further adrift into isolation, and his Scarborough bungalow feels like a prison. Help arrives unexpectedly when his cousin Marisol flies in from overseas to help—except now, Joshua finds himself confronted with emotions and experiences he’s never had before.
On the surface, Joshua’s anxieties around loneliness may seem bleak, but writer and director Martin Edralin treats him with a warm affection, showing the challenges and humour imbued in everyday life, as he learns to take new chances. Cutting vegetables, taking a shower, and walking down the stairs all take on new meaning through finely tuned performances, and Edralin’s observant eye toward everyday life at home. And amid a year-plus of our collective pandemic-induced isolation, Islands is a hopeful and humanist story that reminds us the importance of stepping outside.
- Aram Siu Wai Collier
Pablo S.J. Quiogue
South by Southwest, 2021
Calgary International Film Festival, 2021
Vancouver International Film Festival, 2021
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2021
Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Performance, South by Southwest, 2021
RBC Emerging Canadian Artist Award, Calgary International Film Festival, 2021
Special Jury Mention – Best Emerging Canadian Director, Vancouver International Film Festival, 2021
Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2021
Martin Edralin is a Filipino Canadian, Toronto-based filmmaker. His first short film, Hole (2014), won the grand prize at Clermont-Ferrand, jury prizes at Locarno and Seattle, and screened at Sundance, TIFF, and BFI London. His second short, Emma (2016), was selected in TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten and won Best Live Action Short at the Rhode Island IFF. Islands is his debut feature film.
Pre-screening performance by Ricky Tillo, 7PM
Ricky Tillo is a guitarist and producer from Toronto, Canada. Currently he is one of the touring guitarists for Lady Gaga and his own project thebandknives.
Writing and performing credits include Lady Gaga, August Rigo, DVSN, Kehlani, Gowan, Esthero, Miguel, SATE, Divine Brown, Melanie Durrant.