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Five Reasons Why You Shouldn't Miss 'Quezon's Game'

Quezon's Game is out now in cinemas, entering the theater lineup at a tricky time. There's so many Hollywood films to check out right now—and they're actually pretty good films, too—but there's really no logical reason to miss out on the award-winning feature film that tackles the struggles of Manuel Quezon as he opens the Philippines to Holocaust refugees.

If the words award-winning and Manuel Quezon aren't enough to convince you to go, here are more reasons to get you driving to the cinemas to see Quezon's Game.


It has won more than 23 awards internationally

Before Quezon's Game premiered in Philippine cinemas this week, the movie has already been brought to different film festivals all over the globe. And during its tour, it garnered more than 23 awards, including Best Director, Best Foreign Movie, and Best Actor, from festivals like the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, Cinema World Fest Awards in Canada, and IndieFest Film Awards in California.



Raymond Bagatsing was a brilliant Quezon

During our previous interview with Quezon's Game star Raymond Bagatsing, he revealed that he actually had to audition (twice!) to get the role. But coupled with his brilliant acting, what ultimately won him the role was the fact that director Matthew Rosen really believed that he held a resemblance to the late president.


But resemblance alone wouldn't be able to carry the role. In fact, Raymond put in hours and days studying Quezon and some of his available footage, the way he dressed and talked and carried himself. In fact, he got into Quezon so much that he would adlib some Spanish into the dialogues, which eventually got included in the final cut.


READ: EXCLUSIVE: Being Raymond Bagatsing—From Ballistic Action Star To Manuel Quezon


There was a lot of thought that went to each shot

Matthew Rosen is a renowned director for his award-winning commercials. And Raymond shares that working with Matthew was quite different from what he was used to, because Matthew was the kind of guy who worked really hard on each shot.



Raymond shares, “Matthew's technical skills are very very advanced and he has a lot of pre-shoot work, test shots, pre-rehearsals with camera. For two whole weeks we just rented a hall and we had all the cameras so that we can just rehearse and understand our characters better. So when we get to location, he can focus on technicalities while he is guaranteed that we already know our character.”


It showed how hard Quezon worked for the rescue of the refugees

We always just knew that Quezon helped rescue some 1,200 Jews from Germany during the Holocaust, earning him the “Open Doors,” a 7-meter sculpture designed by Filipino artist Luis Lee, Jr. ereceted in Rishon LeZion, Israel in honor of his efforts. But we never really saw how much he and his friends defied American laws and confronted the German emissary to make the rescue happen. The film shows how men from different cultures and walks of life (one was the Filipino president, another an American solider, another a Jewish businessman) joined hands for a single cause: To save lives.


READ: Humanizing Quezon: A Review of 'Quezon’s Game'


It showcased the strength of the Filipino spirit

Remember, the Philippines during this time was not yet its own country. It was a Commonwealth under American rule, with its independence promised in a few years' time. But despite this, the film was able to showcase the beautiful heart of the Filipino people—how it did, you just have to watch the film to find out.



Photography by Rxandy Capinpin

Creative direction by Butchie Peña

Sittings editor: Geolette Esguerra

Liaison editor: Grace Libero-Cruz

Styling by Perry Tabora

Grooming by Mabeth Dionisio

Shoot assistants: Angelica Montoro and Judy Arias