Filipino-American film "Death of Nintendo" is having its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday.
Written by Filipino-American writer Valerie Castillo-Martinez and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Raya Martin, "Death of Nintendo" is a coming-of-age story about four 13-year-olds and their experiences back in the '90s.
Martinez, who said the story is loosely based on her own experiences, said she wanted the film to depict her and childhood friend Martin's experiences.
"Working with Raya has excited me in two different ways. The most important reason is our connection to the story, and how he deeply understood the nuances of all the cultural specificities of that place and time," Martinez said in a statement.
"Raya and I grew up in the same middle-class neighborhood and attended the same elementary school for 12 years. What’s more is that we wanted the Philippines to be depicted specifically to our experience and not be exoticized or serve certain cultural stereotypes involving extreme poverty or crime."
Martin said he believes the experiences of those who grew up in the 1990s is an important story to tell.
“Val and I had the exact same Catholic suburban-bred world being schoolmates. I also remember it was the beginning of the Internet aside from the console wars, so we were really fascinated between this virtual new world and touching ground that I felt was unmistakable in her story,” Martin said..
Produced by Black Sheep Film Productions, "Death of Nintendo" features Noel Comia Jr., Kim Chloie Oquendo, Jiggerfelip Sementilla, John Vincent Servilla, Moi Bien, Nikki Valdez, Angelina Kanapi, Jude Matthew Servilla, Elijah Alejo, Cayden Williams and Agot Isidro.
It will be shown at Berlinale 2020 from Feb. 22 to 28 as part of the festival’s Generation Kplus category.
It will then be shown in Philippine cinemas after its festival tour.
Aside from"Death of Nintendo," two other Filipino films will be screened at the film festival.
Alex Piperno’s “Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine,” and Rafael Manuel’s “Filipiñana” are also among the 400 titles at Berlinale, which kicked off on Thursday, February 20.
“Filipiñana” is part of the Berlinale shorts section, while the Philippines co-produced (Cacanindin) “Window Boy” is participating in the Berlinale Forum.