ICYMI, revered Filipino director Mike De Leon's restored debut full-length feature Itim (international title The Rites of May) will be screened at the QCinema International Film Festival.
Itim tells the story of a budding photographer Jun (Tommy Abuel), and how he documented the locals' Lenten rituals during his return to his provincial hometown.
Jun then met and befriended a mysterious woman named Teresa (Charo Santos). But as soon as she opened up to him about her life, she was suddenly possessed by the spirit of her sister Rosa (Susan Valdez), whose untimely death was unknown to their family.
Through her sister's restless soul, Teresa recounts the unsolved mystery behind Rosa's disappearance.
Itim also starred seasoned actors Mario Montenegro and Mona Lisa.
It earned Santos a best actress award at the 1978 Asian Film Festival.
In an interview, she described De Leon as a "very disciplined" director. Santos also considers him as one of her dearest mentors.
"There was mutual respect. I respect his artistry. I admire him because he has a handle on his narrative and understands the film language," she said.
The restored version of Itim premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last May.
The filmography of De Leon, meanwhile, is being celebrated in New York during the entire month.
From Nov. 1 to 30, his major works—as well as surviving classic melodramas, musicals, costume dramas, and noir films of the '30s to '60s—will be available for viewing at the Museum of Modern Art.
Catch Itim on Nov. 17 to 26 at Gateway Cineplex 5/1 and Power Plant Cinema 6. It's part of the festival's Digitally Restored Classics segment alongside Wong Kar-wai’s romantic drama In The Mood for Love.