Critically acclaimed historical film Quezon’s Game starring Filipino-Australian Raymond Bagatsing is currently screening in selected theatres in Australia and New Zealand.
The film recently screened in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Norway, and Brunei.
Quezon’s Game is a film based on a true yet relatively unknown account of Holocaust heroism during pre-World War II. It revolves around Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon and his plan to rescue 1,200 German and Austrian Jews who were fleeing from Nazi Germany.
In 1938, Quezon, U.S. Army Colonel Dwight Eisenhower (who would become the future U.S. President), and several other notable figures set out a plan to extricate Jewish refugees from the ghettos of Germany and Austria.
However, the rescue that is going to be executed turns out to be more challenging than what the central players think it would be. In the middle of this all, Quezon must overcome a relapse of tuberculosis while governing a country with a struggling economy.
Quezon risked everything for those Jews at a time when most countries were turning refugees away. Truly, this was indeed a wonderful act of heroism and humanity.
An outstanding cast joins Bagatsing that include Rachel Alejandro as Aurora Quezon, Kate Alejandrino as María Aurora “Baby” Quezon, David Bianco as Dwight D. Eisenhower, James Paoleli as Paul V. McNutt, Jennifer Blair-Bianco as Mamie Eisenhower, Audie Gemora as Sergio Osmeña, Billy Ray Gallion as Alex Frieder, Tony Ahn as Herbert Frieder, Miguel Faustmann as Douglas MacArthur, and Natalia Moon as Vera.
Other members of the cast include Dean Rosen, Ham McLeod, Kevin Kraemer as SS Officer Lt. Ebner, Nor Domingo as Manuel Roxas, and Paul Holme as Consul Cartwright.
Quezon’s Game was directed by British-Jewish Matthew Rosen, an award-winning director and was jointly produced by Star Cinema, iWant, and Kinetek,
With a production budget of a mere half-a-million U.S. dollars, Rosen spent three months on casting for the film alone.
The film was produced in English, Spanish, and Tagalog and was finished in October 2018.
The film’s original story idea came from Matthew Rosen and his Filipino wife Lorena while Janice Y. Perez and Dean Rosen wrote the screenplay.
The research phase had been one of the difficult areas the writers had to overcome due to the lack of Filipino historical documents recording the historical account. The writers resorted to theses and dissertations made by Americans. They also got in touch with the descendants of Alex and Herbert Frieder who played a major role in Quezon’s plan.
Quezon’s Game has won over 20 awards including 12 awards from Cinema World Fest Awards in Canada in December 2018 where Bagatsing received the Award of Excellence for Actor.
The film also won six awards from the Indiefest Film Awards in California in February 2019 and four awards at WorldFest-Houston International Film & Video Festival in Texas in March 2019.
Photos: Quezon’s Game website
WATCH: Short clip about the real President Manuel L. Quezon