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Quezon's Game is a 2018 Philippine historical drama film directed by Matthew Rosen. The film centers around Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon and his plan to shelter Jews in the Philippines who were fleeing from Nazi Germany during the World War II era.

Quezon's Game
Quezon's Game.jpg
Directed byMatthew Rosen
Music byDean Rosen
ABS-CBN Film Productions
Distributed byStar Cinema
Release date
  • 16 December 2018 (2018-12-16) (Canada)
  • 29 May 2019 (2019-05-29) (Philippines)
Running time
125 minutes
Budget$500 thousand



In 1938, Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon, future US President Dwight Eisenhower along with other notable figures set out to rescue Jewish refugees fleeing from Nazi Germany. Quezon also simultaneously deals with a relapse of tuberculosis.[1]



Quezon's Game is a joint venture production of Star Cinema, iWant,[2] and Kinetek.[3] The film was directed by Matthew Rosen who is British-Jewish,[4] and the film had a production budget of US$500 thousand. The film produced in color runs for 125 minutes and is filmed in English, Spanish, and Tagalog. Production was finished by October 15, 2018.[1] Rosen spent three months on casting for the film alone.[4]

Lorena and Matthew Rosen were responsible for the film's original story idea while Janice Y. Perez and Dean Rosen wrote the screenplay. The film was produced to tell of a relatively unknown account of President Manuel L. Quezon rescuing Jewish refugees from the Holocaust and temporarily providing them shelter in the Philippines. One of the challenges the writers dealt with during Quezon's Game's research phase was the lack of Filipino historical manuscripts tackling the historical account. They referred to theses and dissertations made by Americans, and corresponded with the descendants of Alex and Herbert Frieder who played a major role in Quezon's plan.[5]


Quezon's Game was released in various international film festivals prior to its theatrical release. It was released in Ottawa, Canada as part of the gala event of the 2018 Cinema World Festival as one of the winning films of the 2018 Autumn Selection.[2] It was also an entry in the IndieFEST Film in California, and the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival in Texas.[6]

As part of the film's promotion, a VIP screening was held on May 7, 2019 at the Power Plant Mall in Makati where ABS-CBN also presented video interviews of Holocaust Survivors Margot Pins Kestenbaum and Max Weissler, who were both provided shelter in the Philippines by Manuel Quezon and currently reside in Israel.[6] The film's theatrical release in the Philippines was on May 29, 2019.[4]


There will be a documentary series called The Last Manilaners: A Quezon’s Game Documentary which tells about the Jews who went to the Philippines describing their experience of prosecution and conflict in Nazi Germany and found new life. It will be available for streaming on iWant starting August 2019.[7]


The film won at least 20 awards as an entry in various international film festivals.[6] In January 2019, Quezon's Game won 12 accolades at the Cinema World Fest Awards in Ottawa, Canada.[8][2][8]

Year Award-Giving Body Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
2018 Cinema World Fest Awards[2] Award of Merit for Drama Feature Quezon's Game Won
Award of Recognition for Directing Matthew Rosen Won
Award of Excellence for Actor Raymund Bagatsing Won
Award of Excellence for Actress Rachel Alejandro Won
Award of Excellence for Supporting Actor Billy Gallion Won
Award of Excellence for Lighting Matthew Rosen
Leo Santos
Award of Excellence for Original Score Dean Rosen Won
Award of Excellence for Produced Screenplay Janice Perez
Dean Rosen
Award of Excellence for Set Design Rowella Talusig
Set Construction Group
Award of Excellence for Sound Design Anglea Pereyra Won
Award of Excellence for Costume Design Rowella Talusig and Quezon's Game costume team Won
Award of Merit for Color Treatment Antonette Gozum Won
2019 WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival[8] Best Foreign Movie Quezon's Game Won
Gold Remi Awards for Best Art Design Quezon's Game Won
Gold Remi Awards for Best Producers Carlo Katigbak
Olivia Lamasan
Linggit Tan-Marasigan
Lorena Rosen
Gold Remi Awards for Best Director Matthew Rosen Won

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Quezon's Game". Film Freeway. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "'Quezon's Game' earns 12 international film fest awards". Daily Tribune. 16 January 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  3. ^ Unjieng, Philip Cu (10 May 2019). "Quezon as humanitarian". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Limos, Mario (16 May 2019). "Quezon's Game: Movie Review". Esquirre. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  5. ^ Padayhag, Michelle Joy (19 May 2019). "'Quezon's Game' promises to be a touching, educational historical film". Cebu Daily News. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "ABS-CBN's "Quezon's Game" to Premiere in Cinemas". Film Development Council of the Philippines. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  7. ^ Anarcon, James Patrick (August 1, 2019). "GMA-7 stars Derek Ramsay, Mylene Dizon to do original series for ABS-CBN online platform".
  8. ^ a b c "'Quezon's Game' named Best Foreign Movie in Texas fest". Manila Standard. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.