Davao City hosts Sineng Pambansa film festival
The Film Development Council of the Philippines holds the 1st Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival in Davao City from June 29 to July 3, featuring the finalists of its first National Film Competition.
The festival films will be screened at SM City Davao, Abreeza, G-Mall and NCCC Mall. The event is a joint undertaking of the FDCP and the city government of Davao headed by Mayor Sarah Duterte.
The festival opens June 29 at the SM Davao Cinema 3 with a screening of excerpts from Brillante Mendoza’s latest film, “Thy Womb,” a joint project of the FDCP and Mendoza’s CenterStage Productions.
Sineng Pambansa (National Cinema) is the flagship program of the FDCP, whose mission is to bring Filipino films to Filipinos nationwide and Filipino communities overseas. The council has held nine film festivals around the country since last year.
The National Film Competition started in September last year, with 120 entries consisting of full-length features, documentaries and animation shorts.
The language of the locality represented was used in the dialogue or narration, underscoring the vitality of the country’s indigenous cultural heritage through film. The 18 finalists were awarded seed money to finish their projects. A second batch will receive funding later this year.
FDCP chair Briccio Santos, noting that the finalists came from as far north as Kalinga and Benguet to as far south as Davao, Marawi and Jolo, said: “The region-based filmmakers are now contributing to the making of a true national cinema.”
Here are the finalists:
Luzon: “Ang Mga Kidnapper ni Ronnie Lazaro,” by Sigfried Barros-Sanchez, Manila; “Qwerty,” Eduardo Lejano Jr., Manila; “Kanana Kanu,” Jocelyn Banasan-Kapuno, Kalinga.
Visayas (all from Iloilo): “Ang Mga Aswang,” John Raymund Macahilas; “Beadworks,” Ronny N. Poblacion; “Gugma Sang Panahon Sang Bakunawa,” Peter Solis Nery.
Mindanao: “Tambara,” Orvil C. Bantayan, Davao; “Duwaya (Polygamy),” Najib Alyhar Benito-Zacaria, Marawi; “Malan,” Agustin Pagusara Jr., Davao; “In Banka Halit Sin Duwa Sapah,” Fyred Alsad Alfad III, Jolo, Sulu; “Qiyamah,” Gutierrez Mangansakan II, Maguindanao.
Luzon: “Jingle Lang ang Pahinga,” Dominador Escasa Jr., Tagaytay; “Illustrated by,” Levi “Pepper” Marcelo, Manila.
Visayas: “Ginabuhi It Bulig” (Binubuhay ng Pagtulong), Lester G. Babiera, Aklan; “Walay Tumo’y ng Punterya” (No End in Sight), Cierlito Espejo Tabay, Cebu.
Mindanao: “Tagurih: The Kites of Sulu,” Dempster P. Samarista, Sulu.
“Kalon,” Blecyrezza E. Piluden; “Si Pagong at si Matsing,” Analyne D. Pineda
Film experts will comprise the jury.
For documentary: Christian Merer, French Embassy counselor for cultural affairs and Sabrina Baracetti, president of the Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche and festival president of Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy. For full-length feature: Kim Ji-Seok, executive programmer of the Busan International Film Festival and Paolo Bertolin, Venice Film Festival consultant, with two Filipino film critics.
FDCP’s Davao Cinematheque will be inaugurated also on June 29. It is located on Palma Gil Street, in a building donated by the city government. Highlight of the inauguration will be the unveiling of a commemorative statue of the late National Artist for Film, Lino Brocka, designed and executed by Filipino sculptor Jonas Roces.
The first Philippine Cinematheque set up by the FDCP was launched in Baguio City in September 2011.
The Cinematheque is an alternative and accessible venue for classic and contemporary mainstream or independent Filipino films; for state-of-the-art foreign films sourced through the FDCP’s Film Cultural Exchange Program with other countries; and for workshops and symposia on directing, scriptwriting, editing, cinematography and all other aspects of filmmaking.
Awarding rites for winners of the film fest will be held at the Abreeza Cinema 4 on July 1.
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