Mindanao a film hub in the making
Davao is gearing up for five big film events this week, starting with the second Sineng Pambansa which opens today.
Dubbed Ikalawang Yugto, the second edition of the National Film Festival that runs until Nov. 24 marks the debut of six full-length features and three documentaries from indie filmmakers.
The full-length films in the Sineng Pambansa lineup are Martin Masadao’s “Anac Ti Pating,” Maria Ena Aimee Lourdes Apostol-Escasa’s “Asin,” Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez and Racquel Zaballero-Sanchez’s “Huling Biyahe,” Dominic Lim’s “Kapitan Basura,” Moises Anthony Cruz’s “Limang Dipang Tao” and Benjie Garcia’s “Malan.”
The documentaries are Lauren Marie Sevilla Faustino’s “Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok,” Sheryl Manalastas’ “Ang Pagbabalik ng Bituin” and Sheron Dayoc’s “Chasing Fireflies.”
Two landmark films will be unveiled as well: Manuel Conde’s digitally restored “Genghis Khan” and Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Thy Womb,” to be screened today and tomorrow, respectively, at SM Lanang.
“Since ‘Thy Womb’ was
shot in Mindanao (Tawi-Tawi), it is only fitting that its Philippine premiere be held there as well,” explained Briccio Santos, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), which organized the Davao events.
Cannes-winning filmmaker Mendoza and lead star Nora Aunor are expected to grace the Philippine premiere of “Thy Womb,” which is the country’s entry in this year’s Venice Film Festival.
It’s only right
Santos pointed out that after its Manila premiere, it is only right to share “Genghis” with the rest of the country.
“After serving as opening film of the Sineng Pambansa, ‘Genghis’ will be screened in Cinemanila, Cinema One and Moviemov Italian film fests, too,” he said.
The choice of Davao as venue of these significant film events reaffirms FDCP’s commitment to the growth of regional cinema. “With its strategic location, Davao is the best place to project Mindanao in particular and the Philippines in general as a filmmaking hub,” he added.
The city government of Davao, led by Mayor Sara Duterte, has been helpful in ensuring the events’ success, Santos noted.
“The city government has helped us foster awareness among the populace,” Santos said. “This can be instrumental in winning more audiences for Philippine films.”
Int’l Film Expo
The FDCP is at the forefront of championing regional cinema. Through the Sineng Pambansa, “we want to send a clear signal to filmmakers from the regions that they are most welcome to express themselves so that they can participate in forging a national cinema that caters to all Filipinos.”
At the same time as the Sineng Pambansa, the FDCP is mounting the International Fil
m Expo, or IFX, tomorrow up to Nov. 24 at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang.
The IFX will gather exhibitors and suppliers and other industry stakeholders to participate in a series of presentations and lectures that aim to “benefit film professionals and enthusiasts, including students.”
The IFX will now be held simultaneously with the Sineng Pambansa, said Santos.
The FDCP is also hosting the Asean-ROK Fly project, initiated by the Asian Film Commissions Network (AFCNet) and the Busan Film Commission.
The Asean-ROK Fly project will allow 22 young filmmakers, two each from represented Southeast Asian countries, to avail of intensive training and actual filming sessions, as mentored by top Filipino, Japanese and Korean filmmakers and cinematographers.
“Kang Cheol, special assistant to the minister of foreign affairs (of Korea), and Soeng Heeyeap (special assistant to the Busan mayor) and other Japanese and Korean officials will attend the Fly project and there will be agreements to be signed between film commissioners from Sapporo, Japan, and the FDCP,” said Santos.
All these activities “constitute FDCP’s grand plan to synchronize its major undertakings on an international scale,” he said.
Also in the works is a “Heritage Summit for the cause of film archiving set in February at the Philippine International Convention Center (in Metro Manila).”