Arts & Leisure

Cinema Rehiyon goes to Cebu

Posted on July 28, 2015

FOR 2015, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ annual film festival will be going to the Queen City of the South.

ONE OF the highlights of this year’s Cinema Rehiyon is Kidlat Tahimik’s Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (2015) which won the Caligari Film Prize in the 65th Berlin International Forum of New Cinema in February.
The seventh itteration of Cinema Rehiyon, the flagship project of the commission’s National Committee on Cinema focusing on featuring regional films, will by held from Aug. 6 to 9, and will highlight Cebuano films by opening the festival with Leroy Salvador’s Badlis sa Kinabuhi (1968).

“Cebu has a unique situation. A local [film] industry sprung from the province around 1932-1975. Also, there is a resurgence of a new breed of Cebuano filmmakers,” said the cinema committee’s vice-chair Teddy Co in a statement released during the press conference on July 23, explaining why they are bringing the festival to this particular province.

Seventeen full-length feature films will be shown during the course of the festival including T.M. Malones’ Dapya Sang Paglaum; Charena Escala and Rowena Saches’ documentary Nick and Chai; and Thomas Fitzgerald’s Tigdong -- with all of them tackling the topic of Filipino resilience in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan in 2013.

Other films to be screened will take on various indigenous traditions such as Boyong and Sendol’s Busong: The Last Headhunters, a film produced by, and for, the Cordilleran community, and Nef Luczon’s documentary on the Panay Bukidnon community entitled Father said, “Let’s Return Home,” Lester del Valle’s Walang Rape sa Bontok, Adjani Arumpac’s War is a Tender Thing and Ivy Universe Baldosa’s Marciano.

Remton Zuasola’s Soap Opera (which is the festival’s pre-opening film), Bagane Fiola’s Sonata Maria, John Paul Lacsamana’s Magkakabaung, Lemuel Lorca’s Mauban: Ang Resiko, Charliebeb Gohetia’s Chasing the Waves and Alex Figuracion’s Bitukang Manok will also be shown during the festival. All of these films are done by a crew from the province’s International Academy of Film and Television.

The festival will also be showing contemporary Cebuano short films at the mini theater of the Film and Media International Arts Academy, in other select venues, and an outdoor screening. There will also by a special viewing of National Artist for Theater and Film Lamberto V. Avellana’s rarely seen works.

One of the highlights of the program is the screening in select cinemas of SM Cebu on Aug. 9 of Kidlat Tahimik’s Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (2015), an “epic free-form documentary” that tells the story of Ferdinand Magellan’s Visayan slave, Enrique of Malacca, who, as some claim and is said to be supported by Antonio Pigaffeta’s chronicles, is the first person to successfully circumnavigate the globe.

The film by the man often dubbed as the Father of Philippine Independent Cinema, won the Caligari Film Prize in the 65th Berlin International Forum of New Cinema in February.

“This is the first time the film will be screened in Cebu,” Maria Victoria Beltran, festival director, told BusinessWorld at the sidelines of the event before adding that they are expecting a crowd of 10,000 to go and watch the film festival.

Next year, she said, they will be bringing Cinema Rehiyon to Naga in Camarines Sur. -- Zsarlene B. Chua