Durian Central: Cinemarehiyon 2013-A A +A
Monday, February 25, 2013
THE sprawling campus of University of the Philippines in Los Banos plated host to Cinema Rehiyon 5, an annual film festival showcasing selected films plucked from different regions of the country. The festival is a flagship program of the Cinema Committee of the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Being the festival director of the Mindanao Film Festival, which is an NCCA affiliate film festival, gave me a chance to attend Cinema Rehiyon as a delegate.
Among the Davao films that were shown in the festival included MFF best picture winner Sintunado, and another MFF entry, the popular comedy short Migo Nino. They were joined by Alyssa is Typing written and directed by Miguel Santos, nephew of Film Development Council of the Philippine chair Briccio Santos, "Pangandoy" by Philippine Women's College Visual Communication program instructor Yam Palma, PWCine film festival entries "Me" by Alex Lara, "Labo-Labo" by Jeff Sabayle and the University of Mindanao Film Festival entry "Pulaw" by Rochelle Carino.
Davao full length films programmed in the festival included Tambara by Orvil Bantayan, Ang Paglalakbay ng Bituin sa Gabing Madilim by Arnel Mardoquio, Jungle Love by Sherad Sanchez and the controversial director's cut of Malan by Benjamin Garcia.
The 5th Cinemarehiyon had the most number of films programmed with 70 shorts and 18 full-length films. Some of the films were produced by grants like those given by Cinema One of ABS-CBN, the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Cinemalaya.
The films also featured a little bit of star power, Negrense filmmaker Lawrence Fajardo's "Aswang" movie "The Strangers" has Enchong Dee, Julia Montes and Enrique Gil as cast; Cebuano Christian Linaban?s "Aberya" has Iwa Moto, Mercedes Cabral and Will Devaughn; Batangueno Kevin Dayrit’s "Catnip" has Lauren Young and Maxene Magalona while Peque Gallaga's short film (part of the Negros program) "Ang Bayi sa Aparador" has Solenn Heusaff.
Apart from the record number of films, regional filmmakers were super elated with the huge crowds attending the films, long lines of movie-goers snaking through the two venues in UPLB (DL Umali Hall for the full length and Searca auditorium for short films) were a common sight during the four day festival.
Apart from film showings, two fora were conducted for the delegates, the first forum Writing About Regional Films discussed the importance of developing academic-based film writing for regional cinemas while the second forum tackled challenges and opportunities of regional filmmakers.
To cap the festival, Governor ER Ejercito, a movie actor/ producer and a scion of a popular movie clan provided a free tour around the towns of Laguna (Pakil, Paeta and Lumban) for the delegates.
At the closing ceremony, the chair of the cinema committee Dr. Mike Rapatan announced that Cagayan de Oro will host the 6th edition of Cinema Rehiyon.
The organizers led by festival director Katrina Ross Tan, the UPLB Foundation Inc, Peliculab (organization of film enthusiasts) along with the festival partner organizations gave perhaps a very successful and memorable film festival.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 26, 2013.