LOCALLY produced short films have gradually permeated the interest of cinephiles, as the Davao Ngilngig Films (DNF) showcased products of its last years’ festival in a school tour dubbed Pasalidahay around the region.
“As long as there are people who commit themselves to make local films, there is always an option to see them,” said Edwin Oscar Gutierrez, Jr., teacher and school paper adviser of The Mover at Tagum City National High School.
“People will watch them, if they are of a quality worth their time, effort and perhaps, money,” he added.
The DNF, established in 2010 by young and aspiring Davao filmmakers, invites students to join its film workshops and submit their outputs for the festivals. It aims to preserve and portray “gruesome or awesome” tales and urban legends in the country. It is presented by Malagos Garden Resort and supported by Morning Light Art Gallery and Shop, JCI Kadayawan, and Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity as Minor Sponsors.
Using Bisaya in films helps preserve the dialect and culture, LazaroSuello, Jr., Media Arts facilitator/adviser at Tagum City National Comprehensive High School, said during a film screening at the school’s mini library last Friday. He encourages his students to make films in Bisaya or Cebuano, citing that such are widely spoken in Visayas and Mindanao.
Instead of patronizing only famous international movies, people from Davao can create films about their surroundings as a way to immortalize stories from their communities, said DNF festival director BaganeFiola of Origane Films, who led the Tagum City screening, together with Mark Pitlo, creator of Lamat.
Both filmmakers, like all their fellows, are advocating the establishment of a local film industry, which is not impossible, according to Suello. They may seek support from the government and businessmen who “love films and are patriotic enough to promote our culture and arts,” he said.
It will only be a matter of time when more people become aware of the local indie films and go out to watch them, Gutierrez said. Referring to a 1989 American movie, Field of Dreams, he quotes, “Build it, and they will come.” (PR)
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 18, 2017.
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