THE Guerrilla Filmathon is a 24-hour filmmaking competition where filmmakers race to complete their films as they overcome challenges and obstacles set by organizers – it is like a combination of filmmaking and Amazing Race.
It is, perhaps, the only one of its kind in the country. The event started in 2014 with the first two editions held in Davao City in partnership with the City Tourism Operations Office of Davao City. In 2016 the province of Davao del Norte hosted the 3rd Guerrilla Filmathon in its capital city, Tagum.
Usually held every November, the contest attracts several regional filmmakers who want to make their films and also relish the Amazing Race type of competition.
Early this year, the City Government of Davao contacted the organizers of the Mindanao Film and Television Development Foundation Inc. (MFTDFI) to ask for the possibility of holding a special edition of the Guerrilla Filmathon for the 80th Araw ng Dabaw celebration.
After several meetings, the City Government and the MFTDFI finally came up with a concept for a special edition of the filmathon.
Retained were the 24-hour time frame and the Amazing Race concepts. Unlike in the past were films were open-themed, the filmmakers would have to follow the tourism slogan of the city of Davao: Life is Here, as their theme.
As part of the activities of the Araw ng Dabaw, cash prizes were allocated to the winners. For the race, the top finishers will receive P20,000 (first finisher), P17,000 (2nd) and P15,000 (3rd).
The best film which will be decided by jurors will also receive a cash worth P50,000 . Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio will also be picking a film from the participants’ outputs for the Mayor’s Choice award and will also receive a cash prize for this.
About 10 teams were chosen for the race namely Peter South, Mad Playhouse, MMA Films, Alvertus Productions, Film Grain, Team DCPlinado, SHC Productions, Nick and Jill, Aurthchrimel and Team Usawag Productions.
The race proper started at around 9:30 a.m. on March 11 and ended 9:30 a.m. the following day.
The starting point was at Eden Fields in Eden Nature Park in Toril where they had their first set of challenges which include trying out various rides in the park like the Skyrider, Skyswing and Skycycle.
Another challenge was at Gaisano Mall where teams would either try archery at the Gandiva Archery Range or climb the wall at the Edge Center.
By the evening, the filmmakers would have to give out their best in the Zumba challenge at the Matina Town Square. Contestants would have to dance till the instructors would be satisfied with their performance.
The Sunday morning challenge included tumba lata (hit the can) and a game of takyan.
The first team to reach the finish line at the Museo Dabawenyo was Team DCplinado followed by MMA Films and Film Grain Productions.
The rough cuts of the films were shown at the Training Center of the Davao City Hall. Here are brief descriptions of their films:
Vlog by Mad Playhouse
A blogger and a vlogger roam around the various sights in the city hoping to uncover its true beauty.
#LifeisHere by Film Grain
Nursing a broken heart, a photographer decides to visit the city for a brief sojourn.
Layover by Peter South
Two tourists from two different places meet in a gift shop in the City. Friendship blossoms as they spend their day around the city.
Mamadlungay by SHC Productions
A young man decides to help enforce the ordinances of the city government.
The Puzzle by Alvertus Productions
Before meeting his Dabawenya fiancé, a foreigner must first discover the city of paradise - Davao City.
Dinhi sa Ato by Aurthchrimel
A street urchin is adopted by a kind Dabawenyo who gives her an important life lesson.
Dayo by Team Uswag
A Chinese magazine writer has serious misgivings about her writing assignment in Davao City but one incident helps her see the city in a different light.
The Package by MMA
A pair of motorcycle-riding henchmen is given a secret task of picking up mysterious packages across the city.
Adlaw ni Joy by Team DCplinado
Joy rides a jeepney and contemplates about her impressions and misconceptions of the city and her people.
Kalinaw by Nick and Jill
The iconic Ilaw ng Kalinaw clock tower along San Pedro Street acts as a familiar monument to a man trapped in time.
The jurors in the filmathon were film directors Benjie Chicote Garcia and Charliebebs Gohetia, Academe and former broadcaster Derf Maiz and Jefry Tupas, head of the City Information Office, who represented the City Government.
The jurors also chose Adlaw ni Joy by Team DCplinado as the best film among the 10 film entries. The awarding and public screening of the films were held last March 17 at the Davao Cinematheque.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 22, 2017.
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