WITH the aim of promoting local filmmaking and showcasing locally made films all over Cebu, as well as in the whole Visayas, Binisaya Film Festival (BFF) once again introduced another batch of films during the press launch last Monday at the Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino.

With the theme “Tan-aw Man Ka,” the ninth year of BFF will exhibit the 25 films from all categories which made it to the final selection. There were about 30 to 40 film entries that were passed, all made by local filmmakers.

Ronnie Gamboa Jr., this year’s festival director, said that aside from the usual screening of film entries for the BFF short film competition, he also introduced the very first Binisaya Film Festival Block Party, which he said is the main event for this year.

Block party, he said, will be attended by the local artists aside from the people in the cinema industry.

“We’re gonna be inviting local artists sa music industry. We’ll be having a live art, performance art, stalls for local concessionaires, local clothing brands and local accessories brands. We’ll be having parlor games, slogos, wrecking booth,” Gamboa explained.

Prior to the main event, BFF organizers will be having their Barrio-Barrio series. It is their way of introducing the project to the cities and municipalities all throughout the province of Cebu. They will stop in some cities or municipalities and organize a screening of films from the BFF library.

Gamboa hopes that through this, the people will be made aware that Binisaya exists.

“It’s really overwhelming kay naa juy mga tao nga willing to support, moduol nimo, nya muingon nga ‘Naa diay mga ing-ani nga projects (there are people who are willing to support; some will approach you to say, ‘So this kind of project exists)?’” Gamboa also said.

Aside from the film caravan, they will also be having a school tour starting this month. They will visit schools to encourage students who are aspiring filmmakers to pull out their skills in filmmaking.

They will also have an outdoor screening and midnight screenings.

“We added it (midnight screening) because apparently, there are people who are still awake at 12 a.m.,” said Gamboa.

For their outdoor screening, they will have it every Wednesday until the month of September at Grid, in Nasipit, Barangay Talamban, Cebu City; every Friday at Sugbo Mercado, IT Park, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, and every Saturday at the Market in Mandaue City. The midnight screening will take place at the Rizal Public Library.

Then there is also the 48-hour shootout competition. It is a competition wherein participants make a film within 48 hours. The requirements will be given by the organizers on the day of the event.

Gamboa emphasized that the shootout is a good opportunity for the people who love to make stories, or those who want to take videos.

“It doesn’t really matter if you’re a filmmaker or not, whether you want to make stories or that you have stories to tell, or you just want to take videos and you want to showcase that—we think our shootout is a good opportunity,” said Gamboa.

The categories of Binisaya Film Festival 2018 are Asian shorts, a competition showcasing the works from neighboring Asian countries; the Binisaya shorts, and the homecoming section, films that were screened anywhere else but in Cebu.

Grace Marie Lopez, one of the founders of Binisaya, mentioned that they used to cater to films that were from Visayas and Mindanao, but now, she said that the Cebuano film industry has been taking baby steps to step out of the shadow of being part of a label called regional cinema. It has the potential to have a place in the “world” of cinema.

“We catered to Visayas and Mindanao, primarily as geography necessitates. However, whatever is good and beautiful in this world can thrive anywhere and can never be contained,” Lopez said.

She also said that BFF encourages community participation. She added that they are conducting workshops to the young who are into filmmaking and film appreciation to further educate them.

The three-day festival is scheduled on Sept. 20 to 22 at the Film and Media Arts International Academy on General Maxilom Ave., Cebu City.

Gamboa said that the festival has traveled through pop-up screenings all over the country—schools, cinematheques, posh coffee shops, barangay basketball courts, under bridge communities.

“There is nowhere Binisaya will not go,” added Gamboa.